Saturday, January 12
Now that I'm back at Cambridge, there were a few things I had to get done; repair my bike was the first one. As soon as I got into the city centre, I headed straight for Halfords but clearly fate had other plans for me - on the way, I was cruelly sidetracked into a secondhand bookstore and emerged fifteen minutes later with a book on philosophy and a copy of Luminous (which I already have, but it's going to make a good present for someone - speaking of which, there were discount copies of The Business and Look to Windward there - I predict that other friends of mine will be receiving them in the near future...)
At Halfords, I searched around in vain for some kind of spanner/wrench apparatus to tighten the brakes on my bike and eventually a shop assistant came to my help.
"So, exactly what part of the brakes do you want to tighten?"
I looked at the bike he was gesturing towards. I didn't really recognise much on it, and vaguely waved my arm around the back tire.
"Uh, well, this stuff here."
He peered in for a closer look.
"Those are the gears."
"Ah. Well, actually, it's probably this stuff over here."
"Ahh, that makes a lot more sense."
I nodded sagely. It did.
So I got back to my room with some neat little multiple size wrench and messed about with the nuts and bolts of the thing. A bit of trial and error later and I managed to tighten the brakes up to a decent degree, at which point I realised that the brakes weren't the problem, it was just that the tires were completely worn down.
I could tell that this was going to be a long day. I cycled into town, taking care to realise that I had a pretty long braking distance, and got to a bike repair workship. The guy there looked at the back tire and said,
"Yeah, that tire looks pretty desperate. Although the tube is still fine."
I hmmed thoughtfully in agreement, and we sorted out a time for me to pick the bike up. Went to college hall for lunch to find that there were some malcontents doing a play rehearsal in there, picked up a sandwich instead and here I am now (give or take a few hours and some unimportant events).
Anyway, in recent days the lack of a computer has driven home to me the importance of having a decent backup of all my current files and music - in fact, the thing that I miss most about my computer isn't the lack of instant internet access (I can get that easily by walking a couple of minutes to the computer room) - it's the lack of music. So I've been looking around for a good hard-drive based portable mp3 player* and have narrowed the choice down to some Archos model (tip: if you're going to buy one, do it from their website, which is quite considerably cheaper than anywhere else). The problem is, they're releasing a super-duper new model this month with video recording facilities, full colour LCD, etc etc. As usual though, the cost is the problem.