Monday, 26 October 2015

Don't forget to oil your nipples....

As I cycle gently along a recently resurfaced (I say resurfaced - what I mean is a road scattered with a lorry load of stone chippings) I sense a lethargy as we hurtle towards winter. There's a few crows pecking at the stubble as I pedal past, but they couldn't be bothered with more than two or three desultory flaps before settling again. It's a warmish afternoon, the threatened downpour never materialised and it seems that everyone and everything is simply plodding along with no real sense of urgency. Me too I suppose.

Then, just as I feel I am about to nod off there's a loud ping and my front wheel locks itself against the front fork. I've broken a spoke, in no-mans land half way between home and my mothers. Too far to walk back and too far away from my destination. I stand at the roadside staring at the predicament - knowing full well that I don't have the tools to make the adjustments that would allow me to continue my journey. I mess around with the wheel position and open up the brake callipers to give me as much free space as possible - but its no good - the wheel is so far out of true that each revolution involves a harsh rub against the brake blocks - I attempt to ride anyway but after a few hundred yards I suspect I am doing more harm than good - and its hard work!

The taxi driver was very helpful: 'Blimey mate, it's light' he said as he lifted the machine into the back  of the cab - 'It'll be £20 back to yours'

The man at the bike shop had seen it all before. 'You need to oil your nipples' he advised. Keeping a well rehearsed and totally straight face. 'Just a little blob of lube on each nipple every time you clean your bike - specially with these aluminium spokes'

And there you have it. My tip to all of you. If you're riding wheels with aluminium spokes - a little blob of lube on your nipples will help keep your spokes in tip-top condition.

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