Thursday, May 7, 2009

Epic Fail

Monday morning. Flying along the path by the river. A wooden footbridge. I'm going just a scoach (The scoach is a unit of measure. It transcends English and metric systems. One scoach is equal to approximately one CH) too fast. I lean into the turn off the end of the bridge and clip a pedal on the ground. My rear wheel flies out. My hand gets caught between my pursuit bars and the wooden railing, removing two large patches of skin from my right hand.

Blood runs off my hand. Drips down my leg. Splatters my cranks and shoes. FAIL!

This is how the week begins. Next I realize that my chain line is too slack. On the way back home I go to tighten the chain, but alas, there is too much stretch in it. The rear drop outs are not horizontal track drop outs. This is a cross frame. So I have to cut two links out of the chain to get it properly tightened.

Monday evening I descend to my basement man cave to perform the work. I line up the chain tool. I push the pin forward through the link, intending to leave it hanging there, stuck in the very outer plate of the back link. But I push a scoach too far. The pin pops out. FAIL.

You can never recover from this. No pin will be reinserted into a greasy chain. FAIL! FAIL! FAIL!

I yell. I swear. I break some things.

On Tuesday I acquire a new chain. I take it home, measure it, cut it, attach it. I lube. I pump tires and reattach fenders. I buff. I polish. I leave the man cave feeling ready.

During the night the tube in the rear tire blows. There is a loud pop. The blowout is powerful enough to the lift the tire right off the rim. Wednesday morning is bleak. I am sad. In order to get to work, I have to pull a wheel off my other fixed ride (Who keeps two fixed wheel bikes? What kind of tool does that? Me. That's who.)

This seems like a good solution, but the cog and chain don't align properly. Every time I torque the pedals the chain grinds. FAIL!

Wednesday night I spend a half hour trying to fix the flat on the wheel that goes with my every day bike. My kids climb on me. I have to patch a tube, because I'm out of new tubes. I have a dozen flats that need patching. I patch several of them. None of those has a valve stem long enough to reach through the Deep V rim on the wheel I'm fixing. I give up. FAIL!

This morning I return to flat fixing. I patch two tubes. One of them requires two patches and then still won't hold air. The other one patches up fine, but I pinch it with the tire tool, trying to get the tire back on the rim. I'm out of patches. I have to keep riding the swapped, grindy wheel. FAIL!

Tonight I will buy more tubes. I will go the man cave. I will pray to the lord of velocipedic benevolence that the curse lifts, that my mechanical buffoonery abates.

Fuck, my hand hurts!



Meatball said...

Those be some fails. however, a pushed out pin isn't quite the disaster you think. Align the links on a hard surface, grease the pin liberally and place it in the outer link carefully aligned, and give it a good clean whack with a hammer. OH, it'll get in there all right.
Then use the chain tool to insert the pin fully, and then, use a narrow flat head screwdriver to gently pry the outer links away from the inner link somewhat to neutralize the effect of your good clean whack.

Da Robot said...

Mr. Balls,
I did attempt the pin reinsertion technique you prescribe. I spent about 1/2 an hour aligning and whacking, utilizing needle nose pliers, hammer, etc.

I succeeded only in making myself into a small white dot of rage.

Truly, I believe this week had fail stamped on it from the outset.

On the upside, I will have a wicked scar on my hand and I have made enough visits to the bike shop to reestablish my standing 10% discount on all and sundry.

I am a total whore for a 10% discount.

Da Bot