I nearly missed it, but it’s Errandonneering time again. In fact, I missed the start already, and although I’ve been running plenty of bike-borne errands, I have not been amassing the evidence I need to prove it. Still, I wasn’t worried, because running errands is what I do on the bike and now that the errands have been recategorised, I even run the right sort of errands, so I was pretty certain I could catch up, as I usually do at least two or three on every trip

Take today – a trip to Glasgow for a couple of meetings, stopping off on the way to pick up the paper. I felt a bit odd taking a picture of my bike outside Bigtown Scotmid but needs must:

Bike at the shop

Category: store; observation: people actually do go out to the shop in their pyjamas and slippers …

bike on trainAnd then adventures in Glasgow including the fun of hooking my bike up on the hanging bike rack on the train (International Women’s Day appears to have reminded men not to patronise women by offering to help with lifting awkward objects above their heads; I need to work on either my upper body strength, or my damsel in distress routine).

Once in Glasgow, I had to find my way to the meeting, which actually looked fairly easy: along one of Glasgow’s actual segregated cycle tracks and then turn right at the point where it turns into crappy shared-use pavement. This was fine, until I turned right and discovered some idiot had stuck a road right up the side of a cliff:


Hill in Glasgow

Category: work (anything involving a meeting is automatically work) Observation: Glasgow is a lot more three-dimensional than I remember it being…

And then all I had to do was catch the train and ride home – a nice tidy 16 miles and two errands already under my belt. As I neared the final turn before home, I was musing on the fact that I had at least two errands to run tomorrow, and then likely another on Wednesday, and on Thursday I’d be taking the bike in for a service so pretty soon I would be caught up with the days I’d missed when CLONGG…

… my bike put a stop to all that. It seems that even having announced a long-term strategy for more bike maintenance was not enough to put a stop to its negative campaigning. It had thrown its derailleur into its back spokes, bringing it and me to an instant halt. Fortunately I was going uphill and slowly, so I stayed upright. Unfortunately, the bike wasn’t going anywhere, not even being pushed, as its back wheel was now tangled up with its gear-changing mechanism and completely locked. Time to get the phone out and call for help…

There is, fortunately, still the Brompton, although that too is long overdue a service. I can only hope that the two bikes haven’t decided to form a united front on the issue of bike maintenance otherwise my errandonneering career may be over before it’s barely begun.

6 Responses to Errandisaster

  1. Andy in Germany says:

    Oh, dear. I hope it isn’t too serious. From memory of my bike shop days, that usually meant no more than a new real mech at worst, and by the sounds of the state of your chain, it may be a good time to sort that department out generally.

    Hangung bike racks are common here as well, which is great, except when I’m using the Xtracycle, which is too long… Fortunately German railways often still use sort-of-guards vans which means there’s usually some space…

    Any while I never hesitate to offer help to women using these (or indeed, struggling with pushchairs, et c) I’d probably not do so in the UK, as experience suggests a snarl will result…

  2. charles says:

    Buy a can of WD40 and spray the Brompton, avoiding the brakes. Good suggestion to get a a new chain and sprocket set at the same time.
    Like the Brooks saddle though, they really are bullet proof. I used to dress mine with neats foot oil, which I thought was pure Shakespear, but it used to exist. These days you probably have to do without…

  3. Bob says:

    And maybe put on a chain guard while you’re at it?

  4. disgruntled says:

    Andy – the clue is in ‘struggling’ … I’m pretty sure that a brief ‘you all right there?’ won’t go amiss among women on either side of the North Sea
    Charles – ooh, I thought you were never to put WD40 anywhere near a bike chain? In the end it took some serious lubricating to get it moving again
    @Bob – I’d love a full chain case but I don’t see the point of the hockey stick ones – they don’t protect the chain from the crud, and I don’t normally have a problem with trousers getting caught up in the chain

  5. welshcyclist says:

    I constantly think about maintenance I should be doing, pumping up my tyres to the correct pressure, testing my brakes, and lubing everything in sight, doesn’t seem to be enough. I read the gold service list in Tredz which talks of completely taking the bike apart and putting it together again, replacing the old with new, but £150, plus obviously the cost of parts??? I’m afraid I pedal on until I hear or feel something is wrong. Sadly, that means my bike isn’t in the best of health at any time, but the Pioneer keeps going, shows what a fantastic machine a bike truly is. Cheers.

  6. disgruntled says:

    I try and get my bike in for a service once a year, plus investigate any new noise. It has been a long hard winter though

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