Tag Archives: Bells

Calling time on that whole “bell” thing

“Bike coming through. Keep to the left please”

I called out in a bright cheerful voice this morning

The reply came back

“Where’s your bell?”

That exchange happened this morning as I rode down the Cooks River Cycleway on my circuitous but somewhat pleasant commute to work.

Now before I get to the meat of the post, I’d like to first address the unspeakable stupidity of that response.

In no possible universe does “ding ding” convey more safety-related information than a bright and cheerful “keep to the left please”. “Ding ding” does not convey, for a start, that the right thing to do is to move to the left. “ding ding” is, in fact, considerably less safe, and less polite, than a cheerful “keep to the left please”. You’d have to be breathtakingly dense to think that was the case. One certainly does not need a PhD in Information Theory to understand that “ding ding” is a low information density phenomenon, whereas verbal communication of the “keep to the left please” variety conveys an order of magnitude more. ┬áTen thousand years into the future, when this blog post is retrieved by some far-distant digital archaeologist, people will be seen to remark “Fuck me, that was a really stupid response. People were sure thick back in the 2010s, eh?”. The kind of person who would make that response would be incapable of thinking his or her way out of a wet paper bag if that wet paper bag was open at both ends and clearly marked with the words “exit here or here“. The person who said it probably believes that she is a crusading figurehead for pedestrians’ rights, standing up to an evil, law-breaking cyclist. What she actually is, is a moron.

That pleasant little rant out of the way, let’s address why I do not and will not fit my bike with a bell. Continue Reading →