I came home from work today to find my mountain bike standing on the garage floor. This is unusual, because it normally hangs from hooks in the garage ceiling.
“Did you go for a mountain bike ride today?” I asked my wife.
“I did!” she replied.
Her own bike was over at our local bike mechanic, getting an overhaul.
“And did you take it down by yourself?” I asked. “That isn’t easy.”
“No,” she said, “it’s not.”
“How was your ride?” I asked. “Say, compared to last week, when you took it out.”
“You know, it was a lot tougher,” she said. “Those gears just didn’t want to shift.”
I’ve been meaning to run the mountain bike in to my mechanic for awhile now. It won’t shift into the lower gears on the rear, and it won’t shift from the middle ring to the small ring up front. But while she thought her trouble today was about the shifters, I suspected it was something else.
“When you took it out last week, I pumped up the tires beforehand,” I said. “I knew you would ride only on streets, so I gave you 60 pounds pressure. But I didn’t know you were riding today, and when I took the bike out Friday, I deflated the tires so I could ride the singletrack. They’ve only got about 35 pounds in them, maybe less.”
“Ah, that explains it,” she said. “When was was coming back up the hill by the supermarket, it felt like I was being pulled backward.”
I got an email from the mechanic today that her bike was ready, and after supper, I went over to pick it up. In the meantime, I dropped off the mountain bike. The next time she rides it, it’ll shift smoothly.
Although now that she has her own bike back, I’ll bet she won’t ride the mountain bike anytime soon.