It’s a bit late to recommend Christmas presents, but if you know anyone having a birthday in 2012 I have a most excellent gift idea for you.
Sweetpea Bicycles (“the bike that will love you back”) stock Crane brass temple bells and not only are they reasonably priced, they will ship to NZ for about NZ$9 shipping costs for two. Just make sure you check whether they have the lever strike (pictured on the website) or the hammer strike in stock. I thought I was getting the lever strike but it was the hammer strike that arrived.
Crane temple bells are renowned for their lovely tones, with the brass being the deepest (relatively speaking). They’re also pretty and shiny – incredibly shiny as you can see from the reflection in the image of me taking the photograph.
I find my bell exceedingly useful. I live in Miramar so my ride to work is on shared paths for a good deal of the way. If I want to pass someone or just let them know I’m there, or if I’m coming up to a blind corner on the waterfront, the bell says it all for me. I’ve noticed lately that pedestrians (aka ‘people walking along’) are getting more responsive to bells, which I call progress.
So if you’ve got a spare $25 or so to spend on someone – including yourself – this is a lovely bell that combines form and function. I highly recommend it.
*Sweetpea gets extra cred for being comprised of Natalie the bike builder, and her husband and super cute bebbeh.