It would be fair to say us bikers are a superstitious bunch, we all have quirks we either do or say on the road. But did you ever wonder where some of the come from? Our top question in store is about our collection of ride bells, what are they for? Where did they come from and who needs them?
In a land of wisps, myths and legends it’s not hard to see why Rider Bells are one of our most popular gifts among our rider Clan. The legend of the “Ride Bell” or “Guardian bell” stems right back in time, before motorcycles and cars in fact. Long ago, as far back as 1488, it has been documented that bells were often used to get rid of unwanted demons and gremlins who would cause havoc in the home, messing with pots and pans, and moving things from where they were left last. “Devils can’t abide o’bells” recalls a folklorist in 1862 – so, when one lonely night long ago an old grey bearded biker was heading home along a deserted road, carrying trinkets and gifts in his saddlebags for his family and village, he was surely lucky that some of those gifts were small bells.
As he approached an open stretch, he listened in to the purring motor, and thought about the many trips they’d made across the land. The bike was a faithful thing, they’d seen all weathers and still come through safe enough, in truth they’d bonded as man and machine over the years and miles. The road started to narrow, and he came upon a wooded section, the trees drawing close to the road, little did he know this was the dwelling spot of some mean road gremlins! For sport in past times, the road gremlins used to spook horses, but in this day and age, they preferred bikers and our chap was intended as their next victim. In the blink of an eye, they set upon the biker, hopping on the bike, twiddling wires and fuel lines, causing the bike to weave and swerve, bringing the biker to a wobbly stop and dropping the bike.
The old biker was furious, he ran round to his saddlebag, which the gremlins had ripped from the bike, and started throwing things at the gremlins – which delighted them further – until he reached one of the bells. As soon as a tiny tinkle was heard, the gremlins threw their claws to their ears, and screeched in pain. Spotting this, the biker reached for the others, shaking them with all his might ad the gremlins jumped about and scattered in sheer fright.
Returning to his bike, laid over by the side of the road, the biker tied a handful of bells to his bike, collected the scattered gifts and put the saddle bag back onto the bike. Up righting it, with a few strong kicks, it surely and faithfully came back to life and before he knew it he was on his way home. Later that week, resting in his local bar, he began to explain where the extra scrapes on his bike had come from to his fellow biker buddies. And in telling the tale, he gifted bells to each one to tie to their bikes so they wouldn’t befall the same fate as he did that night. So, if you receive or give a bell, be sure you’re receiving a gift of friendship and care from another biker.
A tradition, a superstition or folklore, a bell can make a wonderful, memorable gift for the biker in your life - shop for ride bells here.