THE RECKLESS MR. BING BONG: Athlete Extraordinaire

A bicycle does not live by one sport alone. -The Reckless Mr. Bing Bong

Those are words my bike believes deep down into the core of his drive train, and he practices what he preaches. Sure, The Reckless Mr. Bing Bong has gotten most of his worldwide fame for having his pedals turned by my feet and for rolling his wheels over pavement, dirt, gravel and snow. But there is another side of The Reckless Mr. Bing Bong that has never been presented in my journals and articles . . . until today that is.

Far from being a one-dimensional pedal machine, The Reckless Mr. Bing Bong is an accomplished multi-sport athlete. My bike is a firm believer in the idea of cross-training. His philosophy is simple: The more diversified a bicycle’s athletic endeavors are, the more well-rounded athlete it will be.

Indeed, participation in different sports produce different skill sets. That is true for human beings as well as bike beings.

In a normal winter, The Reckless Mr. Bing Bong and I would be building snowmen and throwing snowballs while on our bike rides. So far, however, this is not a normal Minnesota winter. It’s mid-December and there is no snow on the ground. We had one 8-inch outburst in October, but that snow is long gone. It is starting to look like MY Town is in for a brown Christmas. I can’t remember the last time that has happened.

CURIOSITY KILLED THE CAT. Oh yes, I remember my grandma saying that a lot when I was a little kid. Now I can see she was right. My curiosity compelled me to look up the year of the last snowless Christmas in the Twin Cities. Google and its co-conspirators informed me that it was waaaaaay back in the year 2018, a.d.

Reading further, I learned that 29% of our Christmases do not have a coating of snow on the ground. Well, I’m sorry, but that’s not how I remember our weather history. I remember HUGE quantities of snow EVERY Christmas. While it’s nice to know that Minnesota is pretty much on par with California and Australia for 71% of Christmases, I’m still feeling a little jealous of Bob in Vermont who got to enjoy an exciting, 12-inch blast of snowfall this week.

Whatever! I know you didn’t click on this post to read a stupid weather report, so let’s move on to The Reckless Mr. Bing Bong’s cross-training regimen. Here are some videos and pictures of the action. [Since my bike doesn’t talk, I did the narrating.]

Near the end of our bike ride, The Reckless Mr. Bing Bong carried me onto a local baseball field for a quick game. We were incredibly lucky to have found a softball resting along the field’s backstop. This is the most exciting play of the game. After that walk-off homerun, we kept the ball for future use.

It was only about 25-degrees (F) and my feet were cold and I was ready to go home. The Reckless Mr. Bing Bong had other ideas. I just curled my frozen toes and went along with him to the soccer field.

I shouldn’t have mentioned that thing about what us folks in the U.S.A. call football. The Reckless Mr. Bing Bong picked up on that and insisted we go to the football field so he could show off his American football prowess.

The Reckless Mr. Bing Bong celebrates his touchdown against his hated rival, the Green Bay Packers.

Randy Moss celebrates his touchdown against his hated rival, the Green Bay Packers, by pretending to moon the hometown Packer fans. It’s one of the most infamously audacious touchdown celebrations in history. I was going to link the video, but it included the announcer calling it “disgusting.” If he thought it was disgusting, I worried that others might think that too.

As a proud high school and college wrestler, it was highly embarrassing to get pinned by my own bike. “I’ll get you next time The Reckless Mr. Bing Bong!”

Hi. My name is Greg and I ride my bike a lot. That is to say, I ride my bike almost every day. I go on long rides and short rides. Sunny rides, cloudy rides, and rainy rides. I like commuting, errand-running, day-tripping, overnighting, and touring on my bike. I ride on city streets, highways, gravel, single track, and snow with equal enthusiasm. Sometimes I ride fast and sometimes I ride slow. I try to keep my feet on the pedals at stop lights and I do not dismount when I hop up on a curb. I have a roadie bike, a mountain bike and a touring bike. I try to accept any challenge a bike ride can throw at me without complaint. But I don't like bugs.

16 response to "THE RECKLESS MR. BING BONG: Athlete Extraordinaire"

  1. By: BobinVT Posted: December 18, 2020

    I don’t want to be rubbing it in, but I actually measured about 18 inches in front yard, and 23 inches on my deck. From what I’m hearing, 2+ feet was pretty common at the higher elevations. I too remember winter storms being much more common in my youth. I’m not going to check though, because I don’t want to figure out I was wrong. I do remember writing a story in elementary school though, called ‘The Christmas We Had No Snow’, so there’s that.
    Mr. Bing Bong is pretty impressive. I’m going to have to speak to my bike about some cross-training.

    • By: gregblood Posted: December 18, 2020

      Bob, I apologize for short-changing your snowfall totals. Anywhere from 18 to 23 inches is most impressive.

      Wouldn’t it be fun to be able to go back and read “The Christmas We Had No Snow?” I think back on some stuff I remember writing back then and wish I had saved them. I was a big fan of Mad Magazine and I’m sure that’s where I got my appreciation for satire. Unfortunately, my satire never developed beyond a 7th grade level.

    • By: gregblood Posted: December 19, 2020

      Cool video. I liked the spoke guards used by the players who didn’t have 48-spoke wheels. I’m sure The Reckless Mr. Bing would excel in that sport if he tried it.

  2. By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: December 19, 2020

    Looks like you could sneak some snow in just before Christmas, so don’t give up just yet. 71% chance of snow here, in the middle of summer, think you have made the classic mistake of mixing up Australia and Austria.

    As for that outrageous, unsportsmanlike act of mooning the sweet, nice GBP crowd, revenge is best served cold at superbowl time.

    • By: gregblood Posted: December 19, 2020

      . . . you have made the classic mistake of mixing up Australia and Austria.

      I don’t know what this “Austria” you speak of is, but I definitely meant your home country of AUSTRALIA. Right there in Europe, between German and Italy. The Alps, the schnitzel, the strudel, Mozart. I’m not some kind of geographical know-nothing.

  3. By: NancyG Posted: December 19, 2020

    Mister Bing Bong is QUITE the athlete, even pinning a veteran wrestler. I must say though that he is being a bit “reckless” riding on the school track. Around here at least, bicycle riding is not allowed on the tracks. Good thing for Bing Bong that there were no coaches or track police around for his outing ;’-).

    • By: gregblood Posted: December 19, 2020

      Even though there were no signs posted which forbade cycling on the track, we did have an inkling we could get in trouble for it. So we carefully scoped out the area to ensure there were no track police in the area.

      In fact, we look around every time we make a video — sometimes to avoid legal problems, but usually to avoid looking like a couple of idiots.

  4. By: Suzanne Posted: December 19, 2020

    The greatest feat I think is steering your bike while throwing a ball and filming it all at the same time.

    • By: NancyG Posted: December 19, 2020

      At first I read that as “the greatest fear”. That too I would say.

    • By: gregblood Posted: December 19, 2020

      Thank you for recognizing the difficulty in that feat. I can ride no-handed while performing other tasks pretty easily, but in this case, avoiding the curb was the tricky part.

  5. By: Bill Stone Posted: December 19, 2020

    It looks like you and the RMBB are ready for the (postponed) Olympics. What do they call the combined baseball – basketball – soccer (futbol) – football – track – wrestling event? Maybe Nordic Bing Bong? Anyway, my money is on you guys. Oops, no betting on Olympic events.

    PS: I think the inside the park homer might be the most exciting play in baseball. Of course, it almost always ends in a slide across home plate. Do you think the RMBB is ready to work on his sliding technique? We’ll stay tuned.

    • By: gregblood Posted: December 21, 2020

      Hey Bill, for some reason I just remembered your question about whether The Reckless Mr. Bing Bong was going to work on his sliding technique. I think my bike did exactly that a couple days ago. It would have been nice for him to tell me beforehand that he was planning to do it though.

      I’m also glad I revisited your comment because I also remembered I wanted to mention what I consider the most exciting play in baseball: Any strong throw from right field to pick off a runner trying to run from first-to-third on a single. A bonus is when the 3rd basemen whips the ball to second base to pick off the hitter. The unassisted triple play is pretty exciting too, but how many of those happen in a decade?

      • By: Bill Stone Posted: December 21, 2020

        Perhaps you failed to notice the coach waving and shouting for the Reckless Mr Bing Bong to slide?

        As to unassisted triple plays, good call. That’s a really good one. Extremely rare. I’ve wasted untold hours watching baseball, and I’ve never seen one. But now you have me all excited in anticipation!

  6. By: The Navigator Posted: December 20, 2020

    Well done! I think the janitors at the various schools were ringing each other up and saying, “Does COVID make you go crazy?
    ‘Cause there’s a nutter out on the ball field… the track… the basketball court. Do you think it’s contagious?”

    Rich beat me to it when suggesting bicycle polo. I think you and Mr Bing Bong would be great! We had some guys who played here for awhile and it looked like so much fun. I think the main drivers of it moved away and no one plays anymore.

    Excellent filming and riding while partaking in sport. Glad the only injury was pride when you were pinned by the bike. I have been pinned by the bike before, but that was just an embarrassing, low-speed crash…

    • By: gregblood Posted: December 21, 2020

      Emily, between your story about getting pinned by your bike after a crash and Bill challenging The Reckless Mr. Bing Bong to work on his sliding technique, I’m starting to think all three of you conspired to jinx me.

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