British
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She's rubbish at corners is my wife. She practises being rubbish at corners and is now quite good at it. It has taken her a little while but now she has a special skill and whenever we're coming up to a corner and I command her to stop pedalling she ignores me with a bewildering comprehensiveness and the synch chain comes flying off. Yesterday the chain came off four times in 18 miles.

Being rubbish at corners is a heritable condition. Last week Jane found herself outside a blackberry bush wondering why she couldn't push her bike and why she was holding a broken Mirrycle in her hand. A Park ranger drove up and together they established that her last memory was that of riding gaily along, no hands, towards a corner. She was knocked out. The hospital did the usual head injury stuff and her bike suffered a crinkled downtube and may now be regarded as a useful ensemble of spare parts. What makes repair difficult is the intervening 12,000 miles because Jane happens to be living in England and her faithful bike mechanic, viz., moi, doesn't.

Which raises another heritable condition. In the process of mapping the humane genome they've discovered that my wife and daughter have a special gene that forces them to prop their bikes up somewhere inappropriate so that any small gust of sideways gravity will tug the bike over and smash its Mirrycle on the pavement below. I like Mirrycles enormously and fit them to every bike I can which is harder than it sounds because nobody in New Zealand imports Mirrycles and you can't get them here at all. (I shall scour this entry later in the hope that a) a New Zealand bike shop owner is reading this, or indeed anyone at all for that matter, and b) they will add a Comment telling me where to get them.) I fit a Mirrycle, and immediately a wife-or-daughter breaks it. Then they sneak off and buy one of those flimsy Cateye mirrors which, however you try to position it, you can't see because light only travels in straight lines and elbows, such as connect shoulders to handlebars, are generally opaque. I have a bag of Cateye mirrors with which my female relatives have tried to assuage their Mirrycle guilt, and I no longer even bother trying to fit them.

Turning to other matters one of the doctors popped in, he erroneously thinking that I might be able to give him recumbent-buying advice, and over dinner he told me that pip fruit workers are 9 times as likely to get one sort of cancer and 4 times as likely to get another sort of cancer, though which sorts of cancer I'm not sure because I wasn't paying attention. Anyway this slightly worried me because a) the chap who lived here for the last 22 years recently had a kidney removed and b) the chap next door who has lived here for even longer had a neck tumour removed and c) yesterday the tractor driver in the commercial orchard immediately behind us cleared out the sprayer fans right next to the gate, and the shed, garden and house were engulfed in a cloud of swirling mist. The orchard owners aren't supposed to do this. I had an interesting talk with Tony Frost a little while ago and he told me that when he founded the national Horticultural Research Station http://www.hortresearch.co.nz/, of which he was Director, they used any number of sprays, being sequentially assured by the makers that all were safe. Over the years, and following some alarming deaths, the sprays were equally sequentially removed from distribution. It all bespeaks what we happen to know about the agrochemicals industry, which is that it doesn't get terribly flustered about spraying people until they start dying. Mapua http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/2740450/Toxic-Mapua-soil-to-stay-put-council is ten miles down the coast.

To add to the week's woe I have a cold. Because I happen to know that Mrs Bob Knight is outstandingly sympathetic to men with colds I have emailed her thus:

I have a Cold, and it is a Man Cold, and I am Very Ill, Close Unto Death, and to show how deeply you treasure my existence I graciously permit you to cut off one of your fingers (without anaesthetics) and send it to me in the post like the Triads do.

Mrs Bob Knight omitted to send me the required finger, and referred me elsewhere:

In which case you must view this video at once.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EElqrgk4N0 Have the sound up so you can hear the instructions.

Luckily my Man Cold failed to prevent my brazing a single short lateral tube onto a very old, very battered but very light-weight (3 lbs) Peugeot frame someone had given me, which had been less than useful because it had no seat-post clamp, Mr Bob Knight having told me (he knows everything. Everything.) that it was designed for a quill seat post and that they weren't very successful.



This is such a rubbish picture I only include it to leaven the dullness of my text. Mrs Bob Knight who saw the original usefully commented that I might need to cut a slot in it. She will be dealt with next time I see her.
Saturday, October 17, 2009 11:37:54 PM Categories: bike crash New Zealand seats and saddles
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Comments

Sunday, October 18, 2009 8:03:46 PM
Geoff Bird
View User Profile for Geoff Bird

re: A week of woe

Just some reasurance, Richard, that I, at least, read your blog and enjoy it immensely. Not that you seem to need much encouragement!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009 1:07:10 PM
rob gillions
View User Profile for rob gillions

re: A week of woe

Me too ! Usually read it at work. Helps relieve the tedium. Co-workers are starting to give me funny looks when I start giggling, though. Ho hum.

Can't help with the mirror - perhaps with the number that you seem to require, becoming the first evangelista and importer might be an idea ?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009 10:11:42 PM
Bob Knight
View User Profile for Bob Knight

re: A week of woe

I once gave Richard 4 (that's four) brand new Mirrycles in return for something or other. I am dismayed that his Whanau now appears to have broken them all. Maybe I will import a batch of ten or so and sell them discreetly to Motueka based GPs. I could retire on the profits. Probably.

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