Not too long ago I I related to you the ‘Feel good story of the day‘ that I’d stumbled upon on Facebook. It is an epic tale that should have been titled Michael and the well ridden bicycle. Our intrepid hero Michael had run into a lovely lady and her bike in need or repair. Well, there is now a second part of that’s story. That’s right – Michael actually connected with the bike’s owner and lived up to his word.
Loose front wheel nut, both brakes seized, no changeable gears, loose rack, very tight bottom bracket, unbelievably cruddy chain, three spokes broken on the back wheel which was out of true. The only new parts were the spokes
The bike had some easily identified maintenance issues – things that clearly showed the miles this bike had endured. I couldn’t help but wonder how a modern bike would have held up under the same usage.
Michael jumped in to get this baby running a little more smoothly for Helen:
First clean the chain then rebuild the back wheel
Then get the brake cables and mechanisms freed and lubricated, free [up] and lubricate the bottom bracket, secure all loose nuts and fixings, lube the chain.Finally adjust the gears. It had an unusual Sturmey Archer 4 speed hub gear. Setting these correctly is fiddly
Helen picked up the bike this morning and did a test ride up the road, she returned with a smile from ear to ear! She wanted to pay me but I said I would only accept a bottle of cider.
Big thanks to Michael for not only sharing this story, but perfectly personifying the essence of what it means to be a true member of the cycling community. There are some fantastic organizations that help community members keep their bikes ridable. However, it is the one-on-one personal interactions that leave lasting connections. Not only for the people involved, but also for the people that witness.
Michael’s followup came at the perfect time for me. I was struggling with the news of a couple of deaths here in San Francisco. I also had my normal struggles with how certain elements of the cycling community react when these sorts of tragic events happen. It was the exact time I needed to hear something positive to counteract our fixation on the negative.
Thank you Michael. And Ride on Helen!