Monday, April 4, 2016

New Bike Bell: The Results of Winter

Freezing Saddles really achieved its goal of forcing me to face my fears of winter commutes. I've started tacking extra miles on to rides now that it's nice enough to meander.

Strava has also proven that my commute really is uphill both ways.  Friendship Heights is a lie.  That place is a valley.

There's been no major bike mishaps.  Bikes@Vienna fixed a kink in my brake line (which might have stemmed from a minor crash earlier in the fall on a section of the Sligo trail that is so tricky it takes out strollers and runners and bikers every day!).  And then the shop taught me how to fix a flat tire.  The culprit was a staple.  I love it when the culprit is legit.

I don't love that the staple in my tire came from the awful construction around Friendship Heights.  It's so dreadful!

One casualty of the winter was my lovely teapot bell.  The striker snapped off.  Ironically, this occurred not during a ride, but when I was bringing it back in after the staple-removing trip.  I stopped at a place called H-Mart to get some groceries (it's the best place for ethnic groceries).  I had too much to carry, so I hung the bags from my handle bars as I rolled my bike in.  Note to future self: do not hang bag with large-size rice in it from handlebars.

At any rate, the teapot had a very loud, very obnoxious ring, like a *#%@!SHRING!@*#&%!!  It was a horrible tone that had at least one pedestrian tell me, "Man, your bell sounds AWFUL!"  It was so brilliant, because it could cut through most people's headphones while they leapt away in terror.  It did its job so very well.  Farewell, late lamented teapot bell!

I replaced it with a seasonally appropriate baseball.  This one might be even louder, but it has a nicer tone.  It's a bright cheery !!BRRINGGGG!! I also like that the striker is shaped like a tiny little baseball bat.

Picture pending, I guess!

I also finally found a small thermos for my morning coffee.  Other experiments using the travel mugs I had on hand were... precarious.  We had no major mishaps, but I did have to stop many times to re-close the travel mugs.  Travel mugs are made to keep things accessible while driving.  I wanted something I could put hot coffee or a cold drink into, and at work, sit down and drink my drink at the appropriate temperature. I finally found a nice thermos with a  screw top that I can toss in my basket.  AND it's only 9 ounces, which is proper drink size.   Many thermoses were 24-32 ounces, and that's just too much.

Another picture pending: my upload speed is SUPER SLOW!

Here's a little trivia: I prefer to shop local when I can.  I bought my S'well from Core 72, a little shop near my home.  I have stopped in a few times and not bought much because they have high-end expensive things.  The S'well was right in the price point I was looking for, and as it turned out, S'well has a nice company store.  But Core 72 didn't tell me about the S'well story.  She did tell me about the features of the bottle, but I kept researching on my own.  If I had known about the do-good properties of the thermos, I'd have bought it on the spot.  So small business owners, make sure you tell us the cool stories behind the stuff you carry!

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