People on bikes have always used creative tricks to get people in cars to pay attention to them on the street. But these days, the available tricks can get pretty professional-looking.
Here’s a quick look (watch the video below) at a Portland bike commuter who got so sick of cars cutting him off as he crossed Interstate 405 on his way from home to work in Northwest Portland that he’s discreetly installed an airhorn beneath his handlebars, right next to the bell.
Billy Volpone, who works as an account manager at Jive Software, said he can get about five or six good blasts out of the air bottle that attaches to his rack before he needs to refill the system. It uses a standard bike tire pump.
There are many varieties of bike-mounted airhorns for sale online and in specialized shops, but Volpone’s brand, the Air Zound, is available for about $30. (We’re also eagerly awaiting the Portland-born “Orp” which raised over $90,000 on Kickstarter earlier this year.)
When Volpone decides to open the horn at drivers, he said, they don’t usually know what they just heard.
But at 115 decibels, he said, they almost always look.
Michael Andersen was news editor of BikePortland.org from 2013 to 2016 and still pops up occasionally.