Wednesday, August 17, 2016

In Which Clarence Gets More Bling

Picking up the bike at bike shop in downtown Marion. My stuff is already on back for the ride to Mount Mercy.

And we have a winner in the name the new bike contest. I was playing with “Clarissa” as the name for the new bike, in honor of a childhood family VW van, but didn’t think a female name suited this boy bike too well.

So, I suggested “Clare,” a version of Clarissa that is usually feminine, but can be used for a male, too. One of my sisters made a different suggestion on Facebook: How about “Clarence?” She noted the angel in “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Well, the Urban Dictionary says a Clarence is also a sexy metrosexual, which is not exactly what I’m going for here, but the name resonates with me. The meaning seems close to Clarissa, so it’s enough of a reference to the old van--so, I call it. Meet the new bike, Clarence, which just went into the bike shop for its 30-day checkup and emerged with a new front derailleur. It’s been a fun bike to ride—as you may have read, I attached a Tag-Along seat hitch to it, and have taken numerous grandchildren out for spins.

A couple of grandchildren pictures, above and below, showing reaction to Tag-Along seat in use.

Clarence in full bus mode. Don't be too sorry for me, the little guy in back is an extra motor.

The back rack from Francis fits nicely, and so it’s got the carrying capacity to be the main commuter bike. Next addition, which I already bought at the Marion bike shop, is a rearview mirror.

When I purchased it, the teen working the cash register gave me a little speech on how to install it. “That’s OK,” I said. “I know how to bling up a bike.”

The older gentleman working on a bike nearby chuckled. “Yeah,” he said. “That bike has gained a few things since the last time we saw it.”

In my first 30 days with Clarence, it gained lights, a bell, a bar to hold a baby seat and the Tag-Along hitch. I rode Clarence to campus Tuesday. Monday was a ride on Argent.

The contrast between them is not as great as it was between Francis and Argent—Francis was a much heavier bicycle—but there is still something about getting the road bike out now and then for a quicker spin. Still, especially with the seats in front and back, I’m very much enjoying biking with my sexy metrosexual.

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