Monday, April 9, 2012

I'm a horrible bike mechanic

When I got my first bike in 2009, there were a few weeks there as a newbie where I was diligently going through the motions of inflating my tires... without actually inflating them. I didn't know to unscrew the little top of the Presta valve...duh!

Today I needed help to inflate tires through valve extenders for the first time. It should not be that hard but the darn pump head would just fly off time and time again. What the hard can it be? I figured I was once again missing something obvious.

With growing frustration, I put bike and pump into my car and brought them into our local East Coasters bike shop. Turns out it takes a bit of fiddling, making sure the little nut under the extender is unscrewed, poking something down the extender to be sure, then shoving the pump head on with some force. At least now I understand how it works and what to do. It's just a bit embarrassing since I am a person with multiple degrees in engineering (technically human factors, so more of a blend of engineering and psychology).

I have to confess that I have NO desire to mess with my own bike, to putter, tinker, tweak, experiment, adjust. I feel like no good can come from that. The bike intimidates me. I depend on it working well and have not been willing to put in the time and effort to learn about all the intricacies. I either want to know everything or just enough to get by. Pathetic, yes. But it a time crunched life I've got to pick my battles. I depend on Steve and others to keep my bikes running smoothly.

I can adjust my seat, lube the chain, and now I can inflate ALL my tires. Plus I can clean and wax it and make it shiny for races! That's enough for me.