When I bought my super sweet mountain bike from Z last year, I thought the biker bell he had installed on the handle bars was really cute. It made a little "ding" when I hit it with my thumb and I felt like I was 10 years old again.
Live and learn.
This summer I rode the Wasatch Crest Trail with my gaggle of MTB buddies. The trail is NOT easy. Once you make your way over Puke Hill, the single track winds its way down the enormous mountains that form the ski resorts of Snowbird, Alta, Solitude and Brighton. The summit peak is lined with jagged granite outcroppings that knife their way out of the soft dirt and leave a spike of danger in the path of any who attempt to cross it. It's real fun.
But back to the bell.
As I made my way down the trail dodging tree roots and overhead branches, I had a tipsy turvy tumble down the mountain's edge and over into some scrub brush, small trees and wildflowers. Since I was last in the group, no one saw me fall. And where I lay, grasping my bike with one hand and a tree branch in another, I was invisible to anyone who rode past me on the trail.
Left for dead. Or so it felt. Though I was perfectly comfortable and unscathed. But another roll of the bike would have dropped me down a very steep and treacherous cliff into the canyon stream below.
I yelled to my friends. "Hello... are you there?"
Then, I starting thumping my thumb against that bell. Ding, ding, ding! "Um, HEL-LO?"
Finally I looked up at the trail above me I saw a rider pass. I kept dinging the bell as Shawna came to my rescue. She could not see me from her vantage point, but she COULD hear the bell. And when she peaked over the edge and saw where I was hanging, we both just started to laugh!
Darkness was looming as she reached down to pull the bike back onto the trail, then grabbed my wrist to help me climb back up the tree roots to hoist my body off the cliff and onto the dirt path.
Thanks to Shawna, I made it home in one piece. The ride was a great adventure. And that's that. End of story.
But don't forget the moral! Bike bells are a GREAT little feature to have on your bike. They signal your arrival around blind turns. They give a polite warning for hikers to yield. And best of all, bike bells can be heard when a holler cannot. I'm so glad Z had the fore site to put one on the Stump Jumper.
Readers, I suggest you do the same.
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