At the bike shop this morning, the technician was talking to the guy ahead of me about his bike. “I see you always ride in the top gears”, he said. “You might want to try to use your gears more evenly.”
Later I asked him about this and he said yes, it’s obvious when people are favoring a particular gear or two. “You can tell by the teeth,” he said. “They get worn down.”
I remarked that this is just how archaeologists figure out which prehistoric cultures had rough, grainy diets, requiring a lot of chewing. You can tell by the teeth.
This being Oxford, my bike technician understood and appreciated the analogy.
[15 March 2013]
When I first got to Stanford in ’04, I bought a used bike from the bike shop. The salesperson made a reference to knot theory when describing how to use the bike lock. I thought, “Welcome to Stanford.”