Author Topic: Cycling Conundrums  (Read 282 times)

Andre Jute

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Cycling Conundrums
« on: October 12, 2017, 10:26:28 PM »
"Winter is coming." — George R R Martin

"In the depths of winter I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer." — Albert Camus
Andre Jute
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John Saxby

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Re: Cycling Conundrums
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2017, 05:48:08 PM »
Then again, there's this from Gilles Vigneault, chansonnier national du Québec:
Quote
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tx7cgOkCSpA

A celebration of winter, and of our common humanity. Not a bike in sight, though :(   

Andre Jute

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Re: Cycling Conundrums
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2017, 10:38:27 PM »
Still, it inspired me to dig up my hew yuge collection of songs by that well-known cyclist Jacques Brel, playing now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MB58PuNYO8o

Not a bike in sight, though :(   

I  was staggered to learn from Jacob Bronowski that the Amerindians didn't have the wheel.
Andre Jute
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John Saxby

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Re: Cycling Conundrums
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2017, 12:45:06 AM »
Quote
the Amerindians didn't have the wheel

It took a while for these Technical Breakthroughs to be diffused across oceans and such -- the déroulement of the wheel in particular was no rapid affair. Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel is good on such things. OTOH, another response is, "Well, if they'd really needed the wheel, they'd have invented it, no?"

Brel's work was & remains splendid. Years ago, we went to a show at the National Arts Centre, where a canadienne chanteuse was doing a show of Brel's songs, which she sang in both English and French (and very well, too.)  As we were leaving, two Québecoises in front of us were complaining: "C'est affreux--les chansons de Brel dans la langue des affaires!" I said, helpfully, "Mais mesdames, c'est également la langue de Shakespeare et de Milton." They were not amused -- dunno if it was the content of what I had said, or my accent, or their embarrassment that un carré had overheard and understood them, but for a moment I thought we might have a linguistic dustup in the lobby.  Could I have shifted the conversation to Brel and cycling, Vigneault and anything, Rohloffs vs dérailleurs, whatever, to defuse things?
« Last Edit: October 14, 2017, 12:46:44 AM by John Saxby »

Andre Jute

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Re: Cycling Conundrums
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2017, 04:48:37 PM »
Quote
the Amerindians didn't have the wheel

It took a while for these Technical Breakthroughs to be diffused across oceans and such -- the déroulement of the wheel in particular was no rapid affair. Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel is good on such things. OTOH, another response is, "Well, if they'd really needed the wheel, they'd have invented it, no?"

The wheel was invented several places independently. But, if you look at some of these huge pre-Columbian empires in the Americas, you have to wonder how they managed to administer them by runner. The inventor of the bicycle would have been at least a demigod.

"Mais mesdames, c'est également la langue de Shakespeare et de Milton."

Once at high table in Cambridge, I corrected a venerable don who referred to George Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde as "English writers," adding patronizingly to me, "British, you know." I poured some port before I answered, and tasted it, to be certain of having everyone's attention. A deadly hush fell. Into it I said casually, sliding the cheeseboard towards me, "Surely you mean Irish, at best Anglo-Irish." There was the sound of expelled breath. A junior don tittered and ruined his academic career right there. The don I dared to put down in front of his peers never spoke to me again.

My French accent is perfect, as I am sure is yours. The problem with mine is that I learned it from a girl who grew up in the 16th Arrondissement, the home of the French elite, than which there is none snottier. So outside a very small part of Paris, I dare not speak French for fear of being thought patronizing and guillotined for it. Instead I speak loudly in English, which all French tradesmen understand.

Obligatory cycling content: The beautiful, talented and kind girl who taught me to speak vernacular French also gave me a canvas and leather and brass doctor's bag made for her grandfather by a fashionable bag maker (whose name now escapes me, dearly as I would love to drop it, having been assured by several fashion experts that it was historically significant). This must have been before the war or just after it, when doctors often went about on bicycles, because those tan straps that you see wrap around the side bars of the bicycle rack and buckle up individually so that the bag is firmly attached at four points. Nothing "quick release" about it, but pretty safe at a time when a doctor's pills and tinctures would have been packed in glass bottles rather than plastic. Years later, the lining excited another lady I knew, a couturier, because it too is historically significant, by another French artist whose name now escapes me. (Duh.) Anyhow, it makes a super rack top bag for town and country bicycle.

Two photos, one of the bag open so you can see the lining and the brass mechanism, including a finger-pull and two corner flip locks to hold the frame together if the doctor should overstuff his bag. They don't make them like that any more.

I think it is rather grand that the bag, having started on a bicycle, rather than languishing in a museum, should again be in service on a bicycle.


« Last Edit: October 14, 2017, 11:40:52 PM by Andre Jute »
Andre Jute
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jags

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Re: Cycling Conundrums
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2017, 09:41:47 PM »
This threah is way beyond my little brain but im sure enjoying it  ;) well done on correcting that s.obby don Andre only a genius like yourself could make him feel like a twat ;D

energyman

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Re: Cycling Conundrums
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2017, 09:30:14 AM »
I would have invented the wheel but never got round to it...........

jags

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Re: Cycling Conundrums
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2017, 11:21:41 AM »
 ;D ;D

Andre Jute

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Re: Cycling Conundrums
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2017, 07:35:25 PM »
I would have invented the wheel but never got round to it...........

So much to do, so little time.
Andre Jute
Blog "Kissing the Blarney"NetsiteWork