Wide Rider

Some more bike-related problems this week, which require a visit to my friendly local cycle shop.
Firstly, I discovered a few days ago that two of the spokes on my back wheel are broken. I noticed the wheel was buckled about 10 days ago, because the brake pads had been catching on a certain section of the wheel, and I had assumed that some moron had kicked the bike when it was parked up in the city. But the real truth is that two adjacent spokes on the same side of the wheel had snapped (I know not when), and the subsequent imbalance of tension from the spokes on the two sides had warped the wheel. So as an interim measure, I adjusted some of the spoke tensions around the break to staighten the wheel a bit, and kept riding. But I realise this is only a short term fix, and that I have to deal with it properly.
Secondly, my saddle – or rather the bracket that holds it to the seat post – is in a very poor state. The metal bracket has over time buckled quite considerably; such that the saddle now wobbles considerably front-to-back. It’s still okay to ride for short trips, but it does feel quite strange, and can sometimes press uncomfortably on the nethers.
Sadly, both of these mechanical problems almost certainly stem from the overly excessive strain placed on the bike by its heavy rider (me). I’ve had other cycle problems in the past because of my weight, such as a pinch flat and two sets of broken pedals, but generally the bike had held up remarkably well. It just gets expensive when these problems crop up, and my visits to the cycle shop have become frequent.
None of this has put me off cycling however. Ever since a friend of mine convinced me (some 9 months ago) to blow the cobwebs off my unused bike, I’ve been a convert – and have developed a passion for all things cycling. I used to walk pretty much everywhere, as I’ve avoided owning a car in Ireland, but it used to take a long time to get anywhere. Whereas on the bike, I can get to placed further afield than on foot, and much faster. And now, I hardly walk anywhere.

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