When 7 'P's aren't enough (aka "Why bikes hate me"...)

Just so you know: this page was imported from my old blog. Some pages were rather mangled in the process; my apologies if things don't quite look right.

(Another very off-topic, slightly ranty entry...)

My hands ache. I've skinned three knuckles, crushed one finger, managed to put a sizeable hole in our concrete doorstep, chipped the wallpaper, put a hole in my sofa bed, left an oily handprint on the recently-painted doorframe, and - best of all - I haven't actually achieved anything with my shiny new bike parts.

Y'see, this evening, having watched the penultimate second-to-last (*) episode of Spooks tonight, I decided to get on with fitting the new parts to my bike to turn it from a wannabe trials toy (which doesn't go at all fast) into a long-distance cruiser I can use to get my cardiovascular fitness up to a half-decent level over the winter.

The only problem with that idea was the new parts reaching a group decision - without telling me - that they weren't going to fit on my bike: first the new stem turned out to be too skinny to fit over my forks, and then I spent half an hour trying to hammer my new cranks onto my old bottom bracket before I realised that the old kit had 10 splines, and the new kit had only 8. Use your imagination - there's no way that's going to fit. It's like trying to get those square bricks you get at the Early Learning Centre to go through the round holes...


"Ok," thinks I, "Let's rescue my pedals from the old cranks. This shouldn't take long - they've only been in there for a year or so."

Ha ha, yeah... Uhhm, no. I could almost hear my pedals laughing at me as I wrestled in several different positions, one of which I'm sure has given me a minor hernia, trying to unscrew the pedals. No happy ending here either - those pedals are never coming out of my old cranks.

At this point it crossed my mind that my bike and I might have upset a Witch Doctor somewhere, and all this trouble's happening because of a curse placed on me.

The alternative doesn't bear thinking about - that I actually made a mistake. Oh hell no, not possible - I'm male... Errm...

So, while I spent literally minutes choosing the new bike parts, it wasn't enough to make sure all the new kit would fit the old kit. Still, I have a plan - tomorrow I'm going to chuck some motion lotion (**) in the Shed (a term of endearment for my Fiesta... What a manly car... ;o) and take a wander up to Halford's. So far I need the following to get the bike up and running again:

  • Tyre levers (can't get the old rubber off the wheels without damaging them otherwise)
  • Foot pump (flat tyres don't go so fast)
  • Bottom bracket (bit that holds the pedals together in the middle)
  • ... and a tool to remove the old bottom bracket
  • New pedals
  • A chain whip (surprisingly, not something that can be found in Ann Summers. I think...) to get my cassette off.

... and I've still got to post my stem back to Evans Cycles and beg for one that fits.

... and I still have no idea if all the other new bits actually fit yet - I just can't bear to try and do anything more with the bike again tonight. If I do, I'm positive the little git will kill me. Please, all of you out there in Reader Land - wish me luck. I'll definitely be needing it...

(By the way, the seven "P"s in the title refers to the "Seven Ps" acronym - "Prior Preparation and Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance").

* I'm hereby declaring the Campaign for the Reduction of Unnecessarily Posh-Speak to be open for business.

** Petrol. Not some other lotion...

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