Tuesday, November 29

Year of the Longtails: A Cannonball Xmas

The Cannonball Xmas has fans where I work. They gush over my bike now that I have it decorated with Christmas lights and jingle bells. The jingle bells are good for clearing pedestrians along the multiuse paths. The lights make me more visible in low-light commutes.

Tis the season? As I pass over the land I carry with me the sensory experience of Christmas. Auditory...visual...and come Thursday some tactile input courtesy of an arctic air mass and possibly snow. Yeah.

I passed a kid today who would have fit right in on the set of A Christmas Story. She stared through her Ralphie glasses in awe at the Cannonball Xmas' glory. I got a few long stares as I pedaled to and fro today.

Y'know, I think I could mount a mini-Christmas tree on the FlightDeck.

Anyway, it's just a few short weeks until Christmas. I'm torn about this holiday. It's not a religious thing for me. And I know all that's left is the worship of consumerism. If not for my kids I would probably just stop observing it at all. But then, what am I teaching my kids? Maybe we can start to use this season to teach them a better way to view their roles in society.

In other news, I have assurances that my Slipnot Traction System is on its way. I just don't know if it'll hit the Pavement's Edge Bikeport before the snow flies later in the week. For my snow and ice traversing needs this coming winter I will be using a combination of the STS and soon to be homemade studded tires. I need to get the stuff together for my DIY studs and get it going. I just need some screws. I've got everything else I need. Oh, and some snow and ice to test it all out on.

Let it snow! Here's a bit of wisdom I'd like to share:
If I was in charge, we'd never see grass between October and May.

Also, I won (along with others) the Blackburn Designs Stay Seen, Stay Safe sweepstakes on Facebook. I gotta say, I love me some bike lights. You can never have enough. And the first set of lights I ever bought were Blackburns. First Klean Kanteen's Freebie Friday, and now Blackburn's Stay Seen, Stay Safe. Hopefully GoPro's Everything We Make sweepstakes is next!

Oh, and don't forget Kona Lisa:


  1. First, I LOVE the lights on the Xtracycle. It's very festive, and I'm almost thinking it's a great way to be visible year round! Are they battery operated lights or do you plug in to some sort of dynamo system? I may need to copy this! :O)

    Secondly, I am with you on the celebration of Christmas, and I have a tendency to get a little bah humbug attitude going this time of year, but the last several years have actually been quite nice. We've decided not to get gifts for one another, nor for family (unless we made it ourselves - me being a painter, hubby being a ceramicist), but instead we find someone who is truly in need to give to. I think the extended family is still thinking that we're cheapo's, but I really don't care. We all have what we need/want most of the time, and I'd rather either volunteer somewhere, give to someone who actually needs something, or both. We'll do a tree and lights (more than likely), but that's the extent of our holiday spending. I fear the time when I finish school because I know that the family will again expect gifts (they seem to think it's lack of money, though really it's more of a protest to the over-spending), but I'd really like to keep this going. If we don't hand make it, it doesn't get given, and while it seems a little cheesy, I think we actually enjoy it much more.

  2. I AGREE! I wish I were more artistic or crafty. I had intended to make windchimes from used bike parts and give as gifts but I've seriously slacked. I know I still have time...ugh! I've always hated the rampant consumerism and the complete disregard for any sane levels of spending. I find myself caught up in it though, and then end up depressed by my own behavior. It's a never ending battle.

    I remember in my childhood Christmas was the only time other than my birthday when I got new toys. In that context I think gift giving at Christmas is okay. But when you get whatever you want the whole year through then Christmas stops being special.

    But yes, the lights are fun, and functional. If you look around you should be able to find a strand of about 25-50 lights on a battery pack. I got a set at King Sooper this year and another set at Home Depot. I'd rather not frequent the big box HD, but the battery powered lights are hard to find. The red LEDs I got from Home Depot are very low profile, though seem very delicate, but they also have blinking and phasing modes.

  3. I like the idea of the wind chimes... very cool. See, you're artistic! :O) The idea itself is more than half the battle.

    I'm sure with kids it's much more difficult to protest gift giving, and somehow, I have a feeling we'll get suckered into something, but I try hard to stand firm to the "no gifts" rule (or, I've even requested that people who insist on buying gifts donate money to the humane society or outreach centers). I'm considering putting together a bicycle Christmas shopping trip for anyone who wants to participate, even though I don't want to buy gifts. I just want an excuse to cruise around the shops and look. No need to buy necessarily. I just like to see all the people, the lights, decorations, and so on.

    I'll have to get hunting for the battery powered lights. Really diggin' those!

  4. Very funny seeing the Cannonball Xmas on CBS4.

  5. They showed the second pic on CBS 4 (Denver) last night (11/29). I'd submitted it to their facebook page after they requested people send in photos of their holiday decorations.