Saturday, 31 March 2012

Bikes, knees, cows and Katie

This blog should be renamed Conrad Walks Not.
The  pre-op examination for my knee replacement was as far back as 7th February. I reckon the relevance of that will be considerably devalued by the time I get to the op. I rang the waiting list people and was told it would be unlikely before May. In the meantime the other knee is becoming just as painful, and I have no doubt I will be booked in for that as soon as possible after the first one. It looks like this year is going to be a write-off.
Fortunately cycling is not a problem, and I have bought a new “hybrid” bike (Claud Butler Voyager) to replace the Giant Terrago mountain bike, and I hope to investigate the possibility of “cycle backpacking”, but not until I have had the op or ops, followed, I suppose, by weeks and weeks of rehabilitation. So I reckon I have now got a month ahead when I can go out for day rides and try to develop muscle build up and stamina required for cycling.

_____________________________________________________


Katie update:

KATIE MEETS THE COWS:



4 comments:

Lorenzo da Ponte said...

Claud Butler is hardly an evocative brand name (I mean, who gets to be called Claud these days?) yet CB bikes were being sold during my schooldays in the late forties. I am deliberately not Googling the name because dates about a lean-to shack in one of the Manchester suburbs would immediately kill the faint interest I have in these historical words; I'd rather speculate. Once I suppose CB was a bike racer (I see him with his greased hair combed straight back from his forehead) and the knowledge of his exploits at some time underwent a mythical transmogrification like that of a femur claimed to be part of a martyred saint. Later this local holiness became a commercial identifier to the point where I was briefly tempted before transferring my allegiance after seeing a 1949 movie, A Boy, A Girl and A Bike (about a cycling club based in one of the northern towns and starring Honor Blackman) which offered new temptation in the form of a racing bike where the rear brake and gear-change cables were daringly routed inside the frame. I should say this bike eventually proved to be something of a deus ex machina in that it was thrown from the top of Malham Cove in a vain attempt to hide criminal evidence. Sorry if I've spoiled the story for you.

It's not so much that the CB brand has survived since bikes, even more than British Leyland cars, have always been ripe for badge engineering. Rather that - dull as it is - the label remains so firmly fixed in my mind. Perhaps it's the phrase's very dullness that has ensured this. A sequence of events of the kind that causes marketing men to go out and cut their throats rather than looking for an explanation in Proust. For memory is beyond marketing.

I see Katie is on a par in some respects with the cow since both presently rely on the tongue as a tool of exploration. Soon Katie will be using her eyes, ears and nose more skilfully and her tongue will assume a more normal role as a human component. Whereas the cow - unless visited by an atypical surge of Darwinian development - will be left inefficiently exploring the world with that purple flap that won't, in the end, provide sufficient info to keep it out of the abattoir. So it goes, said Kurt Vonnegut.

The Crow said...

That's a sturdy looking bike, Conrad. I haven't ridden one in too many years, but am exploring the possibility of letting go of my SUV, a real gas-hog and expensive to maintain at 19+ years old, in favor of Crow-powered transport. There is an elderly man in town who has rigged up his bike with a large two-wheeled basket behind the rear tire/tyre in which he carries all sorts of goods.

It appears Katy is making the connection, mentally, between the cow's huge tongue and hers in that last photo.

Sir Hugh said...

L da P - As I researched the purchase of The Voyager, I was also smitten with those evocative names from my youth. I think Claud Butler has been mopped up by Falcon Cycles, but amongst others, CB is used as their flagship brand name. Although this is a British based company the products are predictably manufactured abroad.

Your presumptious sketch of CB reminded me of a poster in a very good cafe attached to a bakery in Broughton-in-Furness in the Lake District, which majored on catering for serious cyclists. The poster was of another evocative name - Fausto Coppi, and from my memory his appearance seems to fit fairly well with your description.

After narrowing down the choice I was left with two bikes of virtually the same specification, but different manufacturers. One was called The Urban, and the other The Voyager - I just couldn’t bear the thought of being seen riding something called The Urban - it was a no-brainer.

The location of the Katie/cow pics will be the subject of my next post - as I started to include details in this reply I decided it was good enough to for piece in its own right.

The Crow - I can recommend cycling, but I am finding a gradual reintroduction is required to build up the appropriate muscle power and stamina. It is certainly more strenuous than walking, but at least it is getting me out and about in a fashion that still allows for close connection with nature - in fact it is a great way of seeing wildlife because one approaches more silently than on foot. When I have been doing my walks or climbing mountains in Scotland I always aimed to be the first down the track in the morning, before any body else had disturbed the scene.

I hope you convert to human powered two wheels and look forward to hearing more.

Lorenzo da Ponte said...

I once met - and almost interviewed - Fausto Coppi at Herne Hill which, prior to our enhanced awareness of Islam, would once have been called the track cyclist's Mecca.