Sensory deprivation

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.

2 thoughts on “Sensory deprivation

  1. Glad it’s not just me 🙂 Our daughter (18) despairs of me; and my colleagues find it hilarious when, at the end of a meeting and we’re putting in dates for our next get-together, they’re all jabbing at smartphones while I’m writing in my diary…! I love technology, don’t get me wrong, but it does worry me that I’m just a user or operator and entirely at the mercy of forces I don’t understand!

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