Saturday, 10 March 2012

The Bike Book: Complete Bicycle Maintenance

by Fred Milson

Within a week of my moving to Fuerte, I bought a bicycle.

‘One day,’ I thought, ‘I will write a concise cycling guide to the island. But first I have to learn how the bike works.’

You can see the absurdity of my thinking then. You don’t have to know how the telly works to write a good guide to, say, the BBC comedy. But that was the reason why I ordered The Bike Book, mostly on the strength of Amazon reviews entitled “A must for any cyclist” and suchlike.

Of course it is not a “must for any cyclist”. Not in Corralejo anyway. Take the chain fixing (page 78): the job difficulty is rated “four spanners” (four is a maximum in this book), takes about 20 minutes, and you still have to go to a bike shop first to get a replacement rivet or pin. In the bike shop where I go the whole operation takes about 10 minutes and costs €3.

Still, I learned a lot, even though this knowledge isn’t particularly useful.
With a new chain, you get around 114 links.
I did not know that before and I still don’t understand why do I need to. Or:
It sounds easy enough to undo the wheels and pull them out, but you really need three hands.
Well I ain’t doing any of that then.

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