The Old Seat Post on My Pugeot Ten Speed

February 9, 2012 at 8:47 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The seat post on my bike was too short. It was only about 8 inches long, or less, and I needed about one and one-half feet. The shorter seat post meant I couldn’t extend my legs when I pedalled the bike. Plus, pedalling, my knees would rise up too high–above my shoulders, which were bent over the low-curved handlebars.

So I took it to Marcos at Champion Bicycles to see if he could give me a longer seat post, but he said he couldn’t. He said they don’t make that model of bike anymore, and it’s foreign anyway.

The thought of selling the bike became the next step in the process. How could I keep it–as nearly ideal as it was, its imperfection, sole defect, seat height, destined it for an exchange with a lesser-but-more-serviceable replacement, maybe something made in China.

Then one day I walked by Innovation Bike Shop on 106th and Manhattan Avenue and explained the situation to the owner. He told me he could replace the seat post Marcos couldn’t replace. I should just bring the bike by one day when I had the time and he would do it. By now I had begun contemplating just throwing my Pugeot away, leaving it to the hands of the scavenging night walkers who pick through the garbage lining the streets early in mornings on Mondays and Thursdays. My bike would lay out there among the broken furniture and appliances, the bursting green plastic bags and all the other refuse passersby had just thrown onto the pile, carelessly, meaninglessly.

The idea behind a seat is providing an optimal position from which to conduct an activity, whether it’s driving a car or a bicycle, working at a desk, or attending a meeting. The success–or even, the possibility–of conducting the activity is governed by the quality of the seat. For example, it would be virtually impossible to play a game of cards while seated on a moving ferris wheel or golf cart.

Likewise, the bike seat has to facilitate the use of the legs to pedal (and step down, and stand), and seeing ahead with the eyes.

Once I came out from work at Weil on a summer afternoon a few years ago, to find the seat on my bicycle had been stolen. I had to ride to a bike shop for a new seat with only the barrel of the post insert under my heinie. It was nearly impossible to ride at all. In the same way, all actions are facilitated by the seat of understanding or awareness that one has. One can perform some actions badly, or else with great difficulty, without the conjunctive awareness of the whole activity, but more than likely, one shouldn’t or can’t perform actions at all without the proper understanding of the situation.

Without the understanding of the need for a proper seat, I never would have gone to thte correct mechanic — I’d already been told it was impossible. Also, Leo at Innovation had to have the proper orientation to know how to adapt the seat post he had in stock to the barrel insert on the bicycle to make the new seat possible.

So just as the proper seat is necessary to perform an activity, so is the proper understanding required in all human action to perform and to grasp the nature of the action.


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