Shanks’ pony

I had a bit of mechanical trouble on my way home from work this evening, as the rear wheel of my bike seized up.  The good news was that I was within half a kilometre of home, so it wasn’t too far to carry the bike (having established that a quick roadside fix was out of the question).  The bad news was that I had been shopping so I had relatively full (and consequently heavy) panniers to add to the load.

On taking the rear wheel hub assembly apart, I discovered that the problem was a mashed bearing cone, which probably indicates that I didn’t get it properly adjusted when I changed the axle a few months ago.  I’m hoping that I should be able to get a new cone at the bike shop tomorrow, and it should be a fairly easy job to fix (though I’ll have to take more care with the adjustment this time).  However, it does mean that, tomorrow at least, I will have to walk into town instead of riding, which will take about three times as long and necessitate a somewhat earlier start in the morning.  It’s a pleasant walk if the weather’s nice, but I’d prefer to be able to spend a bit longer in bed.

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Flat out

A couple of days ago I had my first flat tyre since starting my regular cycle commute to work several months ago.  In fact, I think my last flat was some time before that, even taking my long breaks from cycling into account.

Fortunately I’m in the habit of carrying a spare inner tube as well as a puncture repair kit, a pump and a small collection of tools whenever I’m out on my bike, so this wasn’t a major disaster.  Although working in the comfort of my office (I spotted the flat while I was at work – I generally bring my bike into the office during the day), I decided to go for the simpler option of swapping to the spare tube rather than trying to patch the old one, which has already been patched a couple of times so is probably due for retirement.  I was planning to fix the old tube later, but I think I may not bother.

The small pump I carry around on my bike is getting quite old and decrepit; it refused to make a solid connection with the valve on the tyre and I had to hold it on with one hand while pumping with the other, so it wasn’t possible to get the tyre pumped up to the pressure I usually aim for (around 60 psi) but I managed to get it inflated enough to cycle home on.  At home, I have a proper track pump which makes it an easy job to get the tyres up to the desired pressure.