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Analog GPS virus

November 5, 2010

I have a problem that I don’t quite understand.

I’ve been experiencing compass failure. At first I thought it was me failure. Then I thought it was just that my compass wasn’t level or that the main cross bar of Maru was disrupting it. So today I moved it up to the handle bars to match the position that I have my compass on Mabel.

On several occasions tonight, I turned, well, let’s say for example left while going east, meaning I should now be going north, and my compass suddenly read south. And then west. And then tonight twice I stopped to tap it and generally stare at it in confusion only to watch it slowly complete a full 360. I don’t get it. I mean if I was under a railway bridge or something I could understand, but since when do compasses just randomly spin slowly? It’s so frustrating, because last night on the way home from Yutenji (the 10 km ride which I ALWAYS get lost on, and each time in a new way) my compass was of absolutely no help. It’s like exorcist compass.

I suppose I could switch Maru’s and Mabel’s compasses to see if it is a single compass that is broken or if it is something about the frame. But I really can’t see how it would be as Mabel’s frame is more than double the mass of metal as Maru. Unless it has something to do with where the metal is in relation to the compass. Maybe Mabel has enough metal on all sides of the compass that when I turn, the bike itself doesn’t effect the compass. But then again, what kind of twit would design a bike compass that is thrown off by the bike frame?

Any ideas here? What on earth is going on?

My other bicycle fail this week involved me riding way across town only to realize I had forgotten my lock. This sucked. Most decidedly.  So, I dropped almost 50 bucks on a new bike lock at the shop across the street. I didn’t have a very good lock for Maru, so maybe this was some kind of meaningful event I will never fully realize that will mean that Maru doesn’t get stolen some day when she otherwise would have with a few simple bolt cuts. Right? It was worth it, right?

By the way, I am ridiculously in love with Maru. I cleaned her today a bit (not obsessively) but her wheels are still pretty sad and grey, so today on the way home, when I stopped into the second tesco’s looking for lemon curd for a much loved 8 year old, (to no avail alas) I bought some baking powder to shine her up tomorrow.

Pretty bike. Fast bike. Shiny bike. My bike.

Oh, oh, oh! I am also extremely proud to say that I rode 30km yesterday almost entirely on back roads. I managed to cross the city 2x without really dealing with more than the occasional big road to cross major rail lines.

I am also getting much better at riding on the road. Like with traffic. In a semi-commanding fashion. I started by tailgating other cyclists to see how they dealt with traffic here, because my biggest fear is that I will not instinctively follow conventions of cycling road manners that I perhaps don’t know are customary here. I have found so far that taxi drivers (which make up a large percentage of traffic here) are fairly reliable for giving me space on the road. I am still terrified of large trucks, and often if I see one behind me, make a quick transition to the sidewalk. I realize that is problematic, but until I get a sense of how they drive, I’m not risking getting in front of one to prove I deserve to be on the road too.

On Wednesday,  I was on the sidewalk waiting for a light to change (in a place where the bike lanes are on the sidewalk). A man pulled up to me on his shopping bike. He looked at me, looked at my Canadian kids license plate and said “Are you from Canada?” I thought it was terribly sweet. My bicycle jewelry is making me friends.

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