23 Feb 2016

23rd February 2016 Practice your smile.

Tuesday 23rd 36F, 2C, breezy, sky clearing. Some sunshine with wintry showers possible. I really must make an effort to tune the gears. I could still see a slight kink along the chainstay cable run from my pull-ratio arm clamps. The problem with a kink is that it straightens out under the increased tension of an upward gear change and then relaxes to normal tension. So the indexed change may go well but then the RD moves over slightly as the kink reforms under the more relaxed tension. The kink effectively shortens the cable. Logic suggests that I just go out and buy a new cable. Yet so few Danish dealers have anything to do with Campagnolo. Buying a single cable means postal charges. Which I have always resented if they form a large fraction of the purchase price.

Complaining about postal charges is completely illogical, of course. I see it as a natural part of our money saving regime to have something left over for "toys." Driving the 20-odd miles to the city to buy a cable would be about as expensive in fuel. Few consider the costs in traveling time and negotiating the stop-start traffic system. I'd rather ride there and call it a decent ride even if it takes much longer. The exercise will be good for me and help to prolong my active life. So the risks of sharing the roads with traffic have to be compared with the risks of early death through inactivity.

The news seems to have been full of reported deaths of celebrities recently. Perhaps the news media is simply reporting more deaths because people like Bowie have recently lost the battle for life regardless of his lifelong personal habits. How many impressionable teenagers started smoking because they saw a pop idol smoking in public? Celeb status has its responsibilities in exchange for its bountiful rewards. The bad news is that great wealth may help longevity but it can't keep you alive when a health disaster crashes into the buffers.

Nor does our celebrity status make any of us irreplaceable. However much we might fondly hope the converse. As we turn up for work every day to fight for recognition and status in our very, very small worlds. Be gentle and be kind to others. Your sadism is as utterly pointless as your own inflated valuation of your jobsworth. A takeover, changing market share, or technological advance, can sweep it all away in a moment. To leave nothing visible behind except weeds. Where are the vast empires of past industry now? Where are the small tyrants who made life hell for their colleagues and subordinates? Tyrannizing worms? You only get one go at life. Don't waste it just because everybody else does. Smile often. Somebody else might need one far more than you could ever imagine.

I walked along the marsh and then took the lanes back home. Only three geese were visible and took off noisily in admonition of my intrusion. Constant sunshine was only slightly spoilt by a chilly wind. Very wet underfoot but it helped to clean off yesterday's mud.

Just a short ride between showers in the afternoon. Strong headwind coming home. Only 7 miles.


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