02 April 2017

Bike issues

How a car can lead to executiveness regarding bicycles. My car had to get its annual MOT, so I brought it to the garage opposite the street from my office. On the day I got the phone call to alert me it was done I had biked into work, so suddenly I had two means of transport with me. Luckily one fits inside the other! So I drove home with my commuter bike in the back. It's the bike I bought in Norway; it doesn't cope well with Welsh weather. The brakes had suffered, the chain was impossibly rusty, and the gears had now rusted into position too. I could just ride it to work and back, if I avoided the steep bits! But it wasn't comfortable anymore. I had intended to give it a good revision for ages but I never seemed to have the time.

When on a Saturday I woke up with a bike in my boot, an errand to run on the mainland and weekend shopping to do, I decided to combine things. I parked up at a mainland supermarket, got the bike out, brought it to the bike shop, and asked the blokes in there what they thought of it. I expected them to say to chuck the bike and buy a new one but they didn't. (They had done that with the black bike, but I had insisted, and never regretted it). They were quite happy to repair it, for a reasonable amount of money! That sounded good. I walked back to the car, did my food shopping, and went home happy. The next week I just used my 'good' bike.

The next Saturday I got a phone call from the bike shop. It was worse than they had thought! They said it would cost £300 to get the bike back on track. I'm sure it never even cost that brand new. I pondered a bit what to do. I have a third bike! A hand-me-down from Rich. Before I would go and by another bike to replace the green one, which has pretty much been declared dead, I wanted to give that one a chance. As it was it wasn't comfortable for commuting, but who knows, maybe it could be brought back to life for less than £300. I loaded it up and went back to the bike shop.

The bike people said that in order to do a thorough job they would have to charge an arm and a leg too. That wasn't worth it! But I asked what it would be if they just dealt with the gears (they had wanted to replace the wheels too, but these are good enough for me) and they said they could do that for a few tens of quid. I settled for that!

On Friday I got the phone call telling me it was ready. I had come by car for the express purpose, so I logged out, jumped in, drove to town, and got to the shop before closing time. They charged me only 30 quid and the bike felt fine. Good job! I’m sorted again. I had felt rather bad about leaving my black bike out in the rain a few times (at the pub where I meet Jenny for Welsh practice there is no cover to be found) and now I can use this bike again to keep the strain of the black one.

On Saturday I moved all bits like bell, pannier and stand over. The bike is ready for a daily commute!

 Ready for action!

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