British
Human
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Yesterday morning I was surprised to find the tandem lying on its side and the penny trike halfway up the drive. We are usually more careful than that. It suddenly crossed my mind to count the bikes, and behold, the rain bike and Frankenbike were missing.

What sometimes happens in these parts is that those who have generously partaken of wine think of bicycling home, and redressing their lack of bicycle by what we prefer to call borrowing, leave them propped up against a tree somewhere else.

Several walks round the orchard and along the river bank but no bikes, and we are left - as is so often the case - with an enhanced appreciation of what we don't have any more. A lady's step-through bike that can be mounted easily in waterproof trousers, with a fully enclosed chaincase, drum brakes front and rear, stainless steel 700c rims with very fine racing tyres on, and waterproof panniers is a truly practical vehicle in a country blessed with adequate rainfall.

Stolen rain bike

And suddenly I feel remorsefully proud of Frankenbike with its Marzocchi front fork and GT Horst Leitner rear suspension that let me cruise the dirt roads in glorious comfort with its swept-back city handlebars that you can't buy in New Zealand despite being a hundred times more comfortable than straight mountainbike handlebars and a Mirrycle that you also can't buy here.

Stolen Frankenbike

However I fancy you will heartlessly observe that having your bikes nicked is scarcely Drama in Real Life, which needs to at least have a sawmill where the operator falls into the machinery and has his legs and abdomen cut from his body so that only arms, chest and head remain, and while using a pair of crutches improvised from a torque wrench and a speed brace to limp along to the emergency ward he gets run over by an unexpected reversing Tiger tank owned by a re-enacter and all that remains is a wisp of hair which, by careful skin grafting and experimental stem cell research, they reconstruct him in a Petri dish and after six months' rehabilitation hand him the address of Reader's Digest to make a few bob on the side. - I always loathed Drama in Real Life. It was horrible and gory and I hated it but at least it put the actual experience of being in the dentist's chair in context. Why did dentists always have piles of Reader's Digests? How many did they think you could get through? They only have National Geographic these days.


Well anyway, I told you I was stupid, didn't I? - In fact I rather laboured the point. - I needn't have done. - Somehow or other this afternoon, after donning eye protection and ear protection but failing to think as far ahead as enormously thick heavy leather gloves, I dropped the angle-grinder with a rotary wire brush and it cut straight through the tip of my right index finger. The brush sliced the nail in half sideways and left the tip of the finger flapping about in a manner an estate agent might describe as semi-detached and a violin teacher might describe as something else. Dr Brewer who has considerable empathy with vexing mishaps was on call and until he could get to me he told me to apply pressure to both sides of the knuckle, which would pinch the artery and stop it bleeding. Useful tip, but I'd have preferred to have learnt it out of context. Throbbing and regret in equal measure right now. Time for a career change. I'm going to apply to be a Visual Aid for Health and Safety lecturers.

Saturday, November 5, 2011 9:15:00 AM Categories: injury Stolen Bikes stupidity
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