Dee square peg don't go in dee round hole, and dee bicycle don't go in dee biggest box in dee China Post office, and if it don't go in dee box, dee China Post won't post it.
Lost? I was. Trying to ship home my Bike Mark I, the famous steed that took me from Exeter to Ulan Bator before being swiped by a passing horseman, I had reached an impasse.
The sequence of events then went like this:
Marin Bikes in London ring me up and offer a new bike.
I say yes please.
Four or five other bike companies ring me up and offer me new bikes.
I am tempted to say yes please four or five times.
The Marin bike is sent out to me in Mongolia.
The Chief Constable (for it is he) of Ulan Bator CID rings me up and says "we have found your bike".
I now have two bikes in Ulan Bator.
But only one pair of legs.
I ride the Marin across the Gobi to China and down to Hong Kong.
The Mark I stays in Ulan Bator, guest of the French Ambassador's garage.
Fast-forward to August 2005.
French Ambassador comes to Beijing, bearing bike.
I collect same, take to Post Office.
No can do, says the Man in Charge of Boxes at the post office. Bike not fit in Box (see above).
I say Zenme ban?
Man say Call Roger Owens.
I call Roger Owens.
Roger say let me think about that one.
Roger say he know way.
He can get bike shipped to UK via his company, Drennan Co.
Shipping stolen-by-Mongolian-horseman bikes to England is very much a sideline for Roger and his company. Usually, they work wonders with supply chain management for engineering components and equipment between Europe and North America on the one hand, and China on the other. And vice versa.
Which is probably why they made shipping my little velocipede from East to West look so easy.
So, thank you, Roger Owens and Drennan Co of Shanghai.
(Need a hydraulic pump or a piece of ultrasonically-welded prismatic sheeting? www.drennanco.com is only click, blink and a link away.)