Tuesday, May 17, 2005

1/50, the power of induction, and a curry

Great things are afoot, as Slartibartfast would say. So great, that they have superceded the weather, which is still cold, but relatively dry.

I have managed to push the envelope on both sides of my AX Lightness carbon seatpost. Monday, went out for an easy cruise, and I made it 20 km before the saddle fell off. Using cold logic, which is my most reliable resource, I figured that it meant that I hadn't tightened the bolt up enough. So today, I made my last saddle adjustment and had it just right and I made sure it was tight. It is possible to overtighten bolts in carbon fibre, and about 5 km later, I heard that awful sound: CRACK. So I stopped.

The saddle was OK, but I'd cracked the seatpost near the bolt. I always cease to amaze myself. I was near the Molenberg, about 25 km away from home, so I turned the bike in the direction of Gent and prepared to ride out of the saddle for the rest of the way. I got tired of this after 5 km, and thought I'd test the properties of carbon fibre under compression, with my arse acting as the main weight.

After 1 km, I was still sitting on the saddle, which was only wobbling slightly under load. So I applied that fantastic mathematical principle of induction (basically, pulling yourself up in a bucket) and decided to ride another 1 km in the saddle. It held, so by induction, I thought I could ride another 2 km in the saddle, and so on, until I got back to Zwijnaarde. So confident was I in the power of induction, that I turned around and went back out towards Oudenaarde, thinking I'd extend my ride to 120 km. Then I got that far and thought, bugger it, induction's serving me well today, so why not 130 km? The rest is left as an exercise for the reader.

To save paper, I went to the Oudenaarde end of the Schelde and back, for a total of three laps and 150 km. Of course, I was prepared for the saddle to break at any moment, meaning some more out of the saddle action, but induction saved the day and I made it home. My year 10 maths came in handy at last. Bit of a boring ride, but beggars can't be choosers, I always say. I was gunna race, but there are no races anywhere in Belgium today because they were all yesterday (Pfingsten public holiday). Sigh. Next Tuesday: Lovendegem (see Chopin's nocturne post about a year ago).

I've now invested in an Eddy Merckx seatpost, which is nearly three times the weight of the ridiculously light AX Lightness (290g compared to 120g) but it's made of metal, and that gives me confidence. Dunno about this 50g saddle though. I reckon it'll break before the end of the week.

In other news of import, there were shocking depredations in my fridge and cupboard stocks over the course of the long weekend. I went shopping on Friday and bought a lot - or so I thought - but by Monday it had mostly gone and I was left with instant rice for tea plus a sandwich on stale bread. So today, I took my big backpack to the supermarché and spent double the usual amount to restock.

I even made a curry from first principles, like dad showed me how to do all those years ago (he still makes the best curries). I cheated a bit and bought curry powder, but it had fenugreek in it so that's OK I reckon. To do a proper first principles curry you have to assemble all your spices from the non-weevil infested spice ra:k, grind them up in a mortar and pestle, brown the onions and garlic, partially burn the spices, add the meat, brown it, then add water. Leave it for about 6 hours to simmer on low heat, realise you didn't turn down the heat, throw the whole mess away and get a foot-long döner kebab from the Turkish takeaway down the street. Fortunately, I did turn down the heat and my liver, heart, and stomach were spared the unjust assault of a döner kebab. That was close.

The good thing is that there have been few, if any, objections so far, and things are progressing at a rapid pace, thanks to advanced mobile phone technology and the Power of the Internet. Judging by that last one, telepathy as well. Although the first part of the deal was done in about 6 minutes, it took more than a week to agree on the exact terms of the contract (the Hague Convention prevents me from revealing them here). A solution has now been reached, and all parties are generally satisfied, although it's impossible to please all of the people, all of the time. That is, if this curry doesn't kill me first. Tastes good but, and goes extremely well with beer and chocolate ice cream.

New Order's Waiting for the Siren's Call is particularly good - better than Get Ready. Recommended by me, anyway, which probably doesn't count for much.


Anonymous said...

Nice one Jeff
Spooky !!! but my name is jeff Jones as well. Hopefully we will never meet as you could well be my identical anti_matter self and just by seeing each other could cause the world to implode . !??!?
well- thats what happened in Startrek !
Long live Jeff Jones.

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