Cycling in a skirt

One life, some bicycles. A million possibilities, zero clue!


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The Crap Bike Christmas Carol

I’m not the only one reflecting on the year at the moment, it seems my bicycles also appear to be taking stock of the last 12 months. This is taking the form of something mechanical now going wrong on pretty much every ride and on every bike. Some things are small, some are more fundamental. I think the bikes are all trying to tell me that a bit of tender, loving care is in order before the New Year. So, as I work my way through the patience of some friendly mechanics and my bank balance, let me bring to you the following (literal) mechanical breakdown shamelessly set to the tune of The Twelve Days of Christmas. *Please allow liberties with wording, meter and bike parts.

The Crap Bike Christmas Carol

On the first day of Christmas my bicycle broke on me, from a chain that was very dirty.

On the second day of Christmas my bicycle broke on me from, 2 buckled wheels and a chain that was very dirty.

On the third day of Christmas my bicycle broke on me from, 3 snapped spokes, 2 buckled wheels and a chain that was very dirty.

On the fourth day of Christmas my bicycle broke on me from, 4 groaning gussets, 3 snapped spokes, 2 buckled wheels and a chain that was very dirty.

On the fifth day of Christmas my bicycle broke on me from 5 worn chain-rings, 4 groaning gussets, 3 snapped spokes, 2 buckled wheels and a chain that was very dirty.

On the sixth day of Christmas my bicycle broke on me from, 6 nipples seizing, 5 old chain-rings, 4 groaning gussets, 3 snapped spokes, 2 buckled wheels and a chain that was very dirty.

On the seventh day of Christmas my bicycle broke on me from, 7 cotters cracking, 6 nipples seizing, 5 old chain-rings, 4 groaning gussets, 3 snapped spokes, 2 buckled wheels and a chain that was very dirty.

On the eighth day of Christmas my bicycle broke on me from, 8 bearings binding, 7 cotters cracking, 6 nipples seizing, 5 old chain-rings, 4 groaning gussets, 3 snapped spokes, 2 buckled wheels and a chain that was very dirty.

On the ninth day of Christmas my bicycle broke on me from, 9 wingnuts warping, 8 bearings binding, 7 cotters cracking, 6 nipples seizing, 5 old chain-rings, 4 groaning gussets, 3 snapped spokes, 2 buckled wheels and a chain that was very dirty.

On the tenth day of Christmas my bicycle broke on me from, 10 gears a grinding, 9 wingnuts warping, 8 bearings binding, 7 cotters cracking, 6 nipples seizing, 5 old chain-rings, 4 groaning gussets, 3 snapped spokes, 2 buckled wheels and a chain that was very dirty.

On the eleventh day of Christmas my bicycle broke on me from, 11 lock-rings locking, 10 gears a grinding, 9 wingnuts warping, 8 bearings binding, 7 cotters cracking, 6 nipples seizing, 5 old chain-rings, 4 groaning gussets, 3 snapped spokes, 2 buckled wheels and a chain that was very dirty.

On the twelfth day of Christmas my bicycle broke on me. So I scrapped it and just bought a new one!

Merry Christmas one and all.

 

 

 

 

 

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How to pack a bike in 103 easy steps

Two things I never learn?

Number 1. When you’re given a time estimate for doing something, never believe it. Double it, add the largest number you can think of, then multiply it a by a thousand.

Number 2. Never, ever, if you can help it, go on holiday carrying a bike

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It’s all about the cake (and maybe a bit of cycling)

For some (ok me), one of the main pleasures of cycling is the free pass bestowed to consuming an obscene amount of cake with near impunity.

There are of course other attractions, increased fitness, muscle tone, stunning scenery, but mostly, it’s all about the cake. Continue reading


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The Fiendish Perversity of Limit Screws

I have always known that I am not a person possessed of great ability or patience when it comes to completing practical tasks.

This is increasingly evident the more I try to master the art of bicycle maintenance and borne out in a surprisingly creative catalogue of errors and misdeeds. Continue reading


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The Crazy Cat Lady of Old Bikes

I’m currently exploring the internet with the vague (ok, fully concrete) intention of buying a mountain bike. Doing so I’m amazed and horrified in turn by the number of advertisements which begin with statements like “as new, ridden once” or “unwanted gift” or “only cycled home from shop, never used”?! Continue reading


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The Bizarre World of Christmas Bicycles

DSCF8149It’s that time of year when there’s children’s bike buying to be done and thus good-will to all humans flies out the door, faster than Santa on a full carbon-fibre frame. Continue reading


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Handlebar Dyslexia

IMG_20131016_095315_0The head mechanic is rendered speechless as I present him with the previously boxed bicycle I’ve just assembled.

After staring in stunned silence for a disconcerting length of time, he finally, excruciatingly tears his gaze away from the machine in front of him to deliver his verdict.

I’m impressed” he chokes, voice trembling with either laughter or hysteria, “I had no idea it was possible to get it THAT wrong!!Continue reading