Thursday, April 16, 2009

Redneck Bike Repair

I have never taken my bike to the bike shop to have my new pedals (that I bought six months ago) put on. I had tried before to get the old ones off, but they were pretty stuck. So, last weekend when I went home for Easter, I took my bike with me so that way my brothers could help me. The bike originally came from my oldest brother so I thought he would be able to help me and it would be no problem.

The first pedal took a bit of work, but eventually it did come off. The second one however, would not budge. I remember both my mother and I suggesting he should try turning it the opposite way to get it off but after a half hearted try, he decided brute force was the way to go. Since I am bike repair handicapped, I figured he knew what he was doing. After about 20 minutes of prying and a lot of grunting, he gave up. He took my bike home with him to work on in the "shop".

The next day we went over there to offer assistance. He and my boyfriend went to work on it and mentioned all sorts of tools and really got into. I tuned out and decided to let them do their manly thing and I could pet kitties. After awhile, I walk back in to see how it is going. The first thing I notice is that my brother has a cutting torch in his hand. The second thing I notice is that my bike was flaming. I turned and walked out.

My boyfriend came after me and tried very hard to reassure me. After a second look, I could tell that it was just the plastic on the old pedal that was on fire, but I still not so comforted by the fact I had seen flames rising from my bike. I tried to talk them into just letting me take it to the bike shop, but by this time, it is a challenge. They ARE going to get that pedal off if it is the last thing my bike ever does. (wimper) I go back to petting kitties and in my head start thinking about new cranksets and how much they would cost.

About this time, my father and another brother show up to help. How many men does it take to unscrew a bike pedal? There is more cutting torch activity, several grunts of frustration, and the sound of a drill. This was the point when I started wondering if I had seen any new bikes at the shop that were in my price range since there would be a chance I would be in the market shortly.

Finally, I hear a shout of victory. They got what was left of the pedal out! Of course, the crank is completely stripped but the important thing is that they got it out. They emerge sweaty and victorious and I am just grateful it is over. Parts can be replaced, but if they had destroyed the whole bike, that would have been devestating.

Monday, my boyfriend takes the crank to the bike store to see what to do and explains why half of the crank is black and stripped. I was too mortified to go and tell them what I had allowed to happen. To his credit, the bike shop guy did not laugh or even call Bike Protective Services. He very kindly explained that the cranks are reverse threaded. In other words....you should have just turned it the other way and it would have come out. Oops.

I texted my brother to tell him the news. I got a one word reply that just said it all. Shit.

7 comments:

Leah said...

Yoiks! Your poor bike. Glad she survived.

Lora said...

LOL! Bike Protective Services. I LOVE it. Really great story.

Thanks for the well-wishes about my upcoming tri!

unathleticrunner said...

LOL. I love the story. Sounds like what would happened if we didn't have bike shop within walking distance of our house!

Wes said...

ROFL... and the bike shop would have taken your pedals off for free, more than likely!

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

This is FUNNY because I've struggled with the pedals myself - when you think of it, it become obvious that they are reverse threaded, otherwise they'd fall off when you ride.

Sorry about the drama your poor bike had to go through in the process though.

margo said...

oh my gosh i love this. glad rednecks don't just live in virginia.

Rachel said...

OMG! Too funny. I love fixing my bike myself but would never let someone else take a blowtorch to it. Glad she's okay.