Author Topic: The Knowledge

The Knowledge
« on: March 19, 2022 »
It's been a while. First up as I shake off the cobwebs:

Quote from: Hill Walker
Dear Agony Guy,

I had to walk up a hill today. It was either that or fall over. Even though it was a very short distance, and technically I stayed on the bike, pushing myself along with one foot on the ground, it felt so wrong. What makes it especially sad is I was nearly at the top. This is a hill that admittedly conquered me the first time I attempted it on my singlespeed, but in the many years since then I've pedalled up it regularly without incident.

Please make me feel better about this decision.

Go with your gut on this. It was wrong. Falling over may have hurt, but pain is a valuable lesson too often avoided in these soft and permissive times. Bearing in mind that no hill is worth literally dying on,

better to topple 100 times, assuming you're still in a state to keep riding, than start on the road to the easy life.

Walking (you're right that what you did counts as walking) when you're equipped with a bike is both a physical and a moral failure.

The former can be addressed by the proper gearing and/or physical conditioning, as you apparently learned long ago. You haven't mentioned your age, which may be a factor, in which case a slightly more forgiving sprocket could be in order. Clearly you'll need to give it another go and see if this episode was an anomaly of poor technique or temporary musculature malfunction, rather than a sign of permanent decline.

Of greater concern is the moral failure. In your heart you know that a hill, once proven surmountable, shall stay in that column. You've let yourself down; now having shared this information, you've let me and the readers down, thus reaping a pain worse than what you avoided on that hill.

Bear in mind that in life you're going to fail most of the time. (Think about it. You really are.) Yet we persevere. Good luck!

The Knowledge
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2022 »
Quote from: Hill Walker
I went back and made it up the hill! That’s the good news. The bad news is, I had to sacrifice one of my knees.

As I once again neared the top, it started hurting and repeatedly losing the will to be a weight bearing joint. Then what seems to have happened is it granted me three wishes: naturally, I wished for three turns of the crank, which was enough to summit. Then kaput.

Getting back home was tricky and only accomplished because there were no major inclines. My wife was cross with me for not calling her to retrieve me, but there are some things she doesn’t understand.

Even walking is currently an adventure.

Unlike the situation with, say, kidneys, unfortunately I need both knees to effectively climb hills. My question for you today is hopefully theoretical, but here goes: should a replacement eventually prove necessary, is it possible to give the NHS a broken titanium frame I happen to have on hand so they can melt it down for my new knee? Doubtless there's enough material for a few knackered knees, and I'm happy to share.

In addition to saving our perennially cash strapped health service a bit of cash, it would be very pleasing in a Flann O'Brien kind of way, don't you think?

Bad luck. At least now you know. There's no shame in decline, we all eventually hit the skids.

Your wife was right to be cross, and you were right not to call her. RICE the knee of course.

As for your idea,

The perfect balance of lateral stiffness for power transfer, and vertical compliance to absorb feedback. Or something.

my understanding is that the NHS is unlikely to be able to action your request.

The Knowledge
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2022 »
Quote from: Steve X
Wild Camping in Grave yard. Would ya, should ya, could ya
Out for a ride today and came across a Burial Ground. I was the grave yard for a Church that was demolished in 1957 IIRC, and the last interment was in 1979.
Its well placed for a 2 day tour I am thinking of, and one could camp there well out of sight of any road or houses. I know that Wild Camping is not legal in England, but ignoring that;

Would you, on a moral basis.
Should you, on a moral basis.
Could you, in case the walking dead arose and ate your face off.

I asked my wife and she said she would in that particular one, arrive late, leave early, who are you going to upset?
Quote from: thirdcrank
The great majority of those arriving late don't leave

As wastes of space go, boneyards run neck and broken neck with golf courses.

Cutting down on sprawl / In search of a three-and-a-halfsome / All pics clickable

Nevertheless I'm something of a fan, not least because there's always plenty to read.

Death is wasted on the dead. (Which I see is also a song.) What I mean by that is graveyards are clearly a contemplative setting meant for the living,

in this case a moving place of stillness after a day riding when the body wants to rest but the brain remains restless. Mmm, brains.

The OP sparked a decent discussion.

Quote from: Carlton green
Is much of this about the perception of others and subtle details of the stay?

I’m all for not causing offence but it’s hard to know what other individuals would actually be upset about and what they’d just accept without much thought or questioning. Many public places have in-memoriam benches for someone to rest on and likewise you might find one in a graveyard too. I wonder how the now dead would have reacted when alive, perhaps they’d be pleased that a traveler wanted to rest a night with them?
Quote from: Tangled Metal
We respect old knights and Kings, even poets, philosophers and politicians in cathedrals. There's many long since deceased people whose graves and markers get respect but those of the ordinary man and woman have no respect just a convenient campsite. That's not something I'm exactly comfortable with.
Quote from: Thehairs1970
My son got told off by someone for reading in a graveyard. It was disrespectful apparently.

I’d check the state of the graves. If any are tended, I’d stay clear. If it is obviously abandoned, go for it.

I concur with the bold. Oh, and thirdcrank?
Sorry. (If a joke needs explaining it's not funny.)

Sometimes it's the room that's dead. We've all been there.

The Knowledge
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2022 »
Are touring bikes old fashioned?

Yes they are.* So are forums (especially Cycling UK). Long live touring bikes and old fashioned forums.

Quote from: BikeBuddha
You get a lot of opinions, not just on forums, but everywhere. I proudly showed the bike I plan on getting, to a young Latvian with a lot of biking experience. I told him that I might end up in Africa and very remote areas, in my search for whatever one searches for while travelling.

Sue Darlow

If you meet the Buddha on a forum, read his thread.

The young man questioned 26" wheels. He questioned rim brakes, and gave me three bikes to test... all mountain bike types.

The idea is, why not have a 29" downhill racing wheel... super strong and can take anything. It rolls over anything, and climbs hills as easily as 26" wheels. I remained quiet.

Why not have disc brakes? Ease of replacement parts, I said. He said, "Why not just take a couple of extra rotors, and spare pads? Why ware out your rims? Don't trust bike sellers who are just trying to get rid of old stock?" I sensed a conspiracy theory coming on.

You had me at conspiracy theory, but that's probably enough detail. Let's skip ahead.

The world is noise... opinions. The world seems hard to fathom.

What's not hard to fathom as the thread unfolds is that the OP doesn't want just any bike, he wants THE bike, and the choices are overwhelming. People do a good job trying to help him out. With myriad options can come paralysis.

Quote from: rareposter
You are never going to learn what you want, what you need, what you like by asking on forums - if anything you're going to get more and more confused and overwhelmed with it all. You are unlikely to find "perfect" by fretting on here about racks and tubing diameter and hubs and braking systems and...and...and…
Get a bike. Literally any bike

Quote from: BikeBuddha
I shut down the decision. Went away. Hid. And am still hiding.
Truth is, I have quite a severe form of mental disorder. Not illness, for that could be medicated, but a disorder. Actually, a few. Its all very tiring, but I won't bore you.

He didn't. Bore, that is. People who are honest and uninhibited seldom do.

Quote from: rareposter
It's 15 degrees outside now, the sun is shining, and I am going to go out for a ride. While I am out, I will enjoy the scenery, the warmth of the sun on my face, the sensation of my bike gliding along, and the discomfort when I struggle uphill because I am so unfit. I won't be thinking about how much I paid for my bike, or whether it would be better with a different headset or whatever. My bike is 'good enough' and I just enjoy riding it.

The four noble truths:

- Not cycling is suffering.
- Buying the wrong bike can also lead to suffering, though try just changing the saddle first.
- There is a cessation of suffering, which is what it sounds like.
- For extra credit there's an eightfold path which has so many right turns you'll end up back where you started, and again for good measure. So did you really move – or have to? Koan alert.

Quote from: BikeBuddha
My aim is to have a bike that I can just leave and perhaps never come back.

* No they're not.

The Knowledge
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2022 »
I've strayed far enough from my original mission statement, whatever it was, to feel comfortable simply posting this vintage instructional video.

The Knowledge
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2022 »
Quote from: 905
Dear Agony Guy,

Thank you so much for that video explaining women, always a fraught topic. Seeing as you're happy to go OT, I have something else that perhaps you can help me with. It concerns my inability to stay happy on most forums. I honestly don't know what's wrong with me.

This latest incident concerned The International Skeptics Forum. I won't bore you with the details; suffice it to say I am now a skeptic when it comes to their sense of humour.

You see, a post of mine was moved to an ominous board called Abandon All Hope. This sounded eerily familier to another place I've visited, and sure enough:

Quote from: Admin
The dumping ground for bickering and irrelevance! Generally these threads contain posts that are at best borderline inappropriate. Moved here they can at least serve some purpose: to help illustrate what is not appropriate.

Being called irrelevant didn't sting, as I know it to be untrue unless dealing with less than nimble minds, but what got my dander up was that this selfsame admin had enjoined newbies like me to

Quote from: admin
Have fun!

Surely this qualified?

It's a sad fact of life that some people wouldn't know fun, or relevance, if it smacked them in the face.

Take heart. It's better to know the score early on and avoid a teary discussion much later about the sunk costs fallacy. There's nothing wrong with you that a flounce won't cure.

The Knowledge
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2022 »
Quote from: Tangled Metal
An incident happened while cycling to work this morning that's a little out of character for me. Less an incident more a thought process that I'm a little embarrassed by.

Cycling down a hill to a T junction that most times I can speed through without slowing too much I spotted a pedestrian. "He's not going to cross is he?" I thought. Sure enough he was oblivious to everything around him. So I had to slow even nearly stop to let him through. He still didn't notice me!

That's when I got the mentality that some motorists get with cyclists. The "get out of my way!" attitude. Not my finest moment...

Quote from: pedestrian
This morning while walking to work at the lab I had a sudden flash of insight. It was as if my entire brain lit up at once, all synapses firing perfectly to help me conceptualise every last detail. Understandably preoccupied, I even crossed a street completely oblivous till I got to the other side! (Streets are a well known nexus of the mundane and the brilliant.) Thank goodness a cyclist who must have had to slow down for me did, despite my inattention, because after double-checking with my colleagues I realised that I have solved global warming. It was my finest moment.

The Knowledge
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2022 »
Quote from: slowster
Carradice Sold
Older Carradice bags used cotton duck with finer thread and a higher threads per inch count, as well as thicker leather for the straps. The fabric of the current bags is ~18 TPI, and for older bags it is ~22 TPI. It is that higher TPI count which makes the older bags hold their shape much better, which is an important attribute for the large capacity bags like the Camper and Super C saddlebag. I think the switch to the lower TPI count fabric has occurred within the last 10 years. The thickness of the leather straps on current bags is ~2.4mm, whereas on older bags it is ~3.6mm.

Post plucked from the tree of knowledge across the road as an example of the sort of detail work for which CUK denizens are renowned. I have nothing to add except I've always liked those squiggly marks.

Quote from:
The Spanish alphabet has 27 letters instead of the English 26, because it includes both n and ñ, each of which is pronounced differently.

Strikes me as something I should've already been aware of. Happy to pass it along if it fills a gap in your education as well.

Quote from: Wolfram Mathworld
In statistics, the tilde is frequently used to mean "has the distribution (of)," for instance, X∼N(0,1) means "the stochastic (random) variable X has the distribution N(0,1) (the standard normal distribution). If X and Y are stochastic variables then X∼Y means "X has the same distribution as Y.

That's probably enough about the tilde for today.

The Knowledge
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2022 »
Quote from: Disgusted of East Sussex
Dear Agony Guy,

It's been almost a year since my Enigma died. Is it time to let it go?

Grief runs on its own timetable.

Perhaps selling it could prove cathartic.

The Knowledge
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2022 »
Quote from: Dayglo
Introductions - tell us about yourself
I've recently got back into cycling after a 5 years lay off (too long, too long!) I have a wife and a black Labrador called Spot.

Favourite haunts are the Dales, and I'm the proud, recent owner of Mercian King of Mercia from 1962.

It's a beauty!

I know that's an old fashioned name for a dog, but still expected to see it mentioned in a recent story on popular names. No luck, though it seems that 'Boris' is in decline. According to Fitbark, Spot was originally a cat in the series of books that were used to teach children to read. See spot excrete Toxoplasma gondii.

Wikipedia tells me that "Offa was driven by a lust for power, not a vision of English unity; and what he left was a reputation, not a legacy." Having a bike named after him over a millennium later strikes me as something of a legacy. His wife Cynethryth was thought to be lugged. (citation needed)

I note with approval the downtube shifters, still fit for a king by my reckoning. Though I have no need of them, believe it or not I nearly fitted an old pair to one of my bikes just to have something to fiddle with – imagine the double take of anyone glancing at the drivetrain.