Saturday, 1 May 2010

Shakkan-hō
or The Click-Stand Debacle

Of all the really important things to think about.. Click-Stands are a brilliant bit of kit. They are used to prop up your bicycle when stationary and are an elegant and simple solution to the design flaws of bike kick-stands, namely the weight they need to be to support a bike from a low center of gravity and their inability to cope with uneven ground.

Because Isla and I liked these lightweight beauties so much, we decided to order some from the States where their inventor Tom Nostrant makes them.

I decided to post a transcript of our communications as Tom is such a nice guy and our whole Click-Stand adventure might be of use to (and amuse too) some..

**********************************

From: Pietro Pavese 
To: Tom Nostrant
Subject: Non USA Clickstand Order
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2010 10:44:40 +0100

Hello Tom,

my girlfriend and I are going to be cycling from Brighton, UK to Japan and we have been told the Click-Stand is a necessary bit of equipment for our extended tour. Kris told us about it in the first place and he should know since he is using one for a round-the-worlder!

Anyway, I would like to order 2 Click-Stand Max for our bikes.

Here are the dimensions:

Height of your bike: "contact point" to ground (in inches): 24
Did you measure straight to the ground with your bike upright?: Yes, straight down with bike vertical, not slanted.
Cradle Size: typically top tube diameter (in inches): 1 1/8 (but brake and shifter cables run underneath the tube and add about 1/4 inch to the bottom.. Do we need a bigger diameter cradle?)

Would you like this made in 5 segments?: No
Do you have bar-end shifters?: No
Would you like 3 extra Brake-Bands? (3 are already included).: No
What Colour?: Black

My PayPal email address is xxxxxxxx@yahoo.it

Also, we are leaving on May the 8th.. Do you think the stands will be here on time? If not, you could send them to my momma in Italy, since we are going to go via her house on our way East.

Anyway, here is our address:

Isla & Pietro

good try
but no prize! 
Hove BN3 1EH
East Sussex
United Kingdom

Thank you

Pietro

**********************************

From: Tom Nostrant  
To: Pietro Pavese  
Subject: RE: Non USA Clickstand Order
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2010 07:49:36 -0700 (15:49 BST)

Hi Pietro,

That is a wonderful undertaking. I will enter your order and send a PayPal invoice ASAP. I would like to help out with the cost, so the order confirmation and the invoice will differ. I can have the Click-Stands in the mail by Monday April 19th. That leaves 2 1/2 weeks for it to arrive. Most often it takes a week. I will let you know when they ship. Will you be posting about your journey on your blog?

Cheers, and good luck,

Tom

**********************************

From: Pietro Pavese
To: Tom Nostrant
Subject: RE: Non USA Clickstand Order
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2010 21:28:11 +0100
 

Hi Tom,

great, 2 1/2 weeks should be plenty enough and thank you for the helping out with the costs.

Indeed we will be posting on a blog, you can find it at http://www.oiooio.cc (or click on "my girlfriend and I" on my last mail ;-). At the moment is still a bit sparce, but I should add a few thoughts soon. Kriss' blog is also worth a look at http://riding-east.blogspot.com.

Thank you for your wonderful product, we'll e-mail you some photos of its use in some remote locations.

Pietro

********************************** Uh Oh, Volcano!

From: Tom Nostrant 
To:
Pietro Pavese
Subject: Click-Stand
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2010 16:11:39 -0700 (Tue, 00:11 BST)
 

Hi Pietro,

I just mailed your Click-Stands. Now I'm wondering about the flight disruptions into the UK. I have my fingers crossed. Keep me posted.

Thanks,

Tom

**********************************

From: Pietro Pavese 
To: Tom Nostrant
Subject: Re: Click-Stand
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2010 22:10:47 +0100
 

Tom,

apparently flights should resume tonight, so hopefully the Click-Stands should arrive on time. I'll let you know when they are here

Thanks again

Pietro

********************************** This is where it starts getting funny

From: Pietro Pavese 
To: Tom Nostrant
Subject: Re: Order Shipping Notice
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2010 12:46:44 +0100
 

Tom,

the Click-Stands have arrived. I really like them, manufacture quality, weight, packaging.

Unfortunately I made a major mistake. I have no idea how this happened as I measured everything twice, three times even. Then, by the time I got to my computer and typed the order I completely cocked up and wrote the wrong height for the bikes. They are 29 inches, not 24. Dunno if this was a typo or a momentary lapse of reason, but it happened. I was wondering if you could send us two extra segments to make up for the height difference. Of course I will pay all expenses to get them to us. The best place where to send them would be at my mom's in Italy at this point as we are leaving in 1 week and I doubt the segments would make it on time.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Best Regards,

Foolish Pietro

********************************** The mystery revealed

From: Pietro Pavese 
To: Tom Nostrant
Subject: Re: Order Shipping Notice
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2010 13:48:17 +0100
 

Tom,

this one might make you laugh:

It looks like I took a measurement with a measuring stick which belonged to Isla's dad (a cabinet maker). I have now learned that this beautiful vintage object has the peculiarity of displaying the Japanese Shakkan-hō units of measure opposite the metric side. Being used to the metric system (I'm Italian of origin) I looked at the scale opposite and assumed it was displaying inches.

I know, how silly of me to not realize. The Japanese "sun" (寸) is exactly 3.03cm, fairly close to the 2.54cm of an inch to an eye not expecting some funny units. I guess I must have assumed that since 1 inch equals around 3cm the scale looked about right. Foolish me, the end measurement was out by a good 4.5 inches...

So really, what I needed was a Click-Stand long 72.7 metric cm or 28 5/8 imperial/US inches or 24 Shakkan-hō sun (also equivalent to 21.8 Chinese Imperial cun, 34.9 Thai nieu, or 2.357e-17 parsecs). Maybe you should direct any other foolhardy customer of yours to this site (http://www.convert-me.com/en/convert/length).

Best regards,

a bemused if slightly befuddled Pietro

**********************************

From: Tom Nostrant 
To:
Pietro Pavese
Subject: RE: Order Shipping Notice
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2010 07:13:30 -0700 (15:13 BST)
 

Hi Befuddled Pietro,

I know how to make you feel better. You are not the first to be fooled by the same ruler. A surveyor from Australia, who measures for a living, received a short Click-Stand because he measured in Chinese Cuns. The real culprit is my not having metrics on my site. I will calculate what length an additional piece would have to be to fix your Click-Stands. If that wouldn't make them too goofy I will send that and new bungee cord. As punishment you will have to untie the cradles and feet and retie them. That would not be too difficult, but does promote swearing. If adding a different length fifth piece would make the stands look too goofy I will send eight new, and longer segments. You still get to untie and retie.

Do let me know your mother' name and address, and when you will be there. All of this will be worked out in the end. I have been looking in on your blog, this must be very exciting.

Ciao,

Tom

**********************************

From: Pietro Pavese 
To: Tom Nostrant

Subject: RE: Order Shipping Notice
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2010 22:07:23 +0100

Tom,after having had a look at the Click-Stands we've got, I think an extra 5 5/8 imperial/US inch section (talking about the black exposed bit, the whole length of the section being 7 5/8 inch) should be enough to prolong the stand to its optimal size (actually 1 inch too long, but I don't think that should be too much of a problem?). My momma's address is:

Paola Frezza Pavese
xxx xxxxxx xxxx 
16124 Genova
Italy

To add to the general hilarity of the whole situation: although I am a tree surgeon by training, to raise funds for this trip I spent the whole of the last year working as a surveyor. I think this famous ruler we are all using is something passed on from surveyor to surveyor in an endless cycle of ridicule. Only by making yourselves look silly, tut us our elders, you can truly learn about the spice of life ;-)

Also, isn't it ironic that I should use a Japanese measuring stick, when the mythical destination for our trip is indeed the land of the rising sun?

Anyway, to recap: in order to make our Click-Stands complete we could do with 2(two) sections of 143mm length (5 5/8 inches) (Black bit) [[[[or 194mm (7 5/8 inch) full length]]]]. If you send me an invoice I will immediately pay you through Pay-Pal. Thank you very much for your time and understanding.

Best Regards,

humbled Pietro

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Pietro and Isla,
Our cycle travel has well finished.
You can find a lovely photo of us in the "free" camping (without shower):
http://dl.free.fr/rRaLVezQ4
Thank you for the italian coffee

Good luck for your travel and don't take the wrong way....
The French tandems team (Pierre, Aurore, Coralie and Jean Christophe)

Anonymous said...

Ciao vecchio,
sei proprio un vecchiaccio pedalatore di 33 anni come Jeeeesuss... ti auguro però miglior fortuna, non metterti in croce!
Happy birthday!!!
All the best...

Bernyblues

Grace said...

brilliant! Giggling my head off and what a lovely guy Tom is! Looking forward to reading on and finding out if you got them and if they worked (oh and how many times did you swear doing the untie and retie?).....much love xxx

Chris Christoforou said...

Hey Super Shiny Adventures! ~ been thinking of you guys on many occassions, wondering how your doing~flowing~enjoying!!! wishing you many more super shiny magical fantastical days cycling, adventuring, seeing, discovering and enjoying the magic of the moment :) Super Positivos, Big Love, Chris xx

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