My daughter once spent an irritating and frustrating week in a grade school English class learning to use the dictionary. She carted the thing home to do her homework, spastically shoving the pages back and forth exclaiming, “If I don’t know how to spell the word how can I find it in the dictionary by spelling it??”
Personally, I thought she had a point – but that wasn’t going to get her homework done. My solution was always to open the dictionary at the page most closely resembling the start of the word (as I imagined it) and read every entry until I found it. If that didn’t work I would think of a different word to use. In English class substitutions are not allowed, but now I’m a grown up and this is my blog so I can use any word I feel like using, which is one of the many perks of growing up, and old. For instance I can randomly write, right here and now, Abercrombie and Fitch (one of my favorites. I just like how it sounds. Someday I may get two cats and name them Abercrombie and Fitch). And also, nanner-nanner.
Yesterday the mechanic called from the bike shop. I believe mechanic is a poor term. Wizard, perhaps. The Bike Wizard called. He said, and I am not making this up: On the Front Derailleur the Barrel Guide Adjuster had broken. This would cause problems with shifting. We’ll get to that in a minute.
Of the entire sentence I understood “front” and “broken”. We can thus deduce that if Johnny had three apples and Susie had 17, and train number one left Poughkeepsie at 12:37pm doing 1,486 mph and train number two left Hoboken at Oh700Hours doing 1,032 mph, that something on the front of my bike: Broke.
He told me they had no new ones in inventory but did have a used one, so he put it on the bike at No Charge. Hubs understands ‘No Charge’ better than any two words in the English language, please believe me, and I have my suspicions he can say it in 27 more, so he was happy that the Thing on the front of the bike that looks like a Barrel without a Guide and is in need of Adjustment (chiropractor? counseling?) was fixed for Free. Bike Wizard went on to explain, apologetically, that all they had in stock was a silver-colored Wonderworking Thingamajig not a white one to match my bike.
Well that’s it then. Take the bike back, I’ll sacrifice myself and not ride it, I’m not sure I can be seen in public with a silver thingie instead of a white one and I might lose my mancard over this.
I’m lying. I don’t really have a mancard. And anyone close enough to see if my thingie is silver is probably going to get punched in the head.
Due to the wonders of the internet, thank you, Mr. Gore, for inventing it or whatever it is you did, I no longer have to slap the pages of the dictionary back and forth, I just google it. After a couple minutes of Google thinking I wanted to know about Derrick Rose or train derailment (which this was beginning to feel like) I found how to spell derailleur and here you go, in case you don’t know any more about bikes than me:
- Derailleur gears are a variable-ratio transmission system commonly used on bicycles, consisting of a chain, multiple sprockets of different sizes, and a mechanism to move the chain from one sprocket to another. Although referred to as gears in the bike world, these bicycle gears are technically sprockets since they drive or are driven by a chain, and are not driven by one another.
- Modern front and rear derailleurs typically consist of a movable chain-guide that is operated remotely by a Bowden cable attached to a shifter mounted on the down tube, handlebar stem, or handlebar. When a rider operates the lever while pedaling, the change in cable tension moves the chain-guide from side to side, “derailing” the chain onto different sprockets.
The much more important thing that happened was that the broken derailleur can cause problems shifting – derailing my attempts to shift into lower and higher gears to make my ride a bit easier on me. I swanny! I’m not an idiot!
And the most important thing is Matilda got new handlebar tape (two-toned black and red) and she is looking extremely fine and stylin’ with her new threads and the new gear box and Bento box. Oh, and he tuned up the brakes. Brakes I understand. I hit those suckers without getting unclipped properly and probably my face is going to get broken. *LALALALALA* I can’t HEAR you. (Brain here: she went somewhere for a moment. Hold on. She’ll be back.)
Where was I? Anyway, the most important thing is Matilda got new handlebar tape (two-toned black and red) and she is looking extremely fine and stylin’ with her new threads and the new gear box and Bento box. Oh, and he tuned up the brakes which were sticky. There was something else about brakes but now I can’t remember.
She’s loaded in the back of Babs (my Explorer aka “Truck”) and waiting for her first shakeout. Becky may be able to ride tomorrow, we’ll see. I’ve taken yesterday and today off so it will be nice if I can get a good workout tomorrow. This afternoon I might go to Walgreen’s to buy elbow and knee covers. You know those stretchy things you wear if your hurt your knee or elbow? I could pretend that’s what I did, and wear them. Hopefully if I fall they’ll tear, instead of me.
It will be like being back in 5th grade wearing cotton crew socks. I’m used to it.
Note the barrel guide adjuster inside the circle, where the arrow is pointing. Get out that magnifying glass thingie you have with the light and use it, that might help. You might be able to see it, it’s about a quarter-inch long. Doesn’t take much to derail a bike I guess. And doesn’t she look fine? See the lollipop pedals? Meh. Probably it’s better to just look at her for a while. A year. Maybe two.