The Twilight Zone: The strange case of the haunted bell


The strange case of the haunted bell.

I exit Bute Park and line up at the crossing. I am alone. As I cross, three people walk toward me. Passing the hind most of this group my bell mysteriously rings, untouched and unaided by me.

Cycling past the Crown court, the shared path is clear. The world is silent, save for the occasional ticking of my freewheel and the occasional car engine. It is strangely quiet for this time of day. Rounding the corner, a man in a long overcoat hurries forward, briefcase bouncing in his left hand. As we pass, my bell rings. My hands never left the bars.

Rolling toward the Big Sleep, a group of lads swagger along the pavement with an eye for mischief. They are overly aware of their surroundings. They take interest in everything and everyone. Slowing for the lights, I pass them and the bell loudly trings. Queue dark looks and the body language of confrontation.

My bell never rings of its own volition when the coast is clear. The bike is 41 years old. The bell I would guess, 20. What dark history have I inherited? I could take the bell off, yes, of course. But it is as much part of this bike as its Brooks saddle, its Dynamo lights and its splendid head badge. Besides…….Have you never seen the twilight zone?

Love my old Carlton. I Wish the bloody bell would pack in these shenanigans though. The haunted bell is depicted at top, its host, below. (You can imagine how bell hating dog walkers react to this  🙂

Carlton 1

4 replies »

  1. Had a sort of reverse incident the other day, whilst using the Taff Trail as the safest exit from Cardiff heading north, I encountered a group of dog walkers, who, unlike your group of swaggering youths, were completely unaware of their surroundings.
    I slowed to a walking pace and politely said excuse me, one of the group said thanks for using your bell, which i hope was sarcasm as I didn’t have one on the bike, unless it was an invisible, as opposed to haunted, one, that only dog walkers can hear.

    • I had a row with a couple who were walking their dog in the middle of the road the other day. I was on my mountain bike, climbing up the road after bouncing through the woods. They felt I should have a bell too. Never mind the fact that I was mountain biking (imagine the racket), nor the fact they were walking in THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD, nor that they didn’t have their dog in control, at the end of one of those massive long retractable leads in THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD, no, no, no. The problem was that I didn’t have a bell. 🙂

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