I’ve blogged before about the SW8 bicycling Bell Boy.


…is his rallying cry, as clears the mean streets of Sunny Stockwell with a simple release of a mechanical device that is an unlikely contender to compete with the Lambeth Police Dispersal Zone.

Never doubt the power of a bicycle bell. The shrill of the vibrations may not be the loudest sound you’ll hear around these parts, but it beats the rather lame beep from a 155 bus as a warning sound for stray pedestrians.

I believe the bicycle bell effect is a built-in action that we fist learn during childhood. It’s a bit like the misguided myth about not to pull a funny face when the wind changes. Danger is about to descend, although I personally put my good looks down to pouting heavily outside during a particularly blustery teenage afternoon.

The bicycling Bell Boy of SW8 wasn’t blessed with the same weather back in the day. Either that or he put his face through a mangle, just as a force ten was approaching. But he does understand the power of the bicycling bell. I heard the familiar:


early on Friday morning, bicycling off for a bracing lovely lido dip. Clap’ham Road was half-empty for once, and so what could the imminent onset of danger be?

Some Bus Stop Johnny was about to put their arm out to catch a 333. The bicycling Bell Boy is a cautious fella, if not a hit with the ladies. I’m all for road safety, but an excessive bell ring to warn Bus Stop Johnny that a granny bike doing at best, 10mph, was about to brush by?

It was almost as bonkers as the horn section on the bonkers multi-coloured Moulton. The four-piece ensemble certainly has more pitch and range than a simple bike bell, but they lack the dispersal effect (although I did manage to lose the company of a female on Critical Mass last month, when I declared that I was the “horniest man on the ride.”)

Nope – bike bells are b****y brilliant. I’m with the bicycling Bell Boy of SW8. They should be celebrated and used at every opportunity. They are the soundtrack to bicycling, and a throwback to better days when two wheels ruled.

The renaissance starts here.


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