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Legend of the Bell

ABOUT THE RIDING BELL

Have you noticed that small bell on some people's bikes and wondered why it was there? It's more than just decoration - It has a specific function.

As we all know, life has many mysteries that have no apparent solutions; one of these is Evil Road Spirits. They are the little gremlins that live on your bike. They love to ride. They're also responsible for most of your bike's problems. Sometimes your turn signals refuse to work, or the battery goes dead, the clutch needs adjustment, or any of several hundred other things go wrong. These problems are caused by Evil Road Spirits.

Road Spirits can't live in the presence of a bell. They get trapped in the hollow of the bell. Among other things, their bearing is supersensitive. The constant ringing of the bell and the confined space drives them insane. They lose their grip and eventually fall to the roadway. Have you ever wondered how potholes are formed? The bell has served its purpose.

If you have picked up a bell of your own, the magic will work. But if your bell was given to you, the power has been doubled, and you know that somewhere you have a special friend helping to look after you.

So, if you have a friend that doesn't have a bell, why not give them one? It's a nice feeling for the recipient to know you personally cared. The bell, plus a good preventive maintenance program by the bike's owner, will help eliminate the Evil Road Spirits.


LEGEND OF THE RIDE BELL

Many years ago, on a cold December night, an old greybeard biker was returning from a trip to Mexico with his saddlebags filled with toys and other assorted trinkets for the kids at a group home near where he worked.

As he rode along that night, he thought about how lucky he had been in life, having a loving riding partner that understood his need to roam the highways and about his trusty old bike that hadn't let him down once in the many years they had shared the road together.

About 50 miles north of the border, in the high desert, lurked a small group of notorious little critters known as Road Gremlins. You know, the ones who always leave little obstacles like one shoe, boards and pieces of old tires on the road and also dig those dreaded potholes for bikers to run over and crash, thus giving the Road Gremlins a chance to rejoice over their acts of evil.

As the old greybeard rounded a curve that moonlit night, the gremlins ambushed him, causing him to crash to the asphalt and skid before coming to a stop next to one of his saddlebags that had broken free. As he lay there, unable to move, the Road Gremlins made their way towards him. The greybeard, not being one to give up, started throwing things at the gremlins as they approached him. Finally, with nothing else to throw but a bell, he started ringing it in the hopes of scaring off the dirty little gremlins.

About a half mile away, camped in the desert, were two bikers sitting around the campfire talking about their day's ride and the freedom of the wind blowing in their faces as they rode across this vast country. In the stillness of the night air, they heard what sounded to them like church bells ringing and upon investigating, found the old biker lying along the roadside with the gremlins about to get him. Needless to say, being a part of the biker Brotherhood, they proceeded to ward off the gremlins until the last of them ran off into the night.

Being grateful to the two bikers, the old greybeard offerred to pay them for their help, but as all true bikers do, they refused to accept any type of payment from him. Not being one to let a good deed go unnoticed, the greybeard cut two pieces of leather from his saddlebag tassels and tied a bell to each one. He then placed them on each of the bikers' motorcycles, as near to the ground as possible. The tired, old road warrior then told the two travellers that with those bells placed on their bikes, they would be protected from the Road Gremlins and that if ever in trouble, just ring the bell and a fellow biker will come to their aid.

So, whenever you see a biker with a bell, you know that he has been blessed with the most important thing in life...friendship from a fellow biker.


POLISHING THE RIDE BELL

It has been tradition among some of us for a long time to attach a brass bell to our left swingarm to remember our Brothers & Sisters who have gone down riding.

It's a small thing, but the reason a brass bell is chosen is that, as we ride, it gets dirty and tarnished. Everytime we get down to wash and polish it, we are reminded of friends lost and our thoughts turn to the meaning of being in the wind.

As we ride and the hear the bell ring, we know that our Brothers & Sisters are riding with us and how easy it would be to join them with a single mistake.

And maybe, just maybe, the next time a situation comes up, they will be there to help us...as long as we remember them by polishing the bell.
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