For some reason, I decided recently that I needed a carrier on the back of my bicycle. I thought it was much easier to carry the raincoat and other gear in a pannier instead of a backpack. I had a look in the bike shops and carriers were not particularly cheap. I mentioned the matter to my fellow senior cyclist Mike. “No problem, Terry”, he said. “I have a spare one at home I’ll bring it along.” I thanked him and sure enough next ride he turned up with a very good quality second-hand bike carrier. I offered to pay for it but Mike told me he had purchased it for $2 at a Red Cross shop. So I shouted him a coffee instead.
Mike told me that he bought a lot of his cycling gear from Red Cross and similar shops. As I am looking for a few bits and pieces I might start frequenting these Op shops too. If you are one of the very few Grownups readers who admit to frequenting such places, and on a visit, you see two elderly men dressed in hi-viz vests and baggy shorts fighting over a rubber inner tube – you will know that it is Mike and me (or possibly Mike and I). If we are wearing our cycle helmets – just keep your distance as it might have turned nasty.
Just before we started our weekly Saturday morning ride Mike, and another of our members Larry, a clever engineering type (all names have been changed to protect the not so innocent) fiddled with the carrier to see whether it would fit my bike. It needed a few adjustments. As the other cyclists were growing restless, I assured Mike and Larry I would be able to fit it later. They expressed doubt at my ability to do so. In common with most members of society, they do not have a high opinion of the skill base of lawyers, retired or otherwise. I told the assembled group that “I was not entirely useless.” The general response was that I rated myself too highly.
After our morning ride, coffee, lunch out with MDW, and a much-needed afternoon nap, I set to work to install the bike carrier. I had worked out that adding two small metal plates to the end of the carrier would solve the problem and had purchased a couple from my favourite hardware shop while out at lunch. I was able to fit the carrier quite easily. I was pleased at my success, particularly as I had performed the task without first watching a You Tube video. I have recently discovered that there are You Tube videos that show you how to do anything you might ever contemplate ranging from brain surgery to painting your nails. I have learnt how to do many totally useless things from watching such videos. They can become seriously addictive.
Looking at my newly installed bike carrier I wondered whether I should get on the band wagon and put up a You Tube ‘how to’ video. Have you ever noticed how most of these ‘how to’ videos are done by insufferable know-all young people? They make things look far too easy and often the commentary leaves much to be desired. There must be an unmet demand for a laid back type of slow paced video aimed for the older market. Surely there are thousands of Grownups out there wanting to know how to install a bike carrier. I started to think it through and began to see some inherent difficulties. I realised there were a number of practical issues I would need to overcome. Such as:
- How do I stop my Irish cap falling off my head every time I bend over the bike wheel?
- How many times would picking up the cap from the garage floor and dusting it off be too many and distracting?
- How do I stop my glasses falling off my nose when I bend over the above-mentioned bike wheel?
- Can I multi task successfully i.e. screw up nuts, while dropping screw driver, hat and glasses as well as trying to stop bike falling over – all at the same time as giving a detailed commentary
- Is hitting the bike carrier with a hammer to make it fit best practice?
On second thoughts, I don’t think I would feel comfortable being a You Tube ‘how to’ video star, I’ll give it a miss this time.
By Terry Carson.
You can read more from Terry on GrownUps here.