When I first came across this Kickstarter project via a tweet from a friend, I almost dismissed it. A bell… for your hands? Seemed a bit strange, but then I started thinking about all the times that I run in the parks or on trails in Astoria or Manhattan and how many times I get into that uncomfortable position of a bottleneck between all the walkers and slow joggers.
The entire process of maneuvering around people who are taking up the trail just becomes frustrating; I almost feel like frogger when I try to run into the bike lane, hoping not to get squashed, as I look to pass those that are slower than me. Of course, I also have the option of yelling like a wild banshee, but then I have to worry that I might either scare someone to death or otherwise perhaps get karate chopped by someone who thinks that I’m about to attack them.
Basically, there really is no good way to alert people, and that’s when I realized the ingenuity of this campaign and what makes the Runbell so cool. It’s a running accessory for urban runners that delivers a powerful and pleasant sound. People are already conditioned to a bell as an alert – just think about all the times you’ve heard a biker ring their bell and have instinctively known to move out of the way. To me, this makes a lot more sense than having to shout or slowing down – you can see from the video below how effective it is.
As you can see from the photo below, the Runbell is meant to be a stylish running accessory and at 1 oz, it’s extremely lightweight. It comes in two sizes, one for men and one for women and the additional silicon inserts allow for adjustability and comfort. It’s made of brass as opposed to aluminum so as to allow for a pleasant quality of sound… I wasn’t so sure of this so I used trusty Google and learned that indeed brass is the preferred choice when it comes to sound. (Aluminum gives off a terrible tone due to it being such a soft metal).
Currently the Runbell is $20 for a single (while supplies last), otherwise it’s $25. I just backed the project ($40 early bird special for me and my friend). If you’d like to donate, head on over to their Kickstarter page.