Honk if you're Horn-Envious

If the price were right, and installation was easy and unobtrusive, I’m still not sure I’d want a horn on my bike (or anyody’s bike) that sounds like a car horn.

Sound Safety: 'Loud Bicycle' Horn Lets You Honk Like a Car | Wired Design | Wired.com
The ‘Loud Bicycle” horn | Screen shot: Wired.com

I’m wrestling with the idea (perhaps the same way I wrestled with e-bikes just a few years ago, and came out okay with them, while still deciding that I’d rather not have one of my own).

To me, most aspects of carishness seem so… gross when transferred a bike. And what could be more obnoxious to adopt from a car but those obnoxious sounding horns? How about the raw lethality of cars? That would be more obnoxious.

And it’s that raw lethality of cars which provides the justification for bike horns — according those who use and/or sell car-like horns for bikes.

In this article on Wired.com, Jonathan Lansey, the designer of Loud Bicycle says, "When you honk a car horn, though, [motorists] react immediately, even before they see where the sound is coming from."

Perhaps I’d get used to one really quickly and start to feel vulnerable without one — which is how I now feel about my helmet-mounted mirror and headlight.

I doubt it.

Something about this dilemma reminds me of the issue of whether to allow passengers to use cell phones on airplanes in flight.

I know that I’d use my cell phone responsibly on an airplane. I’d keep my voice low, and my calls short. It’s what other people would do with them that worries me.

The ratio of jerks to decent people on bikes probably mirrors the same ratio among cell phone users — and society at large. The problem is that jerks on bikes are more memorable — especially to non-cyclists.

Air horns that run on compressed air have been around for years, such as the Airzound horn, and more recently the Biologic Blast. Both of these put out 115 decibels. And for those of us who don’t speak in decibels, that’s almost as loud as a jet engine.

Biologic Blast Airhorn |  | Bike Tech Shop
Biologic Blast Airhorn

Think of those schmucks on bikes who give us (mostly) civil cyclists a bad reputation. Now imagine them with air horns.

What do you think? Good idea or Good God no! Maybe you’ve already given into your horn envy. How did it change you?

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