If Seat was sending me regular post cards letting me know how it is getting on (It can’t text me, it doesn’t have fingers. It writes post cards by means of bouncing a pen on its fine plastic coating) it would probably have sent the following this week.
“Having a great time, went to Bangkok. it’s so cool but really hot. Thought I was in Burma but have just been told I am in Myanmar. Met nice girl called Aung San Suu Kyi. She said she used to live in London, do you know her? Also met a bloke digging holes in the road and looking for a Spitfire. Totally bonkers. Off to China next I think. See you in April.”
So Seat is obviously having a good time. I just hope that it isn’t getting involved in anything it shouldn’t be.
There’s a tiny little problem with Little Project. That’s tiny little as in “How the bloody hell do I get around this?”. I have been working on the principle that as long as the frame is straight (it is) and as long as everything broken can be replaced then there will eventually be a satisfying moment when I stand back and think “That’s it”. To go back to the 1940’s and to quote Rick Blaine, “Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday”.
Here is the problem – The rear brake is activated by a little pedal on a spline that passes through the frame and pulls a long connecting rod that pulls a lever on the brake plate that opens up the brake shoes so that they rub against the brake drum and slow down the wheel. All of this is fine (or replaceable) except that the spline that passes through the frame has become one with the frame. Their union is such that even copious amounts of WD40 and the application of my biggest hammer will not persuade them to separate.
This leaves the rather serious matter of Little Project not being able to stop in a timely manner. In itself this isn’t a problem. I suspect that even at top speed, dragging my flip-flopped feet on the floor would bring the bike to a halt within the required stopping distance and there is always the front brake, but I don’t think that the most friendly MOT (if you’re not in the UK, google it) inspector is going to pass it.
There is no way that I can hacksaw the bits off, and I don’t think it will be possible to drill it out (it is 3/4 inch in diameter). The best idea I have at the moment is to take a blowtorch to the frame and see if I can heat it enough that it expands and breaks the rusted seal. Second best idea is to do the same to the spline with the freeze spray I use when fixing broken water pipes. There is currently no plan C.
That is what I aim to be doing on Sunday. Any other (sensible) suggestions would be welcomed, cherished and merit a mention on the Heroes and Villains page (top right of your screen unless you are on a smart phone, could be anywhere in that case).
So until Sunday afternoon, I’ll finish off with another bit of bastardised Casablanca..
“I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of Little Project don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you’ll understand that. Now, now… Here’s looking at you kid.”