An external health and safety inspection is to happen at work; the Great Tidying has commenced.

This has advantages. For one it’s the ideal excuse to tidy some of the areas I’ve been too busy to deal with up until now.

First on the list is the Bicycle Wheel Infestation. This has been a problem for a while because we have upwards of a hundred wheels of all shapes, sizes and states of repair. They’ve been piled up in the corner of the store and I’m fairly sure they breed;certainly there seemed to be more every time I looked. Looking for one for a bike or customer has until now meant clambering over the foothills while holding onto something to avoid falling over.

This clearly will not do so last week I set to with the intention of “dismantling” any that were not immediately usable, and hopefully finding a place to hang the rest.

The quickest way to dismantle wheels is the less than subtle approach of cutting the spokes. I’d lay a wheel flat on a fairly solid box, cut all the spokes, and drop them into the box under the wheel, put the hub in a basket for later, empty the wheel of leftover spoke bits, and dump the rims on a pile to be sold for scrap.

Of course this isn’t as neat and tidy as it sounds; spokes are under a lot of tension in a wheel, and have a habit of pinging out of the wheel to places unknown; the stubs then would then drop out of the rims, and leftover rim tape, it turns out, will stick to just about anything.

And of course it was just at this moment, with the room looking like it had witnessed the dismemberment of some steampunk leviathan that had been fighting back for the entire process; your correspondent centre stage wielding a large set of bolt croppers in a pair of orange gloves, size 41 boot on a half dismembered wheel, spokes flying into the distance, and unnoticed rim tape hanging off a sleeve like entrails, that the door opened and the boss arrived unannounced leading some local teachers on an impromptu tour…