Recently a friend of mine confidently informed me that it was not a bell that graced my handlebars, but a gong, the difference being that a gong is struck on the outside while a bell is struck from the inside. My response was to tell him that if he was going to get picky about bell vs. gong terminology, I was going to get picky about spindle vs. axle terminology, ’cause that’s the kind of bike geeks we are. Subsequent semantical research has revealed the line between bells and gongs is not so distinct, and that many people consider a gong to be a type of bell. Still, the word has now permanently entered my vocabulary.
One of the prizes from last week’s big dumpster score was a broken bell, um gong, er technically none of the above cause it’s made of wood. I was smitten with the woodpecker bell from the first time I saw it on for the love of bikes, so I yoinked that “bell” out of the dumpster (with $25 price tag still attached – yowza) at woody woodpecker speed, even though the wooden “bell” part had snapped in half. But hey, I had carpenter’s glue and nothing to lose, and now the tiny (too quiet) original handlebar gong has a companion that simultaneously confuses the ipod adorned pedestrians of the High Level Bridge and makes them pay attention, if not to the bell, to my manic laughing because the pecking sound is hilarious. The woodpecker bell, like the the bird, is both awkward & awesome, and you’ll find me rolling ’round town, peck-peck-pecking and cackling, until the glue fails.