Getting to know the bikes!

A flat tyre gained from our last ride out, coupled with a fast hex key delivery from Amazon and a bit of a break in the rain means we’ve been spending the morning getting to know the bikes a bit better, this time with the business end of a spanner

Last week Mickey aborted his tyre-change attempt after realising our hex keys are too small for the front spindle. We’ve spent a few days (OK, possibly more than a few!) trying to find a 12 mm hex key as none of the shops we went to stocked anything above 10 mm. After a very enjoyable but fruitless day yesterday, an Amazon order late last night and one of the fastest delivery times I’ve experienced, Mickey again worked up the motivation today to change the tyre. Mickey (still!) insists that I’ll be the mechanic on the road. When I was younger dad and I tinkered with classic cars and I often have to fix my equipment at work so I’m happy with the general concept of mechanics but I have no knowledge of bikes at all, so today, with some reading on the auditory system to get done for next week’s teaching, I played a supporting role to Mickey’s mechanic. Like a good side-kick I knew exactly when to put the kettle on, keep my mouth shut and tactically withdraw from the room 😉

Despite Mickey’s insistence that he doesn’t know one end of the bike from the other, he changed the tyre first time, no pinched tube (as far as we can tell), and no drama – it took only a short amount of time and I remember no swearing incidents or things being thrown. All’s now looking good to go again.

Confidence took a small increment as we realised that we might just have the smarts to deal with the small problems we encounter on the road. It might seem like a small thing to those who know spannering (and let’s face it it’s definitely not the biggest challenge we’ll face on the road), but for two people who’ve never taken a tool to a bike before this is a big boon and a nice little confidence builder. Never thought I’d be grateful for a flat tyre!

Thanks to Mark for invaluable telephone support and no small amount of amusement!

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