Yesterday I was talking about when you ride along a canal towpath and say ‘Excuse me’ instead of tinging with a bell. Today I was on Twitter and saw a link about ‘Did Donald Trump say it or Alan Partridge’, apart from this being a great way to waste time, I realized that the Dan scene in Alan Partridge was much like saying ‘Excuse me’ to walkers.
As such, I realized that before I hit the canal towpath today I needed to get a bell. Part of this needing to get a bell is that I have an irrational fear of falling in a canal, I would also like to keep that fear irrational and never have a course to consider it a rational fear. This fear mostly manifests itself at the points where you have to go under bridges at the side of the canal and you have to go round a blind 90-degree bend. If anyone asks me though I will just say it is to stop annoying walkers.
So I had a peak online and decided I quite liked the look of the Knog Oi, admittedly at 5 times the cost of other bells, it better be gold plated as they say. They being those people who love to use cliche statements, you can tell them as they are the people everyone else is avoiding like the plague… ah. I just liked the idea of the cable tidy that the bell has featured in it, it looks gimmicky but actually helps with my irrational hatred of moving my brake cables.
Now, the bell was only shown as available at Evans in Glasgow. So off I trotted to Evans, I have yet to meet a less interested sales staff in any bike shop anywhere. If I had not decided I really wanted to try this bell I would have left and gone to a shop that truly wanted my money. It is always nice to realize that you are only giving a shop money as they are the only people locally with what you want. It is like being held hostage but with a bit less Stockholm Syndrome.
For myself, Evans seem to only be interested in employing a Primark or McDonalds style of staff, rather than cycle shop staff. This is not to besmirch Primark or McDonald’s staff but when did you ever ask them for complicated advice about the product you were buying? ‘I am planning on going to a stag night on Friday and I need trousers and shirt that can stand up to copious amounts of alcohol consumption?’ This is possibly why most Evans customers only use them once and then disappear off elsewhere to get advice.
So anyway the bell, first things first it certainly does not look like a standard bell and this is a great thing for my cockpit as it already looks a bit crowded. It also as I mentioned has the cable tidy, I like this as I always get irrationally annoyed by having to push brake cables out around mounts, this sometimes affects your braking so pay attention, it may also affect your gears if you are one of those type of people.
Seemingly some people also like it because it is lighter, this was not really something that made me buy it, I was all about the cable tidy. I can also say I have never in 10 years working in bike shops had anyone ask for a lighter bell, I can also summarize that no one ever asked my colleagues as that story would have gone around faster than an e-bike joke.
When I pinged the bell, it sounded fairly thin to my delicate ears. Out on the road, though, it certainly caused people to move out the way, although I disagree with the Bikeradar quote of it sounding ‘like an angel playing a glockenspiel’. It just sounds like a high pitched ting. Now it is time to see how well it lasts.
So after being on the canal for a bit, I hit back onto the road and this meant hills. Hills are always fun. Heading uphill reminded me that I had my ultra-lightweight laptop on my back, it now felt distinctly much more heavy that a lightweight laptop should and seemed determined to crush my spine into the ground. This, by the way, is a great feeling. In order to relax on the downhill sections, I felt no need to pedal.
This got me thinking about my top tip for bikepacking, in fact, for all types of cycling, conserve energy whenever you can. You never know when you will need that energy to gesticulate wildly and swear at that car that passed you just a little bit too close, for that dog walker that feels they should be one side of the trail and their dog on the other with their lead held across the trail, for that cake shop that is at the top of a hill or just so that you do not end up like this.
My next bikepacking tip is to practice alternative swear words. When that car again gives you a close pass, shout ‘Wankpuffin’ or ‘Cockwomble’ and instantly you will feel better, the anger you may have felt at the incident has just instantly just dissipated.
Looking at Trump makes me wonder if there will be a Tour De Trump again, he should go for it as it has given the world one of the few photos where his hair is not the worst in the shot.
A photo from the road today to add some human interest, I am told that as a blogger I should do that.There was again a shortage of photos today as it was cold and I was riding into a massive (read small) headwind. Can you see the snow in the background, told you it was a cold day?