Friday, 18 September 2009

Laws of Physics Revision

Take a look at the latest piece of kit I purchased for my trusty steed. Classic black, compact, multi-functional, reduced by 70% in the shop. I had to have it. A compass, coupled with a delightful sounding 'ding' bell; what's to dislike? The original price of 6.99 was knocked down to 2.49, it was mine!
Fitting took all of two minutes and off I pedalled; what's this, a rougue unit? The direction indicator slew wildly from North to South, at times inexplicably spinning - directionless - like a dog in a butcher's shop.
I should explain at this point that my trusty steed is a classic British roadster, a Humber Sovereign dating from 1951/1952. A distinguished looking upright bicycle, much more suited to York commuting than a day-glo mountain bike.
It differs from a mountain bike in so many ways. 25 fewer gears, classic black enamel, 1950s brakes. It has drawbacks I'll admit but the practicalities of it outweigh the shortfalls. I wouldn't swap it for the daily commute, perhaps at the weekend, but don't let her know.
Back to my problem, why does the compass refuse to settle down and direct me? One word will instantly strike chords with the more scientific of you: aluminium! Modern bikes are mostly constructed of aluminium, a non-magnetic material which does not attract magnetic things like compass needles. My bike is made of good sturdy British steel. Oh well, anyone like to buy a classic black, combination bell-compass?

1 comment:

Phillip Donnelly said...

As strange as it is, the sight of your compass sparked off an idea, a germ of a story, which has matured throughout the day, and now takes the following form:
So, be careful what you post on the internet. Who knows what might come of it?
Oh, by the way,love the line about a directionless dog in a butcher's shop, and love the bike too!