My friend Graeme went into hospital for an operation, only to be told that he has picked up an infection (in the hospital when he was there for tests last week) and has to be on an IV anti-biotic drip for a week. Fuckin' hard for anybody to have to deal with that.
Bicycle design http://bicycledesign.net/ post a piece on Archibald Sharp's epic treatise, including the direct line to the mother lode. Where to download this wonderful book and many others in a similar vein, for free. Big props to James T and Miles. You were a highlight in the week. Thanks guys.
We (Di and I) are deeply involved in the design of the first three "xtrabags" (trademark applies) for the xtrabike (well, two for the xtrabike and one for the 29r). Di is precisely 10 times more precise than me, I do the centimetre thing whereas she wants it in millimetres ). These are frame bags for the long haul, made of ripstop canvas with take no prisoners zips, they should outlast even a good steel frame. (Not for use on carbon frames, the mere sound of that zip closing could crack that pretty frame ;)
Another big prop to TopCopy in Claremont, Cape Town (Ray, Leila and Jeremy). Nothing was too much trouble in getting Sharps' classic to them via yousendit.com, printed, bound and ready on time. The marvel of modern technology; Download a 20MB file of a digitized 19th century book from the other side of the world, send it to TopCopy via yousendit. They print it and bind it and two good friends make sure it gets to Graeme in hospital. He's blown away.
I proceed to greedily download a host of other 19th century cycling books thanks to BikeDesign, including BOTH volumes of Thomas Stevens "Around the World on a Bicycle". If you haven't done so already, do so now. And that includes you, Steven Thomas. These 1100-odd pages help put things in perspective. Around the world on an "Ordinary". In the 1880's. No kidding.
Xtrabag design now 99% complete, final templates done and Di and I are on the same page regarding angles and millimetres...looking good. We may yet turn this into a business, the only other person I know of making frame bags is in Alaska, so we shouldn't tread on each other's toes too much. Anyway, his snow will have melted by the time he gets down here.
Then a call from Graeme to say that he's home tonight..wtf?...the hospital has run out of the anti-biotic needed to deal with the infection he picked up in said hospital. Welcome to South Africa, to the land of the World Cup 2010, to the land of fat thieving greedy politicians, to the land that runs out of medicines at it's training hospitals. Fuck these thieving swine.
Ok, so that's now out, so I pull out the singlespeed corkscrew and get to write this all up........this is for a friend up North where the snow only stays slushy for a very short while, until it freezes solid!
A good Merlot and a brilliant corkscrew.
For many reasons this has been a week from hell, but after it's all over, there's light at the end of the tunnel.