Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Thought Picnic: To see a bicycle with unequal wheels


Bolts amiss with much damage
I returned to Amsterdam this afternoon to pick up my bicycle. It needed a basic repair job of attaching the back carriage to the body of the bicycle with two nuts and bolts.
I had planned to ride down to the repair shop where I bought it a few years ago with the intention of even doing the repairs myself if they had no time to see to it immediately.
As a walked up to the apartment block where I once lived, I was somewhat emotionless about it, it had become part of my past and it was necessary to be detached and move on swiftly.
When I saw the bicycle, some vandal had bent the back carriage out of shape such that the lower part near the hub of the wheel having lost a nut jutted into the spokes of the wheel – why anyone will find pleasure in doing that escapes me.
A quick work of it
Precarious as it was, I was able to do a temporary fix to ride the bicycle to the repair shop. The man recognised that I bought the bicycle from years before and I later reminded him that the second-hand bike I had before that once belonged to his mother who was quite a careful owner.
For years, I had used second-hand bikes that seemed to be what most people have though more are now getting new bicycles.
I was able to persuade them to do the job today and I was told to return in 30 minutes as I tacked on a few more adjustments like a new front lamp, air in the types, removing the annoying dynamo and just a basic service if time allows it.
Within 25 minutes they called to say it was ready, they had done everything and even sorted out the faulty switch on the rear lighting, the bicycle felt as good as mended as we had a light banter about other things.
Penny-farthing, plenty to point out
The repairman then said there was one bicycle he would really like to see me ride since I looked dressed for it – hat and all, except for the fact that I should have worn a bow-tie and not a day cravat.
As he showed me the bicycle, I realised I had only ever seen a penny-farthing in books and never in real life – that was really funny, if only I had the presence of mind to take a picture of it then.
Besides, I had to sure I could take my bicycle on the trains – apparently, we are not allowed to carry big bicycles on board during the rush hour and on my way into Amsterdam, I found that the trains had spaces allocated for bicycles with priority sticks to boot – so I made allowances for other to walk round my bicycle to use the fold-up seats but I did not have to be inconvenienced as to why my bicycle was on that coach.
I always have many times had the unique opportunity to point to signs on the train in terms of priority, noise, seating and much else – when I lost my way, my phone came to the rescue, I keyed in my destination and got vocal directions to help me get home.

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