“How many different pairs of those things do you need?” It’s difficult to explain the necessity of owning numerous pairs of bib-shorts to someone who isn’t a cycle person. Babies wear ‘bibs’ … and for good reason Lycra vests will probably never become high street fashion. When the vest is connected to a pair of skin-tight shorts they don’t really leave much to the imagination of an unfortunate work colleague walking in as you are getting undressed. It’s generally best not to turn the shorts inside out and ask whether they think the padded seat looks a bit like a spongey sanitary pad. I can only think of one other sport where this type of clothing is deemed appropriate.
Anyway, it turns out the opening statement is a ‘rhetorical question’ and therefore doesn’t require an intelligent response. I often ask rhetorical questions to other road users on my rides to work, such as “HOW did you fail to see me when I’m dressed head to toe in fluorescent yellow with three flashing lights attached to my bike?”
However this week I finally needed to find out how many pairs of those things I own as our washing machine decided to go ‘ka-splut’ causing a flood in the kitchen. We took the stricken beast outside to empty the remaining water – this was when we noticed a few things fall out from the inside. It was promptly dragged into the man-cave for closer examination. Removing the lid and looking inside revealed that the things which had fallen out were some kind of dampers / retainers to restrict the movement of the drum during spinning. Closer inspection by Ms BikeVCar (using the headlight of my bike) found water was leaking from a split in the drum which we identified as a terminal illness – the poor machine had shaken itself to death. Standing back she stated that our garage floor looked like a crime scene and rushed off to get her phone to send her mum a ‘funny’ photo. In the intervening moments before she returned I grabbed some chalk to outline the deceased machine. This is the weird kind of fun we have apparently resorted to as a result of living in the sticks with no tv to entertain us.
Back to the original point – we now have no washing machine, whose primary purpose was to clean my smelly bib-shorts from my daily commuting. I’ve currently worn two pairs and have four pairs left in the cupboard before the lack of a washing machine becomes a major issue and results in us having to buy a new one … or worse, having to wash clothes by hand which is apparently what they did in prehistoric times before the washing machine was invented.
With regards to the old machine, I think that doing a Graeme Obree and removing its high-speed bearings to fit to my bike might be a step too far.