Here’s how I know summer’s over: The sidewalks in Center City, which have been relatively abandoned (read: peaceful) these past few weeks, are once again jammed with pedestrians, strollers, dogs and, yes, the occasional cyclist (grrr), all of whom have returned from their vacations to their regularly scheduled 9-to-5 programs.
It’s a pity, to be sure, but especially if you’re a runner; we’re back to helter-skelter starts and stops as we dodge the throngs en route to wide open spaces like the Schuylkill River Trail (obviously, I’m being sarcastic, you guys) and the Wissahickon (no sarcasm!). If you’re used to shouting, “ON YOUR LEFT!” as you flash by or, less politely, “MOVE!” I would like you introduce you to the Runbell, a handheld get-out-of-my-way bell just for runners.
The product was more than successfully funded on Kickstarter earlier this spring, and the makers are beginning to roll out finished products this month. It’s a pretty simple device, actually—picture one of those old metal bike bells, only lighter and prettier-sounding, soldered to a set of brass knuckles, and you’re pretty much on the right track—but that’s what makes it so darn brilliant.
Runners can ring the thing when they’re coming up behind a pedestrian to “courteously warn pedestrians on shared pathways,” as the website explains. The lightweight bell comes in two finishes—gold and pink gold—and is sized for men’s and women’s hands separately, with silicone inserts to further customize sizing, ensuring a snug fit whether you’re wearing gloves or not.
They’re priced at $25 each. Read more and preorder right over here.
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