Also known as the legend of the Ride Bells or Legend of the Guardian Bells.
The story is told of an old grey bearded biker who, late one night, was headed home from a road trip to Mexico. In his saddlebags were gifts and trinkets for the kids that lived at the orphanage where he worked.
As he rode alone in the cool desert air, he felt blessed for his own life, the children at the home, his biker friends and most importantly his bike, that had never let him down.
He had spent many a mile on the highway with this bike and the two had formed a bond, as only bikers can understand.
As he rumbled along the high desert, the full moon lighted up the sky and silhouettes of the cactus cast eerie shadows along the desert floor, the old graybeard was unaware that a few miles up the road awaited a nasty little group of road gremlins, intent on its next victim.
Road gremlins are evil little creatures that leave obstacles in your path- old mufflers, pieces of rubber, boxes, diesel fuel, and unexplained objects you never see that cause a tire to go flat or a chain or belt to break.
They also chase animals and deer into the path of unsuspecting bikers.
Road gremlins sole purpose is to make a biker crash...adding notches to their little belts. They are evil and nasty little pieces of creation.
As the biker rounded the curve, the road gremlins ambushed him with everything they had, causing him to crash and skid. He awoke in the ditch, barely alive. Nearby was one of his saddlebags that had ripped off his bike.
The biker lay there, helpless and unable to move as the road gremlins began moving in to finish him off. The old graybeard 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.....not knowing if it would help, but he wanted to die thinking of the children at the home he would be leaving behind.
Surprisingly the sound of the tinkling bell seemed to confuse the gremlins, and they paused in their attack. The old biker was encouraged, but he was still in a bad way. He didn't know how long the bell would keep the gremlins away, and the gremlins were between him and his bike with no way for him to make a fast getaway.
Not far away, two other bikers coincidentally had just stopped to make camp for the night. They were unaware of the crash, as they had been riding 30 miles or so behind the old biker and stopped before the curve of the crash site. As they dismounted, they heard the bell ringing and ringing. Thinking that was an odd thing to hear in the middle of the desert, they quickly went to investigate.
They came upon the old biker in the ditch with the gremlins surrounding him. With a vengeance, and without concern for their own safety, the two bikers attacked the gang of road gremlins, killing several and scaring off the rest.
The old biker was grateful for their help and offered money to his saviors, but they refused to accept any payment. The old biker wanted to show his gratitude and wouldn’t let the two bikers leave without something 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.
So whenever 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.
Others believe gremlins 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 among bikers… so they make a great gift for the rider in your life!