We went back to Richardsons to change the seatpost. Not too exciting, you might think, but there was an incident of some import: we broke the chain!
As we were in the last few hundred yards of the outward journey, we had to stop at a t-junction which was followed by a gentle upward gradient towards the Elms lights. We put a bit of pressure on to get up the slope when suddenly the pedals were spinning but we were stationary.
There was no panic from front or back. We just dismounted, my trusty stoker put her foot on the trailing chain as I wheeled the bike forward, and we examined the damage. We had actually snapped a plate. What powerful thighs my wife has!
Well, the really exciting bit happened afer we got to the LBS. Eric Richardson provided a veritable quill of seatposts (is “quill” the collective noun?), but nothing seemed to fit except the 26.4mm post that we already had. But that needed a bit of lemonade tin as a shim to make it fit. Needless to say that 26.4 was the size he didn’t have. We ruefully replaced our old post and ordered another, due in next Wednesday. Without the shim, the post was loose, even with the bolt done up as tight as possible. With the shim, it fitted snugly.
Our chain needed sorting out. Eric brandished his trusty tool and in a jiffy a link had been removed and we were mobile again. We discussed the possibility of replacing the front chain also, but decided against it. Eric’s reasoning was twofold: firstly, neither it nor the ring was particularly worn, the front chain not receiving the punishment that the rear one does; secondly, if the front chain does break, then you can still make progress just on the stoker’s efforts. Janet appreciated the humour of this situation whilst reserving the right to keep a stiletto in her lycra to stab me in the back at a suitable opportunity (not that she has any lycra).
Well, actually she does. While we were in the shop, she bought some cycling gloves, which is an acknowledgement that she actually belongs to the subset of humanity labelled “cyclist”. That’s progress. In addition, I sowed the seed of an idea: which solo machine would she like? (Richardsons has a pretty good selection of Ridgebacks, Orbeas and Treks, with the occasional Dawes & Dahon thrown in.)
“Why would I want a solo machine? I’ve got the Brompton and if we go out together we’ve got the tandem.”