I figured if I was going to bike all the way south, I might as well make a bit of a day out of it and find a new bike bell (my old one sang its last song). Along the way south I stopped at several shops, principally to dry off. The first was Ozone Bikes, a shop on Guadalupe north of campus. Their principal clientele during certain parts of the year are University Students but they're actually a FANTASTIC shop. They had a broader array of Mixtes and Stepthroughs than I'd seen at really any other shop in town. Multiple brands, sizes, materials, and styles in wide price range. They also had kickass locks, baskets, an array of panniers, and the friendliest staff you could ask for (whatup, guy from the TNSR!) But alas, they didn't have a bell that sang the song of my dreams, so onwards into the shower-like downpour I rode.
Next stop, Mellow Johnny's. My experiences at this shop have been mixed - sometimes they're snobs, sometimes they're awesome. Today I caught em on an awesome day, which may have had something to do with the rain. Here's a random trick for anyone about to try and sell a bike - put it up for sale when the weather is nice. It will attract more attention, and you'll make more money. Following this logic, crap weather often means bike shops are completely empty except for a few people in their to buy random stuff or just chat.
I rolled in looking like a drowned mouse but with a big smile on my face and did my preliminary sweep of the shop to see if there was anything I couldn't live without before getting to the bells. Now let me say - they have an AWESOME array of bells. But still, not quite what I was looking for. I did, however, learn about some modifications I can make to a couple lights I've been eyeing to add permanently affixed lights to the Surly. The tech even suggestion potential conversion to Dynamo lighting, which was a most excellent conversation (though I'm sticking with battery operated for this bike). But, no bell, so onwards!
Last bike shop of the day, Bicycle Sport Shop. I get most of the professional work on my bike done at the South Lamar location and know a lot of the employees socially, so I'm always happy to see what they've got. And they had it! A gigantic ding-dong bell! With an owl on it that I promptly named Hoot.
Several beers later, it was time to head home. My "Get your ass to the train" alarm went off, and finally the sun came out. Happily inebriated I very slowly moseyed up 4th Street to the Cap Metro station, and sat my ass down on the train for the somewhat-drunken train ride home. No drunk driving for me, thanks!
Happy Memorial Day, folks!