Are you vain and stupid or is it just me? I am so vain that in spite of my munted neck (ha! Munted again. New Zealand's best word) I want to put drop handlebars back on my trike so I can pretend to be young and fit, and to match its skinny racing tyres. I am also stupid because I'm doing it myself in spite of knowing for a Very Big Fact that the cheapest and best way of changing handlebars is to nip to the bike shop and pay Josh, which offers the marked bonus that it doesn't involve my gashing the second finger of my left hand and stomping off to the first aid cabinet wondering - again - how to cut a plaster off the strip with one hand incapacitated. And while we're about it, why do wives keep the first aid box in the bathroom? Do they anticipate our gashing knuckles while taking the toothpaste cap off the tube or something?
Unf. my economic beliefs compel me to Not Buy a New Part when a similar part is to be found corroding quietly on some ditched piece of junk at the bottom of the Bike Heap. - I expect you have a Bike Heap too. All recumbent makers have a Bike Heap. As soon as people stop you at the whole food shop and get past the 'it looks awfully uncomfortable/ vulnerable/ d'you steer with your feet?' conversation, they remember they have an old bike festering in the back shed and before long a maroon estate car parks briefly outside your fence and you find yourself the owner of yet another Elswick 10-speed with a chain made out of rust. So you chuck it next to the greenhouse and before too long presto! a Bike Heap.
And the rotten thing is my economic beliefs compel me to undertake the work myself even though Josh's compensation package is affordably less than the $3,250,000 he'd get if he wore a suit and wrecked the planet for a living. (So why don't bankers get a salary? Why is it 'compensation'? Compensation for what? For making 6,999,999,999 people hate you or something?)
Which handlebar change involves cabling.
Oh god. I hate cabling.
I hate cabling because somewhere in the Bike Heap is (probably) a cable housing the right length and somewhere else is a cable the right length and every single one has to be checked for breaks and corrosion and fraying and if, absolutely the worst case scenario, I have to buy a new cable, I know I shall cut it an inch too short. I know it. I just know it. I would cut it an inch too short even if my economic beliefs permitted those Nokon ball thingies that Rob Hague espouses that you can't actually cut too short. I know it without trying because I'm stupider than the Nokon engineers ever anticipated.
However, because I happen to be a really clever stupid person, which I apprise you of sufficiently often for you almost to believe it, I have thought up a Cunning Scheme using .22 cartridges nicked from John's trench art supplies that he in turn nicked from the rifle range. - Swords into ploughshares. - You take two .22 cases and solder them back-to-back. - Well you don't, of course, because you live in Engerland where there isn't a deserted rifle range up the Rocky River Road and where you'd probably go to gaol for five years for possessing empty .22 cartridges and anyway where you're not allowed solder any more. But in New Zealand empty rifle shells are to be found everywhere, and the recumbent builder amasses a collection because it's in the nature of recumbent builders to pick up discarded brass cartridges just in case you can braze with them. (You can.) And in the middle of the joint, you drill a 3mm hole. Lo! a cable housing connector. It works, too.
Incidentally, is there a mandatory uniform for whole food shoppers that I haven't been told about? So why does everybody else have a ragged brown woolly cardigan and a stripy musette and long matted hair and ear-rings pinned through their eyebrows? Eyebrows? Strikes me you'd have to be pretty inept to mistake an ear lobe for an eyebrow. Also why can they never afford socks? And anyway why are they whole food shops? Are there also partial food shops? - Questions, so many questions, Grasshopper.
Saturday, November 28, 2009 10:14:52 AM
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