Occasionally, when feeling bored, I like to command Mr Larrington very kindly to put his fag out and his beer down and get on with the task that I set him about ten years ago which is to write a book entitled 'The History of the British Human Power Movement from when I was Eighteen' and I am dismayed daily to find he continues to treat the commandment with disdain. It would be jolly int'resting because he was right in there at the beginning, a mere boy then but a keen observer of the Purple Nasty and other vehicles of the early days, and probably even knows the origin owner and inventor of the red trike that caused the global inch-and-an-eighth tubing shortage in 1985.
However, it's perhaps just as well his book hasn't been completed yet because I now have the video evidence of Mr McLeod's Idler to hand, and this is so jolly excellent an advance that it were a shame to miss it out of said History. (Yes there are those who idly claim that New Zealand doesn't come under the auspices of British but we ignore them, Empire sun never sets, pink across the globe, William to visit etc etc etc.)
Anyway, here we are, Mr McLeod's Idler wheel in action. You have to pay fairly close attention to see what's going on. Of the two idlers at the steering head, the front is the relevant one. The track rod end, from which it hangs, is visible at ten o'clock to the idler wheel itself. As the front wheel is turned to steer the bike there is only a small amount of movement of the idler and it's quite hard to discern, but it allows a full forty-five degree movement of the front wheel in either direction without throwing the chain off.
Mr McLeod does not require any gratitude for giving the world this invention, natch. It is merely his way of thanking the Duke for encouraging his ancestors to emigrate when His Grace, who was terribly, terribly poor had all the houses burnt in the Highland Clearances. - Aye, the McLeods' hame is Sutherland, where the bonny heather hides the wee cleggies. - We used to know Johnnie McLeod. - 'Hoo're you the dee?' he'd ask except when he said stuff like 'Feasgar math dhuibh' but then he never said 'Feasgar math dhuibh' to us because he knew we didn't have the Gaelic, and he never said 'Tha coltas uisge oirre' because it always did.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011 8:31:00 AM
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