Some call them Ride Bells, and others call them Guardian Bells, Lucky Bells or Legend Bells, here is the story of the bells:
The old legend goes that one night a single old biker was headed home from a road trip to Mexico where he filled his saddlebags with gifts and trinkets for the kids that lived at a group home where he worked.
He drove along feeling blessed for his own life, the people in it and most importantly his bike, that had never let him down. He and his bike spent many years roaming the roads together and had a close relationship.
The biker was about 40 miles north of the Mexican boarder unaware that in the high desert ahead of him waited a small group of road gremlins.
Road gremlins are the evil little creatures that leave obstacles in your path- old mufflers, pieces of rubber, boxes, that one shoe you always see and things like that.
Road gremlins hope to make a biker crash so they can rejoice over their little acts of evil.
As the biker rounded the curve, the road gremlins ambushed him, causing him to crash and skid before coming to a stop near one of his saddlebags that had ripped off his bike.
The biker lay there, helpless and unable to move as the road gremlins made their move towards him. The biker- being typical of many bikers – wasn’t going to give up easily and started throwing things from the saddlebag at them. Finally, he had nothing left to throw but a tiny bell and he started ringing it in hopes of scaring them off.
Not far away, two other bikers had made camp for the night and were talking around the fire when they heard the sound of the bell. Their first thought was that it was church bells so they went to go find out for themselves.
They came across the old biker lying in the road with the gremlins about to finish him off. Bikers are part of a brotherhood and because of that, the two other bikers chased off the gremlins, saving the old biker from their attack.
The old biker offered to pay for their help but in an unwritten code of true bikers, they refused payment. The old biker wanted to show his gratitude and wouldn’t let the two bikers leave without showing a sign of appreciation for their good deed. The old biker cut off two pieces of leather from his saddlebags tassels and tied a bell to each piece. He then attached the bells to the two bikers bikes as close to the ground as possible.
The old biker then told his new friends that with those bells attached to their bikes, they would be protected from the road gremlins and if they were ever in trouble, to ring the bell and a fellow biker would come to their aid.
From Wikipedia: This leads to the moral of the story: “So when ever you see a biker with a bell you’ll know that he has been blessed with the most important thing in life — friendship from a fellow biker.”
Gremlins are known as evil road spirits. They live on motorcycles because they love to ride and are the cause of most bikers’ problems, like when the tires go flat, the horn won’t work or any several hundreds of things that can go wrong.
Evil road spirits can’t live near a bell because they get trapped in the hollow of the bell. Their hearing is hypersensitive so the constant ringing in a confined space drives them insane. They lose their grip and eventually fall onto the roadway. That is how potholes are formed.
If you buy your own bell, the magic will still work but if you receive one as a gift from a friend or a loved one the magic is doubled because out there somewhere you have a friend looking out for you.
If you steal a bell from a biker, you steal all the gremlins and the evil that comes with them. It is ill advised that you steal a bell, the consequences could be dire.
Ride bells are more of a tradition than a superstition amongst bikers… so they make a great gift for the rider in your life