Monday, June 7, 2010

Warning: Mechanically Challenged Individual

For anyone who knows me fairly well, they are well aware of my extreme inability to handle anything even remotely mechanically related... and by "mechanically related," I mean anything involving a screw driver, wrench, hammer, let alone anything that is actually mechanically involved. I've never really known exactly what it is, but I have always scored "zeros" on those IQ tests or aptitude exams that involve pulleys or anything of that sort.

Recently, Let's Go Ride a Bike began a summer games challenge in which they have challenged blog readers to participate in various bicycling activities, and they've just started round 2 of the summer time fun. When I read that one of the possible challenges for this round was to perform a maintenance task on my bicycle, I had to laugh. Please. I don't do maintenance! There are people (Sam) who do that for me. :o) While it sounds snobbish, that really isn't the case. The reality is, I just seem to fall apart when it involves anything with moving parts of any size. Normally, nothing would get me to try to do something that required tools for myself, but for months now I've been pining over a Bates Crate, so I decided I was going to attempt to participate in this round of the fun.

A few days ago, I got a new bicycle, and the bike shop told me that in the next few days, I needed to "grease" under the new Brooks saddle to help break it in. I figured, Sam would, of course, do this for me (which I know he would have), but when I saw the challenge presented, I decided I would give this task a try.
I approached the saddle with caution, wondering if the poor Pashley would end up in pieces on the garage floor. I first took a look to see what sort of device I would even need to remove the seat. Because I was afraid of messing up the geometry of the seat, I decided to just remove the entire seat post with saddle in place, so that it wouldn't be quite such a disaster. After investigating, I realized I'd need a wrench (at least I know enough to figure that out!). I went to the tool box and started browsing.

There were entirely too many wrenches to choose from, so I took a handful and went to the bike to determine which size worked to remove the seat post.
So, away I went, removing the seat post and saddle. I brought the lot inside to apply the alternate proofide to the underside of the saddle.
As you can see, to this point, I have managed not to completely fall apart, nor to destroy anything. Yay! Here is the bottom of the saddle - all done! Well, sort of. Now I had to actually remount the saddle and post to the Pashley. Aye-yi-yi... would I be able to do it (this is the point when the Jaws music starts playing through my head)? I took a deep breath and decided to not make this a bigger deal than it really is. Believe it or not, I actually completed the entire task, got the saddle back on, safe and sound, and repositioned so that I can ride! Miraculous to say the least (and I swear, I look like I'm sweating to death, but it's because it's closing in on 100 degrees F today). I have to say, as much as I was nervous about doing this, it really wasn't THAT bad... and if I've learned nothing else in life and in art, the more you do something, the easier it gets and the more comfortable we become with the task. I'm actually quite proud of me!


  1. Ahh, you are on your way! Next is a complete tire/flat change. That will be a real job on the pashley, maybe you can just start with a front? Or maybe i'll start you on a practice wheel?

  2. Tire change? You jest, right? :o)

  3. Nice! I take the easy/lazy way out and apply the Proofide with the saddle attached to the bike. I just put the Proofide directly on my hands, stick my hands under the saddle, and smear with my fingers! It's an acquired taste : )

  4. I considered not removing the saddle, but the dude at the bike shop was making it sound like the world would fall apart if I didn't take the saddle off of the bike. I'm sure in the future, I will do exactly what you do... why go through the extra work if it's unnecessary? :o)


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