Monday, November 3, 2008


I fancy myself as a kind of bicycle godfather to my younger siblings. I try to make sure they each have working bicycles, and I try to pass on little tidbits of knowledge when I can. On the whole it's an enjoyable role to play, but sometimes it can be a little discouraging. Their bikes always seemed to brake down the minute I leave town. It's like there is some kind of bicycle sabateur troll waiting around to sabatoge the family bikes as soon as no one is looking.

I was at my parents house this weekend, for example, and everything was in disarray. My youngest brother had brand new bar tape that looked like it was 10,000 year old mummy wrap. --Pieces hanging off, then ends overlapped backwards and taped right up to the stem. His brake cables were somehow tangled into acute angles sharply under the handlebars. I couldn't figure that one out. It looked like somebody would have had to take the brake levers off and position the break cables at sharp angles deliberately.

My other brother had not only a puncture in his rear inner tube, but then three more pinch flats from when he had ridden the bike home without air in the tire. At that point it's still economical to patch the tube, it's just a little ridiculous. Of course it was Sunday, so there weren't any bike shops open to sell us a new tube. I patched it up and it held air, it just looks like it has some kind of rubber susceptible case of the patch-measles.

The coup de gras was when I was about to race my youngest brother (a race which he ended up winning, but that's another story,) and I looked down at his front wheel to see that he had tightened his quick release lever all the way down and not clamped it closed. Which is of course hilarious, but only because I saw it before he was able to do an endo.