I bought a bike accessory for Jolene and I as a stocking stuffer for Christmas - a bear bell.
TallSteve has one on his bike and told us about it. He rides solo a lot in American Fork Canyon where there have been a few bear incidents. And while a bike makes a fair amount of noise, a bell makes sure a bear knows you're coming so it can move away. A reasonable precaution.
But the bell is used more frequently to warn people. I can't count the number of times I've startled hikers as I've come up behind them on my bike. I try to make noise (cough, squeal the brakes, etc.) but they often don't hear me. Steve says hikers usually hear the bell and it doesn't startle them so the encounter is more pleasant.
I wish I would have had it for my bike ride yesterday as I came up behind 4 groups of people and none of them heard me coming. Their ears were covered and the crunching of walking on the snow was too loud. The bell is installed on my bike now.
This bell has some nice features:
- The velcro strap attaches easily to handlebars.
- The jingle bell makes a pleasant sound that is about the right loudness.
- The mesh bag slips over the bell when not in use with a magnet at the bottom that attracts the clapper and stops it from ringing the bell.