A slug of moulded plastic, trailing a single wire.
A simple (so they blithely tell me) sensor
That, somehow, feels the thousandth-of-a-second tug
From a passing pea-sized magnet
And from that infinitesimal impulse
Calculates my ground-speed
And telegraphs the blessed motor
All stop or full ahead.
Until it fails.
And in that moment,
Heart in shoes,
I am crushingly aware
That I have no idea
How any of this works:
I cannot make, mend or even comprehend
The least of all the myriad devices
That make my world go round:
No wheels, axles, cogs or clues;
They go about their work
Silent, motionless, inscrutable,
Leaving me on the roadside, wondering
Exactly which of us
Is truly in control.
Suffered my first away-from-home system failure on the e-mtb yesterday (error code 503 means a speed sensor issue, for any interested Bosch Performance CX users out there). Fortunately it happened a) fairly close to the main road; b) less than four miles from the bike shop; and c) during opening hours. All painlessly resolved thanks to Danny and his excellent crew; but a reminder of our profound, unthinking reliance on technology that we (or at least I) increasingly can’t fix ourselves, and don’t really understand. N.