Tuesday 26 May 2015


Here we are well into spring, fast approaching summer and I have yet to do any significant work on my bicycle.

Partly that’s because it hasn’t needed any work to speak of and partly because I just haven’t ridden very much this season. The times that I have been riding have been short…ish and I haven’t worried too much about how everything was working. I have been more concerned with how my overweight and under exercised body was functioning. The solution for one is to do more of the other I am pretty sure.

The last ride I was on I noticed that my left pedal could use some more grease and perhaps a bearing or two. I was right on both counts. Bearings tend to disappear with alarming frequency and I am pretty sure there is an underlying issue that I have yet to address. On that last ride I also noted that every now and then a gear would skip. I took a look at the chain and sure enough there were a couple of links that were very stiff. I tried to loosen them, but nothing seemed to work and on closer inspection, two of the links were bent a little. Links are pretty little so that even a small dent causes a big problem.

No problem I thought, I always keep a couple of spare chains around just in case. Guess what? No chains! What? Oh yeah… I have a tendency to give them away whenever someone starts to talk about replacing their chain. I don’t mind being chain generous, but I keep forgetting to top up my supply. Well, I will pick up a chain or two the next time I am at MEC. Maybe I will order a couple from China if they are cheap enough.

I keep old chains around for times just like tonight so that I can swap out a few links. I pulled out five or six old chains and several short pieces of chain that were hiding in my bike tool drawer. Son-of-a-bitch, none of them were the same kind. I tried to mix and match, but they just didn’t fit properly. Damn!

I guess I will be going down to MEC sooner rather than later. I put the old chain back on and lubed the hell out of it, hoping that it will repair itself. That’s kind of like hearing an odd noise coming from the engine of your car and turning up the volume of the radio to fix it. Sometime you can just ignore these things and sometimes you end up stranded many miles from home with a broken down vehicle and a two or three hour walk pushing your bike. Yes, it has happened to me.

I plan on going for a ride tomorrow and hopefully all will be well. If not, I hope that Louise will answer the phone and come to pick me up. Perhaps I will have a couple of hours to think about timely bicycle repair and that generosity can sometimes come and bite you on the ass.

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