Oh dear, barely two weeks after my fulsome praise for the Xtracycle’s elderly gear shifters and the rear shifters decided to expire. It’d been threatening this for some time now, but I’d perfected the method of “press with thumb, change back into second and press again” which for some reason appeased its internal gremlins into letting it change into first gear. Now said Gremlins seem to have gone thoroughly grumpy and the lever is slipping from steadily higher gears. As our local geography means I need reliable use of the lowest gears on a fairly regular basis, this is a problem, so it looks like the 15 year old levers will have to be replaced and sharpish, not least because  youngest son brought some kind of bugs home from the Kindergarten and shared them around on a democratic basis so everyone bar your correspondent is snuffling and feeling groggy, so guess who ends up transporting everything.

All this ‘cycling keeping you healthy’ stuff has its drawbacks, it seems.

Fortunately I have a backup set of fairly new and actually slightly better shifters, hoarded several months ago when a customer brought in a bike to be disposed of.  I also have most of the tools I need, so naturally I’m now going to put off the job for as long as possible by using the Bakfiets for local rides and then change the shifters in a mad rush just before I have to go on a longer journey.

Meanwhile Youngest Son has managed to get a puncture on his Laufrad and Middle Son is beginning to clamour for me to finish repairing his brother’s old bike so he can use it.

Which twit said the advantage of bicycles is the empowerment from being able to fix your own?

Oh, yeah: me.

Still, it’s nice to be worrying about normal things and not wondering where Beautiful wife’s Japanese family are.