Well, since you know there is a cell phone attached to my bike I might as well come clean - I also have a bell. I didn't want a bell but had to get one for a ride I was doing in Canada. In that country there is a law requiring all bikes to have bells. Why, I don't know because the Canadian riders with us never used theirs and always laughed when we did.
As the Canadian ride was getting closer, I was scrambling. I was trying to get things done at work, trying to get things done at home, trying to raise the final amount of money needed for the ride, and trying to keep training. But, more than anything, I was fretting over getting a bell. I talked a lot about it but kept putting it off. Finally, a friend showed up one day with a bell for my bike. She wanted to support me in the ride and the bell was her way of doing so. It is a great bell called a beehive - although it has been given other names.
That night I put the bell on the bike. If you hit the thumb tab, it gave off a fairly loud "Ding". It was okay, but I really didn't like it. So, I spent a few minutes coming up with my own distinct ring. I discovered if you hit the thumb tab a couple times really fast then had a brief pause and hit the thumb tab fast a couple more times it gave off a pretty interesting ring. "Ding-Ding". "Ding-Ding". Maybe you had to be there to appreciate it.
The next day out on the trail doing a little riding, I noticed a lady walking towards me. She was in her late sixties or early seventies, out for her morning walk using a cane to maintain her balance, looking down at the path. Since it was just the two of us I mustered all the courage I could to try the bell. Then breaking through the stillness of the morning it rang out- Ding-Ding, Ding-Ding.
The lady didn't look up. Getting closer I gave it another try - Ding-Ding, Ding-Ding. She still didn't look up. Getting even closer still, I slowed down and gave it one last attempt - Ding-Ding, Ding-Ding.
When I got within five feet of her, she looked up and looked me square in the eye. As I pulled up next to her she blurted out, "I heard you the first time!" I stopped my bike mainly because I really wasn't sure what she said. She might use the cane to walk but she was quite spirited. She spun around, lifted her cane a little, looked me square in the eye and said, "I heard you the first time. I might be old but I'm certainly not deaf. I heard you clear at the other end of the park."
I replied I wasn't sure she heard me and I certainly didn't want to startle any young women on the path. Now she turned bright red and said, "Now you just hush with that kind of talk and get on with your bicycle ride." I chuckled and got back on my bike.
A few days later, I was on the same path. It was early. I wasn't awake nor was I into the ride. Suddenly, I heard, "Ring the bell. Ring the bell." I looked up and there was the lady. Once again, the stillness of the morning was broken. Ding-Ding, Ding-Ding.
I rarely ring the bell anymore but I still have it on my bike. It was given to me by a friend and you never known when you might encounter young women on the path.