Sunday, March 11, 2007

Bad Bike Owner

Hello, my name is Alison and I am a neglectful bike owner.

First off, I let Louie's brakes get dangerously depleted, which really is bad enough right there. This is something I should know to look for rather than have my bike go through the indignity of being rejected at the pre-race safety check.

Sadly, my shamelessly neglectful behaviour gets worse. After taking my bike in for a brake change and tune up I received another confirmation I am a truly terrible and irresponsible bike owner. My chain had stretched. Stretched beyond any believable capacity for a chain to stretch and staying in one piece.

The problem didn't end there. As with much neglect, the stretched chain had caused more problems. The whole drive train is wrecked and needs to go.

It's isn't like I'm a completely ignorant bike owner. I know about chains stretching. I had the same problem with my commuter bike years ago so not only do I know it's possible, I've experienced it before. I have a bike maintenance book that tells you the very (very) easy way to measure if your chain has stretched. My father even made a point of telling me how to do this. I know all this and I've been meaning to pull out that book for, oh, a long time. I just never quite get around to it.

As my Grandmother used to tell me, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

So when I go to pick up Louie from the bike store the mechanic tells me there's a problem with him. Was I a caring bike owner who immediately wailed, dropped on her knees and pleaded: "Fix my baby! Do whatever you need to, I'll pay any cost, just make sure Louie is whole again!" No, I actually interupted Jeremy's description of my bike's woes and said, "I have a race on Sunday, can I ride it?" Jeremy again started to tell me the problem and I again interupted, "Can I ride it this weekend?"

It's a good thing there isn't an equivalent of the SPCA for bikes or I'd be in serious trouble. I'd be up on charges for bicycle cruelty and neglect.

I'm sorry. Really. I promise to be a better bike owner from now on.

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