Sunday, 22 November 2009

On a very tolerant cat and other matters

I had supper with James, Jennifer and Isla on Thursday. I was surprised to learn that one of their cats is far more tolerant of my quasi-niece, Isla, than I would have expected. Bandit the cat puts up with Isla's clumsy attentions to a remarkable degree. It is only when she tries to mess with his tail that he moves off. To my mind, this is an incredibly tolerant cat as I would have thought that the normal cat reaction to a toddler would be to move out of her reach post-haste!

On the naming of the new bike
I have received comments from some of my readers about the name for the new bike, but I have yet to make a decision. For that matter, I have yet to take her out for a spin. I had been planning to install accessories this weekend, but I have been down with a stomach bug and haven't had the energy. I have had other ideas for names. In line with previous bike being named for a fictional opera singer, I have pondered if naming the bike "Marguerite" after the only role she actually is seen to sing! I also pondered whether the new bike should be named after the fictional opera Die Fledermoose by Giuseppe Wagner referenced in the Rudolf Nureyev episode of the Muppet Show!

On the importance of being an information pack-rat
I picked up Leonardo from the bike shop yesterday. They had changed the cassette (rear gears) and it didn't look wide enough. I quietly asked if they were sure that was right range and was assured it was. When I got home, I counted the number of teeth on the biggest gear and got 25. I looked up the original specs to Leonardo on the pdf I had downloaded from the Devinci website. There, I found that the original cassette had had 34 teeth at the top end. I brought Leonardo back to the shop and politely asked that a cassette with the "proper" range of gears be installed, explaining that the mandate of Leonardo calls for granny gears. The staff at the place cheerfully obliged and made the change on the spot.

One of the issues in dealing with my local bike shop is that there is a cultural divide between them and I. The shop tends towards racing bikes which have narrower ranges of gears, whereas I, the tourer, would rather a wider range of gears. In fact, when I went to the shop the first time, the mechanic who had installed the narrower range arrived for work while I was there on a swish racing bike. This illustrates the difference in perspectives on cycling between the shop and your humble correspondent. I am not saying this is a bad thing and neither of us is at fault, merely that I should remember who I am dealing with.

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