The Jingle Ride Cometh

14 12 2011

I know planning group rides in the winter can be a bit of a crap shoot, but I like riding with people, and I miss riding with friends now that winter has made it so much less appealing to be outside on a bike. Know what else I like? Shiny things, coloured lights, the pleasant tinkling of bells, and skating! Combine all these together and you get:

Jingle Ride!

Wednesday December 14th

It starts at 6:00 at EBC (10043 – 80 Ave – back alley entrance) with a quick winter cycling skillshare, then at 6:30 we leave for a fairly easy ride to check out some notable Xmas light displays.

You can be sure this house is on the must-see list.

We’ll make several stops, and eventually end up at the legislative grounds to go for a little skate. Holiday cheer (especially in warm beverage form) and bicycle decorations are encouraged, and I’m totally jumping on this opportunity to legitimately light my bike up like an Xmas tree and deck it out so the rattling of potholes turns into sleigh bell music.

Porta-Bike will be at the ride, with bells on!

Alas, my bike awaits the rest of the decorations in my living room. My parents were here last night and thought I’d flipped, decorating a bike instead of a tree. Of course, Porta-Bike’s a working bike, and won’t stay inside for long. But now that I think about it, I wasn’t planning on getting a tree anyway, and since I’ve got other bikes that won’t be doing anything ’til spring anyway, maybe decorating a bike for the holidays isn’t the craziest idea in the world…

Rugged Gongs

28 10 2010

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.

Gong show & tell.

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.

A Little Bit of Green

18 03 2010

It's the one day of year green corduroy is THE thing to wear.

I have an emerald corduroy jacket that’s is just a little bit too light to wear on it’s own on that mid March green wearing kind of pseudo holiday, except it was so unseasonably warm today I wore it. It would have worked out well if I didn’t have to work late and ride home after dark,  brrrr. Plus, one of Marjory’s cable stays took a bite out of my tights, so it’s been a fashion fail day all around. Even though every pair of pants I own have a hole in the inner right cuff, it’s been a long time since I’ve had a clothing/bike malfunction.

Marjory's also sporting a touch of green.

This little magnetic character has been tagging along on adventures since a friend stuck him to my bike (ah, steel frames) last year. I call him “Ding Thunk” after an incident last summer when I rode through some really thick bush (yes, on the cruiser) and thought I lost him and broke my bell. For two weeks he clung onto the bottom of the ding dong bell, completely out of sight, making the bell go “ding thunk” every time I rang it. I keep him on the center of the bell now, where he has a better view and doesn’t affect the quality of the ringing.

Ding Dong Vision

12 02 2010

Sunshine, blue skies, a bike path and a concrete plant.

Finally the days are getting long enough that I can actually ride home in the sunshine! It looked like my reflection in the bell was doing a celebratory jig as I pedaled along.

By the way, you may notice the holes drilled through my bell. One perspective could call them speed holes for aerodynamic purposes. Another perspective could say that they were put there by the bell’s previous owner who thought it would be a good idea to mount his cycling computer to the bell, and then threw out the bell in disgust when it no longer rang properly. In that case they could be called “free” holes, cause it meant that I got this sweet, loud, musical bell for free. Unfortunately, the holes let in the weather and after 2 winters my bell is rusting prematurely from the inside.