You’ll certainly know about it. You’ll feel it loud and clear, slapping against your ears. That’s because I’ve purchased an AirZound horn from the Brighton branch of Myspokes. (Goodbye to all the perverts who came to this page looking for something else – no, this isn’t the place for you.) This is easily the best bicycle shop in town, by the way (and no, I’m not on a commission etc.,). They are the cheapest and have the most space. I hate feeling cramped in a bicycle shop. I also hate feeling patronised or that I’m somehow not trendy enough. Recently bought out by its owner (so he told me today, I think he said he was called Chris), this is where I choose to buy everything bicycle related. There’s no substitute for hands on advice.
Back to the horn. I had one of these before but I let it sit for years in a very damp atmosphere with the predictable consequence that the rubber tubing deteriorated and collapsed. That won’t be happening to this one. The AirZound is easily the most effective bicycle horn on the market and the greenest too! You can adjust the volume but I prefer to keep it fixed on the maximum. 115 decibels can be heard inside any vehicle that isn’t actually a piece of military hardware. Car drivers nosing out from junctions visibly flinch when they hear it when they are looking the other way. They instinctively expect a vehicle to smash into them. They are relieved when they see you on a bicycle but the point is that they have seen you.
It’s green because all it takes to recharge it is air. You can pump it up with a bicycle pump. A fully pumped AirZound (which takes a few seconds) will discharge 30 full volume blasts, which should more than adequate for any situation you’ll ever face. In fact, if it wasn’t adequate that could only mean that either your forthcoming obstacle doesn’t want to move out the way or is deaf. They’d have to be as deaf as the proverbial fence post. (It is worth remembering deaf people when cycling.)
Like a car horn, it can be tapped lightly as a warning. In heavy traffic this horn gives you gravitas on the road. It is the aural equivalent of a high visibility jacket and plenty of lights – drivers subconsciously know that everyone around them will have heard the horn too and that, therefore, there will be witnesses if they don’t behave themselves. Don’t take my word for it. Check out this video:
No amount of attention calling devices is a substitute for decent brakes and proper road riding skills. The best advice on how to ride a bicycle in traffic is in the early editions of Richard Ballantine’s Bicycle Book. The very early editions have got the famous chapter on Cycling and Cannabis, which is very entertaining, if brief. Unfortunately, whilst Ballantine sings the praises of the drug fuelled experience, he doesn’t point out the downside, like being a complete loser. I digress. Back to the horn. Here’s more proof that self-obsessed motorists change their behaviour when confronted with this device:
I’ve had this experience myself, many times, when I had this horn before. An added advantage is that it helps you keep your cool. No more shouting and getting angry in the moment. Calmer and in control of the situation is far preferable. Now you’ll be able to enjoy a bit of finger wagging and smiling. Smiling is always good…