Fixing things with a varying degree of success

The great thing about the bicycle is its simplicity. If something stops working it is usually straightforward to identify the source of the problem and fix it. Babies are not simple. If something stops working you are quickly exhausted trying to fix it. Sometimes you can’t fix it.

After several weeks (possibly months) of zero bike maintenance I decided to clean off the thick layers of ingrained grime and attend to a few glitches. Maybe I am just comparing bike maintenance to the impossibility of making a screaming baby go to sleep, but tightening gear cables and adjusting derailleurs to achieve smooth gear changes is a fairly straightforward process. Repairing things does however take time, but the sense of satisfaction upon completion makes it worthwhile.

While cleaning the bike I found a few chips and scuffs to the paintwork. Despite the bike being relatively new I wasn’t bothered by these scars. They are an inevitability to a machine in regular use and add to its character. My favourite wear and tear marks to my old bike were the rubbed-away paintwork on the cranks and head tube.

How many turns of the pedals does it take to rub away paint with a shoe

How many turns of the pedals does it take to rub away paint with a shoe?

How many turns of the handlebars causes a cable to rub away paint and eat into the metal?

How many turns of the handlebars causes a cable to rub away paint and eat through metal?

This weekend we headed out to Brean Down for a wintry walk. Brean Down is a sprawling sea-side resort on the windswept coast of the Somerset Levels. At this time of the year the beach is deserted and the cliff-top walks offer spectacular views. And if there’s one sure-fire way to make our grumpy baby sleep, it’s by strapping her to my chest and going hiking. This made our walk even more enjoyable.

Dog-walkers

A winter beach is solace for dog-walkers and baby-whisperers

From the tops of

Looking down on the beach from the tops of the cliffs

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7 thoughts on “Fixing things with a varying degree of success

  1. hilarydavies says:

    Beautiful picture of the beach and sands which seem to stretch for miles, but eventually end in the sea. At some point too, Eleanor will be sucking those fingers like a trooper and going to sleep just when you all want. Yes … it’s definitely worth it! x

  2. ragtimecyclist says:

    Although i look after my bike more diligently than everything else in my life (except the kids, of course…!) i actually take a bit of pleasure in the bits that are well worn too (the bike again, not the kids…!) – a part that has been worn smooth has a bit of life to it.

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