How crap is that? I was cycling to Waterloo this morning, on my brand-new, four-month old Ridgeback bike, when all of a sudden something began to drag badly on the back wheel. I got off, had a good look, up-ended it, and saw that the tyre was rubbing against the mudguard bracket, once per turn.
I tried slackening the wheel and re-seating it, but that didn’t help. The mudguard bracket wasn’t bent or anything. I gradually realised that the wheel was out of true.
But it had happened in an instant; I had heard the change, just as I went over a speed bump. Surely wheels only get warped over a long period of time?
A few more minutes of examination revealed the culprit: a spoke had broken. The careful balance of tension that makes a bike wheel the perfect, dynamically stable circle that it is, had gone, throwing all out of alignment. I feel there should be some sort of metaphor here, perhaps for world affairs; but this isn’t Thought for the Day.
So I was left to take it easy the rest of the way to Waterloo, and I’ll have to struggle home somehow.
Fortunately (I suppose) the bike is overdue for its first free service, so I’ll take it into the shop and I’m sure they’ll sort it out. But after only four months? It’s very disappointing. It’s not like it’s seen very heavy use: twelve miles a day on only two or three days a week on average, and I didn’t use it at all in December.
And it would have to happen this week, when the Central and Waterloo & City Lines are fracked because of the crash.