I acquired various things today:

1. A pair of hipster sunglasses, donated to me by a kind lady whose house I picked up from first thing this morning. She was actually in the shower when I arrived, but she rushed out in a towel to give me the package, and took pity on me when she saw how bright the sun was, so ran back into the house to get me the glasses. They aren’t the sort of thing I’d usually wear, but I’m rather bowled over nonetheless.

2. A new (also rather hipster) black chain, plus chainring and sprocket. The bike’s been making a horrible noise for weeks, and I’d assumed (grumpily) that the £90 Phil Wood bottom bracket, which I’d fitted to replace the cheap Miche ones that kept breaking, had worn out, even though they’re supposed to last at least 10 years. And the constant grind-grind-grind-CLUNK-grind-grind has been ruining my riding experience, and making me worry that the bike’s going to fall apart under me (which means I ride much more slowly, and am grumpier, etc. etc.). But as it turned out, it was the chain. I refitted it all only a few months ago, but of course, I’m doing many more miles than I ever did before. I still haven’t got used to this. But now, of course, the bike’s gone back to being sleek and silent and silky, and I had a lovely fast ride home – even the potholes seem shallower now. (The bad news, of course, was that the repairs ended up costing more than a new Phil Wood bottom bracket would have. But never mind.)

Hipster chain

The third thing I acquired was a swollen head, as a result of being interviewed for a Guardian podcast – but more about that another day!


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