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  1. #1
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    Tennis Ball in Spokes?

    Have a cultural question.
    Whats the deal with wedging a tennis ball between the spokes next to the hub?
    Seen it on occasion... curious about the logic behind it, symbolism, etc.
    I mean I can kinda understand why someone might like the visual 'style' of no brakes, shifters, etc, but how's a tennis ball fit in?

  2. #2
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xenologer View Post
    Have a cultural question.
    Whats the deal with wedging a tennis ball between the spokes next to the hub?
    Seen it on occasion... curious about the logic behind it, symbolism, etc.
    I mean I can kinda understand why someone might like the visual 'style' of no brakes, shifters, etc, but how's a tennis ball fit in?
    Because you can?...AFAIK. I seem to recall doing it with my Schwinn Heavy Duty back in the 70's, don't recall any real driving reason for doing it, we also used to clip playing cards to the fender braces with clothes pins to make a motorcycle sound too.

    Aaron
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  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    A way to carry the tennis balls to the court ?

  4. #4
    thompsonpost
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    Because a basketball is too big.

  5. #5
    Senior Member pablosnazzy's Avatar
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    what's the deal with boys wearing skinny girl jeans? people do stuff because they do. if you don't read 4chan, you just aren't going to understand....then again, if you have never heard of 4chan and look at it, you still aren't going to understand. if you did, you would understand the tennis ball thing. it's sort of like enlightenment. you get it or you don't, you can't describe it in words.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Flying Merkel's Avatar
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    Growing up, I had a dachshund who lived for tennis balls. In his doggie memory, there is always one handy

  7. #7
    STFD mcgreivey's Avatar
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    When I was a kid, I clipped cards to my fender stays, too. No tennis balls, though. We didn't play tennis in my town, and dogs chased sticks. And bicycles.

    None of this ever made me crash.

  8. #8
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I've never seen anyone with a tennis ball in their spokes.

  9. #9
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    I'll occasionally get a squirrel stuck in my spokes.

  10. #10
    Philly Fanatic Sylv's Avatar
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    I did tennis balls in the spokes when I was a kid. Also, the playing cards with clothes pins, spoke beads, etc. It's just decoration. And if you see some adult hipster riding around with one in his spokes, think of it as the equivalent of wearing a Thundercats T-shirt.

  11. #11
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    I know when I lived in the Coachella Valley, it was dangerous to ride by the golf courses because you took a chance on golf balls flying at you. Maybe the people are taking short cuts across a tennis court and the balls get whacked in?
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  12. #12
    thompsonpost
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    I know when I lived in the Coachella Valley, it was dangerous to ride by the golf courses because you took a chance on golf balls flying at you. Maybe the people are taking short cuts across a tennis court and the balls get whacked in?

  13. #13
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    What does it mean when you have the queen of diamonds in your spokes,as opposed to the ace of spades and your riding around in West Hollywood or Laguna Beach,LOL!!!

    I know when I'm getting close to hipster town,all of the dogs have their ass shaved and walk around backwards.
    Last edited by Booger1; 10-06-10 at 03:01 PM.
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    If dogs chase tennis balls , conditioning..
    and the dog sees any bike as potentially having a tennis ball,
    then the dog will chase the bike.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Dolamite02's Avatar
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    Y'all seem to see this as a rediculous question, but if I saw this, I'd be absolutly baffled; I've never seen anything like this before. I grew up with bicycle cards through my spokes and have seen hipsters with messenger tags woven through, but a tennis ball would throw me. Good question OP, wish I had a better answer than what you've already seen. Anyone know the etymology of the tennis ball spoke?

  16. #16
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    I first took note of the practice in Fairfax County, VA in 1980 or so. I also saw examples of it in northern New Jersey and Phoenix, AZ.

    Haven't seen much of it over the past 15 years, but I don't get out much.

    If there are any old folk in the BMX forum, I'd imagine they might have some insight.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  17. #17
    thompsonpost
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    Back in the day, in my very early 20's (just after high school in the early 1970's), I used to carry a frisbee in my rear spokes to the frisbee golf course at Greenlake in Seattle, but never any tennis balls.

  18. #18
    Senior Member travelmama's Avatar
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    I used to see tennis balls in the spokes on road and bmx bikes. They must have been the cool thing at the time? Perhaps the tennis balls in the spokes was the start of the silly scraper bike movement?
    Two Wheels One Love

  19. #19
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    Maybe he was on his way to one of these matches?
    "Ride lots." -- Eddy Merckx

  20. #20
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    If it is an adult riding an adult bicycle; I could only figure they were put there for the same reason people hang those imitation testicles from the trailer hitch of their lifted 4X4.
    - Solo Attack: When you attack, let the sprint group lead you out. You take no points. But when they sit up, you put your head down and hold threshold. Remember: When you see Jesus you are still about 2 minutes from blacking out. Hang on.

  21. #21
    thompsonpost
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrockern8r View Post
    If it is an adult riding an adult bicycle; I could only figure they were put there for the same reason people hang those imitation testicles from the trailer hitch of their lifted 4X4.
    Cuz day a mang.

    I'm dun wif dis fred.

  22. #22
    Senior Member mustachiod's Avatar
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    haven't seen that yet.

    there is a kid with CDs in his spokes that i often see on my commute. he is so badass.
    Quote Originally Posted by powers2b View Post
    BF does not have the answer to what you will be happy with.

  23. #23
    thompsonpost
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    Dude?

  24. #24
    Senior Member mustachiod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by powers2b View Post
    BF does not have the answer to what you will be happy with.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrockern8r View Post
    If it is an adult riding an adult bicycle; I could only figure they were put there for the same reason people hang those imitation testicles from the trailer hitch of their lifted 4X4.
    that always cracks me up when I see that. Makes me wonder if those idiots are trying to compensate for something. Usually I see them on jacked up 4x4's. The tennis ball thing looks pretty cool to me though, not that I'd put it on my bike, but on the beaters I see them on, it looks kinda neat.
    Demented internet tail wagging imbicile.

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