A rough chain on the Tourer had been diagnosed as it being several links too long; it was so bad that in some gears the chain was rubbing against itself.

This clearly was urgent, so I dithered and tried to ignore it for a week or two.

Yesterday I decided enough was enough, and it was time to fix the chain. To do this I had to unclip the “Missing link”, the little gizmo in the picture above, using a special pair of pliers, shorten the chain with another specialised tool, and then clip the missing link back in. I didn’t have a tool to open the missing link, but I was not worried: I had found several online videos showing that it could be opened by wrapping a used gear cable around the missing link and pulling it with a pair of pliers, and stick it one to the capitalist-consumerist society.

I attempted this method, and it was a valuable experience. For one, it told me that it didn’t work.

I went to get my things together for another rattly commute. On the way, I reflected that I shouldn’t be downhearted: I’d learned from the experience and I would find another way forward. What, for example, would Napoleon have done?

Invade Sardinia, probably. This was not entirely helpful.

Suddenly a light bulb moment: I needed to remove several links from the chain. I had a spare missing link in my tool bag. I could remove the links around the old missing link, and then just clip another missing link in.

This was achieved, with a bit more removed than I was planning. I rode nervously around the car park: silence.

I cycled back from work marvelling at the lack of effort, and happy the bike was no longer clicking loud enough that small children came out to watch.

60km later the chain hasn’t landed on the road in a rather ugly mess: the bike is working, gears change first time; everyone is happy.