Someone asked me recently what exactly a ride bell is. Rather than tell said person to just fucking google it, I decided to give my own special explanation for all the uninitiated out there.
A ride bell is a bell that goes on your bike (or your "ride"). As most people know, mechanical devices that have personality (unlike SUVS and most other cages) rapidly become host to an assortment of gremlins. Gremlins are unusually adept at causing problems that are nigh-impossible to find. Most bikers will tell you that gremlins love motorcycle electricals.
Anyway, if there's one thing a gremlin can't stand, it's the sweet, clear sound of an unbroken bell. It drives those little fuckers batshit, I tell you. So, the gremlin will try to climb into the bell and break it. Of course, there's nothing inside the bell for the gremlin to hang onto and he will fall out. Wisdom dictates that you mount the bell as low on the bike as possible so the gremlin can't catch on again.
Personally, I mounted the bell on my handlebars. That way, I can catch the little bastards and hurl them at vehicles that piss me off (read: H2s, Escalades, and any other SUV with no passengers only a driver on his/her stupid fucking cell-phone.).
Apparently, ride bells are especially effective if they are a gift. Must be that "pure love" thing working in combination with the unbroken bell.
Maybe it's just my crazy superstitious side, but I swear that my bike has been running better since I mounted it on my bike. Motorcycles are superstitious objects on their own, though. That's a whole other topic for a different day.