Disco, Angels Flight pants, the White Socks and bicycle bells

New Old Stock?!

I remember 1979 as the year Chicago White Sox fans blew up about 10,000 disco records in the Old Comiskey Park and unfurled the phrase “Disco Sucks.”  While much of disco deserved the bad rap it got, I graduated high school in 1980 and came of age roller skating and high school dancing in Angels Flight pants in the 70s.  Named after the funicular railway in “downtown” Los Angeles, when worn correctly, the skin-tight super bell bottoms dusted the dance floor and covered your boots.


They were often, but not always, sansabelt and had hidden pockets so as not to ruin the “lines” of your manhood. I wish I still had my old Angels Flight pants as they are pretty hard to find these days and command a princely price when you can find them NOS. Although at the time I disavowed disco in favor of early punk, I confess that I still like roller skating music. If I had a  pair of vintage Puma or Hyde skates I would do my best to embarrass my teenage daughter to Anita Ward’s 1979 hit “Ring My Bell” in a too-tight pair of Angels Flights.

Sorry for the way my brain works, but I wrote all that because I think about that Anita Ward song every time I ring the new Crane bell I put on my Raleigh.  It is one of the big solid brass bells with the striker hammer rather than the internal gears and levers.  While I love the cheapo American flag bells that I so often include in my photos, they do rattle a bit and I was getting sick of listening to the noise.

I purchased my Crane bell from Earl at Ben’s Cycle and it might be about the best $9 I ever spent.  It has a resounding “ding” with the mellow tone and more sustain than Jimmy Page’s ’59 Les Paul.  I use the bell to alert walkers and runners on trails of my approach. A single ding of a bell seems ever more polite than any vocalization.  Besides, although it is probably an accurate description of my position on the political spectrum, people never seem to remember their directions when I say “on your left.”


About daveschlabowske

Cyclechic advocate from Milwaukee
This entry was posted in Bicycles, Equipment, Five Minute Friday and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Disco, Angels Flight pants, the White Socks and bicycle bells

  1. Russell says:

    There is NOTHING better in the world of bells then a Crane.

  2. d1willis says:

    Great photo!

  3. Steve Waldorf says:

    Love the photo of the bell as well as the auto-biographical-story-like-ness of the article.

  4. Tim K says:

    My Crane bell rocks. It is the only bell that has ever been on one of my bikes. The rest are just too pathetic sounding. Yes I am a bell snob.

  5. adventure! says:

    Once you get a Crane bell it’s hard to go back to anything else. Though I still have a fondness for the Chinese rolling “ding-dong” bells. Just wish they were better constructed. My only complaint with the Crane is that it’s easy to whack the hammer out of place, so you won’t get the correct “ding” without futzing.

  6. Liz says:

    Linsey, John and I would like to create a “carol of the (bike) bells” so we would need different notes (inc. cheap bells) to accomplish this.

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