Thursday, April 24, 2008


There comes a point in every vehicle's life when something is off. Something need adjusting or tweaking, or repair. Now, in a car I'd hear a noise and probably ignore it, or try to blame it on the car in front of me, or see if it went away after I'd stopped the car for a while. Finally, when it started getting worse or impaired my driving in some way, I'd take it to my mechanic. He'd poke at doohickies, prod widgets, twist sprockets and then look up and tell me that it's going to cost me $600 to fix, and I wouldn't have a lot to say about it, since I know nothing about cars.

Now, on a bike, I hear a noise and I can do something about it. On my ride home last night, I noticed that my front wheel was making an odd clicking noise about every revolution. So, I got home and turned the bike over and spun the wheel. It was a little out of true, but nothing too bad. I stopped the wheel and looked very carefully over it, and finally noticed that a spoke wasn't quite as straight as the others. That's odd, I thought.

So I grabbed my trusty spoke wrench and took a look at it. The thing was so loose that it was about to fall out of the rim. A couple of adjustments, and it was good as new...unfortunately, now the rim was out of true worse than it was. So, I went back to work with my trusty spoke wrench and voila, true as a Marine. Total repair time - 10 minutes. Total cost - less than $.01, since the spoke wrench cost about $5 and I've used it enough that it's down to around $.01 per use.

It just gives me a warm fuzzy to be able to maintain my own vehicle without having to rely on anyone else. The only thing I can't fix on my bicycle is the frame. If that goes, I'm going to have to pony up about $400 for a new bike.