Well, I finally got around to taking a look at my ruined brake hood. I had the replacement, I had new bar tape to install, and I had a free Sunday afternoon with no distractions.
What could go wrong?
Luckily, my wife was out of the house doing some errands and exercise classes. That meant I could roll the bike into my favorite bike repair center — the kitchen. (Shh! Don’t tell her!)
I quickly removed the old bar tape, and got the brake loosened. And it all went downhill from there.
When it comes to things mechanical, I think an encounter I had with my son sums it up best. About 20 years ago, I was sitting on the steps of my deck, unscrewing the housing of some kind of powered garden tool — I forget just what — when he came around the corner and saw me.
“Dad! What are you doing?” he cried.
I told him.
“Aw, Dad, you know how this is going to turn out. You’ll get it all apart, and you’ll get frustrated, and you won’t be able to get it back together, and it’ll be in worse shape than it was before you started.”
He had that figured out at a tender age. I, on the other hand, haven’t figured that out yet. And sure enough, the scenario of 20 years ago replayed itself, as I realized I would have to undo one of the brake cables from the brake assembly.
I didn’t figure that out until I had some tiny Phillips head screws lying on the kitchen table, and nowhere to go. I managed to get everything kind of back to where it was when I started.
Our club’s bike mechanic told me he’s cutting back his repair time, since he’s getting a new full-time job. But I’ll book something with him sometime this week. He’ll have fun looking over what I attempted, and how it turned out. And he’ll fix it in a fraction of the time it took me to wreck it.
Maybe I’ve finally learned my lesson: When it comes to bike mechanicals, leave it to the pros.