Sunday, October 16, 2011

I Have "Hapless Female" Qualities

I took my little blue beauty into the bike shop today after my cycle for a 'tune up'. It was embarrassing.

Me: Hi. I bought the yearly maintenance package for my bike and I wanted to bring it in...

Bike dude [in hurried manner]: Ok, what does it need?

Me [suddenly realising how ridiculously hapless I am at very basic bike maintenance]: Yeah, it pretty much in the tires, a little oil on the chain, and...I dunno, the pedals tightened? Er...maybe the shifters...[stares at ground, toeing invisible mark on floor] shifted...[trails off, mumbling incoherently]

Bike dude [expression softens as realises he's dealing with moron of epic proportions and takes pity on me]: Ok, that shouldn't take very long [chuckles to self] we should have it ready by Wednesday [enunciating well and speaking very slowly].

Ok, so I am a ridiculous damsel in distress when it comes to my darling road bike (and killing spiders). 

Today's event cancels out the fact that I wielded very heavy machinery last week in a very non-girly way (with a steady hand and...ok...the odd high pitched squeal of delight).

I hate those moments when I feel like a hapless female, but dammit I don't have time right now to learn about gear shifters and spider aversion therapy...I am in the thick of it with trying to piece together a smooth cardiac exam without being reduced to a blubbering mess in front of the ward sister, the reg, the SHO, and several medical students.

And so, for now, I pay the bike shop 25 Euro a year for unlimited bike maintenance. And I am ok with that. Usually. 


OMDG said...

I can't really remember since it's been a few years, but in general the maintenance I did on my bike was as follows:

1. Clean chain and gears with degreaser and re-oil (1-2x per year and also after a ride in the rain/mud).

2. New tires 1x per year

3. "Tune-up" which just means it got recalibrated so if shifted more smoothly.

4. Sometimes I put new tape on the handlebars.

5. Sometimes the brake pads get word down and need to be replaced, and sometimes the brakes themselves need to get readjusted.

That was about all I ever did. In fact I think I only got a real "tune up" once in the 5 years I rode a lot.

Don't be afraid to ask! If the guy's a dick, he'd still be a dick if you asked or not, it's just you wouldn't get what you needed.

I hope medicine has been treating you well.

Anonymous said...

I am the exact same way with my Camry. My instructions to the mechanic is usually something along the line of "it does badness; make it less now".

As for bike stuff, OMDG has it pretty well down:
- Pads usually have a marker on the side to indicate when they've been worn down too far; replace them then.
- Chain should be oiled a few times a season
- Tires usually run out of air after 2 weeks (or, deflate enough to make a difference)
- Tune ups are really just to tighten the brakes and adjust the derailleurs (pronounced de-rail-er), the things that help change the gears. I'd get a full-tune at the beginning of the season, and then repairs prn.

[Finally, those two years at the bike shop come in handy]

BTW, I heard you on WCBA today; you did a good job!

Ann-Marie said...

You can only be an expert on so many things, m'dear! I've given up on changing the oil in the car and all that "manly" stuff. Just the other day I took my bike into the shop to fix a flat, which I got on my way to picking up the kids from daycare. It's called priorities. Embrace it. "Damsels in distress unite"

Liana said...

I did the Trek dirt camp this summer (they have camps all over North America, but I did the one in Canmore). In addition to learning how to ride teeter totters and skinnies, they had an evening session on bike repair that was pretty awesome. And yes, now I can adjust the derailleurs on my bike myself. (But I still tell my husband I need "the screwdriver with the X").

Elizabeth Shouldice said...

Oh, Lordy! I do that all the time with my bike. I just wheel it down the street and drop it off. Seriously.

HereIamandwhereareyou said...

I feel good every time I manage to change a tyre or mend a puncture (a mixture of improvisation, half-remembered Dad lessons, and homemade tools...). Grr! Look at me, fixing my wheels with my own two hands! My bookish boyfriend who takes the bus everywhere should be wilting in awe at my feet.

Give it a go, it's not so hard :)

Usually I take a toothbrush to all the dirt I can see, oil everything up, check the tires to see if the fabric tread's about to burst through, and that's it.

Robert said...

Listen. We ALL feel like a hapless females sometimes. Even us burly males.

You realize it is ok to be vulnerable every now and again...


Albinoblackbear said...

You are all machines!!

Thanks for all the great tips, feedback, and reassurances! :)

YES! Damsels in distress unite! hahah