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Technical Gubbins

Use A Bell

I commute through a city park and a college campus.

There are people on the trails, people with cell phones, dogs and iPods. So the old, “Hey mind if I pass” doesn’t always work. Actually it almost never works.

Instead, I’ve been using a bell. Most of the time the bell is met with suprise and a smile. They think its a 6-year-old girl coming at them when it’s actually a grown ass man ringing a bell... And it cuts through cell phones and iPods nicely.

But one in every 20 rings it’s met with anger. They yell or make some smart ass comment. Its weird. It’s just an example of how you can never please everybody. And some people are just bitter motherfuckers.

I think I’ll keep using the bell, though. Most people smile.

–Joe McManus, Pittsburgh, PA

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Cheap Locking Skewers

Here’s a quick and cheap solution to prevent wheels/seat from getting ripped off by opportunistic passer-by thieves – hose clamps. The trick is getting them as tight as absolutely possible. You could still get ‘em with off with a ratchet and a screwdriver head, but who wants to do that? It’s easier to just steal from the bike next to it. Safety in numbers. Hose-clamps cost about 25 cents each at any given hardware store, and are a proven deterrent to wheel theft. At least as effective as bolt-on hubs.

–Kurt Morrison, Edmonton AB