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Ring my bell: Hundreds attempt new world record for bike bell ringing

TORONTO - The streets of Toronto rang with the "briiinggg" of bicycle bells Saturday as hundreds gathered to attempt a new world record and promote "green" living.


TORONTO - The streets of Toronto rang with the "briiinggg" of bicycle bells Saturday as hundreds gathered to attempt a new world record and promote "green" living.

They arrived in droves to the city's downtown core to join children's entertainer Chris McKhool in a bid to break the record for the most bicycle bells rung to music at one time.

The current record stands at 503 and just moments before the attempt, officials announced they'd run out of the 800 free bells they were handing out to participants.

"Breaking a Guinness world record is not as easy as you think because this is not just about how many bells are being played," he told the swelling crowd who gathered at Yonge and Dundas square.

"They have to be arranged in a musical way."

Officially, the record is for the "world's largest bicycle bell orchestra," he said, noting the bells that were distributed come in three colours, each with a different pitch, but all in the key of "F."

The crowd was to play their bells on cue to a tune McKhool wrote especially for the event - "Walk and roll"

"It's a song that celebrates the environment," said McKhool, whose performance and world record attempt was part of the two-day Green Toronto Festival.

"It's about different things we can do. Biking, skateboarding, rollerblading, walking around, taking the TTC and car pooling instead of taking your own car as a way to improve the environment."

Many others rode their bikes to the event and opted to ring their own bells. McKhool pegged the crowd at about 1,000 but noted an unofficial count of the sign-up sheet showed 819 participants which "totally smashes the old record."

Organizers were meticulously registering all participants and videotaping and taking photographs of all aspects of the event.

McKhool said the information will be shipped to Guinness World Records, which will ultimately decide if there is a new record. He expects to hear back in a few weeks and will post the results on his website.

"It was a big success on our end," he said.

"You know, I was optimistic but I didn't want to be foolish but it was better than I actually hoped for."

"To have over 800 people signed in of all ages and all stripes, I think that was very amazing."

Nicole Kendik of Scarborough, Ont., who attended the event with her husband James, her five-year-old son Alex and two-year-old daughter Abby describes herself as an environmentalist who came down for the entertainment but was happy to take part in a world record-setting event.

"I think it's great. It's amazing."

"We all have our bells," she said.

 
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