Friday, July 27, 2007

Something Else I am no good at!

I decided too try and fix my bike chain. Wow! Big Deal! Actually for me it is. Changing a plug is a major feat. As I have said before Mrs BW does not let me do DIY in our house. She has learnt the hard way. Ornaments sliding off shelves that are not quite straight ("What do mean your meant to use a spirit level?") Paint that hasn't quite made it onto the walls and we won't mention that time I tried to put up easy to make shelving in the garage. So for me to fix a bike chain is a major event. The nice man in the shop said it was ever so easy. All you needed was a tool for removing the rivets in the links, (he was losing me already). Oh yes he added and you should check the tautness of the chain when the mechanism is at five o'clock. Well between four and five o'clock he added and helpfully he demonstrated this by sticking his arms out at a funny angle. I looked at my watch. It was half past four. Did that matter I wondered? He gave me a funny look. To be honest I wasn't that bothered. I would look it up on the Internet. Full of useful information is the Internet and there was bound to be a step by step idiot proof guide to putting on a bicycle chain. So I paid for the chain and the helpful tool and with a song on my lips came home to sort it out. I checked the Internet. It was full of sites with helpful step by step guides, even videos showing you how to fix a bicycle chain. I started watching one. An extremely clean looking bloke wheeled his bike into a fabulously clean garage and got on with changing his chain. There were action replays of the difficult bits. To be honest I got a bit bored and skipped quite a lot of it. After all just how difficult could it be.

Our garage resembles a tip. It is stacked full of bits of tent, bikes and things that are going off to be recycled. I would have to fix my bike on the drive. Never mind. The sun was out and there did not seem to be too many of the neighbours around. So I started. The video seemed to be misleading. The chain that the bloke had in it remained passive. It did what it was told. My chain however seemed to be determined not to be fitted. It kept on curling up and twisting itself back on itself, and it would never stay in one place. It took me quite a long time to work out how it actually went on. I tried looking at the other bikes that we have littering the garage but every time I seemed to worked it out, as soon as I turned my back and bent down to replicate it, I forgot whether it went over or under this or that particular cog. Eventually after much straining, swearing and scrabbling around on the floor for things that I had dropped, I got it fitted. Sort of. It stayed on and wasn't too lose, that was until I tried to turn the pedals. Then it got jammed. the smallest birdwatcher came out and helpfully pointed out that he thought that I had located it incorrectly on the derailleur! I thanked him. "You'll have to do it again Dad" I thanked him again. "Anyway Mum says its tea so you've got to come in. Blimey your hands are a mess!" They were as well. Covered in oil and grease. Unlike the bloke in the video who could have carried out open heart surgery with his, so clean were they.

So as I write this my bike lies forlornly in the garage with one very incorrectly fitted chain. And I have found something else that I cannot do!


fiwa said...

Oh my... I'm trying so hard not to laugh, really. :)

But then, I would never have the nerve to try to do it myself, because I can barely get the lids screwed back on jars!

The Birdwatcher said...

The Neighbours think I am odd. Where we live real men cut wood and hammer things at weekends. I make bread and my wife cups of tea while she does the DIY!