I don’t like mudguards very much: from experience they are a pain to fit and if anything can go wrong with them it will, but we are using my bike almost daily since we fitted the Xtracycle and winter is coming soon, bringing wet roads and spray, so I really need to get them fitted. The back one went on fine after a kind friend spent about twenty unpaid minutes cutting the stays down a bit, but while trying to attach the front mudguard I found that, surprise, surprise, it wouldn’t fit: for various uninteresting technical reasons it needed to be about 2 centimetres lower than the bracket allowed. Being pretty hopeless at making things from metal, I asked for advice from another cycling friend who I’ve fixed bikes with before, and who also happens to be an industrial technician. He also happens to be chronically deaf, and unfortunately this leads people with less time or patience to write him off as being stupid or slow -which he isn’t.
Yesterday afternoon he appeared with a carefully machined bracket, a bolt, two washers and a nut to fit the mudguard onto the bike, and totally refused to let me pay him for it. I know that he has all the tools and bits at work, and it probably took him all of three minutes, but the same thing would have taken me several weeks of searching and guessing and probably wouldn’t work too well either.
If only our society valued kindness above an ability to hear.
(Here endeth the lesson)