26 March 2009
My grandfather never bought any new clothes in the last 15 years of his life, because he worried he wouldn't get the wear out of them.
I sort of know what he means. I feel quite good when something wears out on my bike because it shows I've been using it. Bike shops doing my service must think it odd when I'm so enthusiastic about replacing worn parts. Chain, cranks, cassette? Brilliant! Replace the lot! As Lionel Bart didn't write in Oliver, Wear is Love.
So I was quietly satisfied yesterday. At the Bricklayer's Arms roundabout I felt something go ping as I clattered over a pothole. It was one of the stays of my saddle snapping (right). I've never had that happen before.
Metal fatigue, presumably: that invisible accumulation of stress which one day causes a catastrophic breakdown. Which sounds a bit close to home. Perhaps I'd better go out and buy some new clothes.