Aspice Christophorum et Tutus Viam Carpe – ding ding!


I was in Salisbury yesterday, for work purposes, and had to go to Waitrose on the way home to pick up some chow for tea. As regular readers of The Highway Cycling Group will know, I like to take photos of bikes that are chained up outside shops. I struck some gold this time. I saw an old lady, dressed in a big coat and a woolly hat locking up her bike, which looked like quite a nice traditional style roadster of the sit up and beg variety. As she wondered into the store I took a closer look at her steed. It was laced with rust, the cables, once white, were discoloured, and much of the protective paint had come off the basket. In time honoured tradition of old lady’s bikes, the tatty old seat was covered in classic style with a plastic carrier bag. However, the handlebars had a beautiful shiny bell mounted on them. It was quite large, and as I moved in close, I could see it had a St Christopher on there, surrounded by the words “Aspice Christophorum et Tutus Viam Carpe” – which I guess means something like “Look at St Christopher and travel on safely“. St Christopher of course being the patron saint of travellers, but he’s also revered by athletes; mariners; ferrymen; people who carry things; archers; automobile drivers; bachelors; boatmen; bookbinders; epilepsy; floods; fruit dealers; fullers; gardeners; lorry drivers; mariners; market carriers; porters; sailors; surfers; and transportation workers.

Fabulous! A search showed that these bells, often made in Germany, come up from time to time on ebay, fetching around USD 20 or so. Nice. This one was so shiny in comparison to the rest of the bike, it looked like maybe it was a gift for the old lady. I hope it was.

Published in: on March 20, 2008 at 9:07 pm  Comments (8)  
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