Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Abnormally outspoken moments in time.

 Someone called me abnormal the other day, and yes, my abs are normal, but that's the only part of me that is.  He didn't really mean it, though.  He was calling me odd. I've been called all sorts of things, good and bad, but that was hard to stomach cause he's right. It's true. I'm abnormal. It's a gut feeling some people get.  I'm not just a nerd; I'm weird. You know... other-ish.

 It looks like I come from the Dumbell Nebula, somewhere in the middle of the constellation Vulpecula.

The resemblance is clear.
It's me all over. Dense, yet nebulous.

I'm daft, too.  More daft than your average bean.  Most humans share 25% of their DNA with a daffodil, but I'm half-Daff. Don't ask how I know, but it's a fact.  That's why I have so much petal power.

It might also explain why I'm hard-on things.

Like this.  Take a look at what happened to my bike as I was riding along in third gear the other day.

It's a special gift,
or maybe I just have Gremlins.

It was clicking a bit on that sprocket that day, but only that sprocket.  It was skipping every so often, too, toward the end, whether I was on the big chain ring or the small one.  That's why I was headed to Mighty Riders prior to my planned route.  I was a mere eight blocks from the shop when it happened, too.  Just a mile or so earlier, I was flying down fourth at woooo hooooooo speeds, and so I'm grateful it didn't happen then.

As it was, I was in the middle of a busy intersection.
It was Very.  Scary.

 I want to know two things:

                                                 1.  WTF happened?
                                                 2.  WTF happened to Campagnolo's lifetime guarantee?

I thought the old saying was "Campagnolo wears in and Shimano wears out?"  They should amend it to "Campagnolo suffers catastrophic failure and then profits on replacement parts."  Ed at Mighty Riders didn't charge me shop fees, bless him, and those spokes are a serious bitch to thread.  You need a magnet or something.  Never mind the tensioning.  Even so, even without shop time, this was an expensive little issue.

Meh.  Another one of THOSE weeks.

I keep asking why why why? but no-one has an answer.  Ed doesn't know.  I asked him how I can prevent it from happening again, and do you know what he said?
He said I should cross my fingers and pay up.

Double meh. 

So I looked long and hard at the exposed gear cluster, gritted my teeth, and shifted my cognitive capabilities into overdrive.

(Drumroll please!)

Sorted.  Using my remarkable design sense,  reclaimed Canadiana artifacts, and (box) cutting-edge technology I've come up with the perfect solution.  

Needless to say,

I couldn't find a case of Thirsty Beaver or I would have a different pie plate today.

Sure, it won't stop the derailer from self-destructing, but it will save my pretty, shiny, beautiful gold wheels from becoming collateral damage next time around.

You have to protect the things you love.

That's why I wear a helmet.  I might only have a couple of brain cells, but I love them, and helmets help, right?  That's the theory behind BC's mandatory helmet laws, anyway, however flawed our current safety standards might be.  Trouble is that law is going to prevent our newly approved bike-share program from making any headway. Some genius came up with the idea of helmet vending machines.

Helmet. Vending.  Machines.

This would be bad enough, but it's worse than that.

If I were on a bike-share bike-cycle and didn't have a helmet with me, I'd simply join the many thousands of Vancouverites out there who pretend the helmet law doesn't exist. 
I would NOT rent a helmet worn by countless other riders that day.

Super EEEW.

Bloody hell.  It's enough to drive a girl to drink.

Better yet, let's go for a ride.


  1. I LOVE your pie plate! Nice video, looked like a fun ride.

    Just tell the ones that call you odd, "AYHSMPC". Also keep in mind, sometimes when you're being called 'odd' or 'different' it's a compliment.

    I know that when I say it to someone, I mean it as a compliment and as an admiration of their uniqueness.

    Normal is a setting on a hair dryer, honey. Keep your chin up and dare to be different. Because much like cows, nobody likes sheep. XO

  2. Careful miss babble on. You'll get on BSYNC's bad side for advocating bicycle helmet use. He thinks they have value only as a fashion item during "Fredly" activities.

  3. That birthday suit is at one end of the spectrum, the egg box helment is at the other....
    That egg-box thing is actually an inverted "plant and forget" planter for re-afforestation projects, complete with fertilizer incorporated in it's papier-mache. An image of planted doofii springs to mind, their legs waving in the breeze, bit like a baobab.
    But as a helment? No.

    A case of Thirsty Beaver did you say? Oh yes please.

  4. Nebraska Bike Commuter (non DWI edition)24 July 2013 at 14:56

    As a former Mr. Bicycle Fix-it Guy, I have closely examined the damage pictures and will try to be helpful.

    What obviously happened was that your derailleur came completely loose and got dragged around the gear cluster by the chain. What's not obvious is why. More picture angles might help, but as far as I can see - and there isn't a picture angle that shows it clearly - the derailleur hanger stayed put, which leads me to believe that the derailleur fixing bolt simply worked itself loose. That's something I've seen happen only once or twice in many many years, and always caught before working completely out. I would also have expected it to give you more trouble with shifting before it went bang, to the point of it actually being unrideable, but I suppose I've seen stranger things... can't think of any off the top of my head... I'm not sure that this is the definitive answer, but from what I can see it makes sense to me.

    Anyway, as I hinted at, this is something that almost never/ever happens, and may be overlooked by even competent mechanics; i.e. it's usually taken for granted that you tighten that particular bolt, and it stays put.

    BTW, I like your spoke protector. Not sure it would save the day if it happened again though.

    1. The spoke protector might not save the day, but it would give my beautiful wheel the Dutch courage it needs to embrace its fate with grace.

      Yeah, the hanger stayed put, though it snapped in half at some point. The bolt which goes through the hangar was tight. Ed is still shaking his head.

      Fucking gremlins.

  5. I don't know Babble On, NBC is right about the picture angles being not too helpful but it looks to me like you sheared off your derailleur hanger...

  6. ...sorry to see that...glad it didn't take you down...

  7. Sorry for your miss fortune, but that pie plate hack is awesome. Gonna have to keep my eyes peeled for interesting pie plating materials. Don't know why it never occurred to me before, trashy cyclist that I am. =)

  8. Happy Birthday, Babble. Hope it's the best ever.

  9. Hi Babble, I got sent some stuff about some bikes yesterday and it really made me smile. It also made me think of you for some reason, so I made a note to send a note to you about the post I wrote about the note I got. If you want more sense than that, check out

    Still loving the blog, S

  10. Sorry about the bike troubles. Like the pie plate but agree a Thirsty beaver is always prefered.