Monday, 30 June 2008

4 Not 5 You Muppet

My bike maintenance skills are not great. To be fair they are quite poor. I can change tyres and do the basics but not much more. Things like that are hardware problems and I am a software engineer. So when my front derailleur refused to change gear this morning I had a bit of a poke around and then cycled to work on the chain-ring I was stuck on. It didn't help that I was up at 04:30 for the drive up to London so I was already tired and grumpy.

My day at work was not much of a mood enhancer, to put it mildly, but at the end of the day I went to the garage under the office to have a proper look at the problem. It was obvious that the spring was not pushing against anything and a little investigation revealed a small jagged spot under the derailleur where a small piece of metal appeared to have broken off. A trip to the bike shop confirmed that this was the location of a tiny hook that held one end of the spring. I guess I must have broken it off putting my bike into or out of the car. So I brought a shiny new derailleur, as recommended by the expert in the shop, and set off home to test my mechanical skills.

After about 30 minutes of cursing and swearing, convinced that my mechanical ineptitude had struck again, I finally realised that the expert in the shop had sold me the wrong part. I was doing everything correctly but it would never work. I was covered in oil for nothing because the part number of the derailleur I was trying to fit had a 5 where it should have a 4. Marvellous!

It would be easy to get really angry with the bike shop, but it was a genuine mistake which anyone could have made. If they don't correct it tomorrow, however, I will be extremely angry. So it looks like a run day tomorrow, via the bike shop.

Looking on the bright side, which is a real struggle at the moment, it happened today and not at the weekend when I am racing in Bournemouth. That would have been too much.


Bill said...

Campag or Shimano? Hey, thanks for the advice about the Speedos. I looked at a few tri shorts (not ready for the full suit yet), and was amazed at the little protection they offer. Guess it helps with the drying. Cheers for it though. Good luck this weekend. Whats the goal time?

MikeyB said...

Shimano and it has been a complete pain to get what I need.

The main aim for this race is to finish as it is my first Olympic. I reckon I should be able to finish in 2:30-40, the nearer 2:30 the better.