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Trimming the bike


Every year, the day after Thanksgiving, the caterwauling from my kids about putting up the Christmas lights hits a crescendo.

Perhaps that’s due, in part, to the fact that every year, in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, my kids start hounding me about it, and I invariably tell them I’m not a big-box store that trots out the Christmas stuff just as soon as the Easter stuff goes into storage.

I’m old-school that way: I consider it sacrilege to turn our attention to the winter season of greed and gluttony before the conclusion of the fall holiday of sloth and gluttony.

Before the bird carcass is even cold, I trot out the lights and wire up an outdoor display that would make Clark Griswold proud.

We haven’t had any airplanes try to land on our property lately, and apparently the neighbors have invested in some daytime blinds, because the calls to the authorities have dwindled.

Our December electricity bill, though, has gone down, not for lack of wattage, mind you, but simply because we finally upgraded our bulbs to the superior-in-every-way LED variety.

Wheeling away from the display the other night, dazzled by the shadows my retreating form was casting on the street from a block away, I soon encountered a car with reindeer antlers sticking out from the front windows.

A combination of the two images, one of which was, literally, seared into my noggin, started me thinking: Shouldn’t I decorate my bike in some way to celebrate the season?

I considered the antlers to my handlebars (which dovetailed nicely with a reader’s suggestion on my last blog that I should attach antlers and go ruttin.’) But I’m afraid that would be too subtle.

I’ve seen cars with wreaths attached to the front grill, but that might be a bit tricky on a bike.

I’ve also considered a string of battery-powered lights — appropriate, since I joke that I like to light myself up like a Christmas tree for my nightly commutes — but the thought of the strand getting tangled in a spinning wheel gives me the heebie-jeebies. Tinsel and strands of garland similarly get the big N-O.

I pondered a Santa hat over my helmet, which would have the added benefit of added warmth, or a simple red Rudolph nose.

But I think I’ve settled on a pair of spoke lights that, appropriately, my parents gave me for Christmas last year. I think I can get ’em to glow green and red.

Nothing says merry/happy Christmahanukwanzakah quite like a middle-aged dork pedaling around in the dead of night with lights blinking from his wheels.


Leslie Swearingen 7 years, 11 months ago

You could get an Elvis type white jumpsuit and then some of those night lights that come on in the dark, put in colored lights and attach them to your suit. I bet the comments you would get would make a great blog. And, don't forget to include a picture.

Andrew Hartsock 7 years, 11 months ago

Irish: You mean, like the Flying Elvises (Elvi?)? I like! I'm afraid, though, the bell-bottoms might get caught in my chain. And front wheel. And back wheel. And ...

Leslie Swearingen 7 years, 11 months ago

It doesn't have to have bell bottoms, I meant Elvis like jumpsuit, not as. Roe, I like the second one the best. The last did not load.

Leslie Swearingen 7 years, 11 months ago

Andrew, or you could have lights in red, green, blue and yellow made into a vest that you can slip over your jacket. And a Rudolph on your helmet with a red flashing nose to point the way, back.

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