Nearly Getting Killed And What I’m Doing About It

by sjbgilmour

So last week I took my bike in to (Name Withheld Cycles) to be tuned.  The gears were changing as they should – kind of.  Occasionally I had to pump the lever a few times to get it to change from second to third.  Also, it was making a grinding noise on and a few other squeaks and rattles.

It needed a new chain, they said.  I could have it back on Monday, they said.

Monday came.  I rode my older spare bike in to work so that I could pick up my regular bike to  ride home, and drop off the old one for the same service.

I paid my $110 and made to ride off.  For the first 500 metres or so, I didn’t need to change gears.  I just had to go along the footpath to get to the road I was intending to take to get me home; the bike shop not being on my regular route.

Then I noticed it.  The chain slipping — shearing off the cogs.  Crap.  I changed through a few different gears to see if I could get better tension…  wait a minute!  I’m pumping the lever to change gears even more that I had to before I dropped it off to be serviced.  I’d go in the next day and see what they could do about it.  No point turning back now.  Got Miss6’s school music thing tonight.  Can’t miss that.  Onwards I go.

A little while later down the road, I get to an intersection.  I had to turn to go down a side-street to get to the bike path that would take me home, clear of any traffic.

The light turned from Green to Amber.  I got ready.  There!  The break in the traffic between Amber and Red when I could turn before the traffic starts coming my way.  I stand up on the pedal.  RIP!  Fuck – the fucking chain’s come off!

I do a mad hobble/haul of the bike to get out of the way of an oncoming truck and just manage to get to the side-street.  I back-pedal a bit and the chain slips back on.  Shit.  That was very fucking close.  Too fucking close.  Any closer and I’d have been hamburger.

I ride home at half speed in the only gear that won’t slip and immediately call (Name Withheld Cycles) and in typical SJB style, let ’em have it.  I’ll be going in tomorrow to not only make sure they fix what they should have done properly in the first place, and I’ll be retrieving the spare bike before they do anything to it.  I’ll get someone else to work on my bikes from now on.

I’ll let you all know how things went tomorrow.  If all goes well, (Name Withheld Cycles) will remain anonymous.  If not, well, you get the idea.