Recently, after pedaling home well after dark, I decided to stop by Single Track and pick up a rear view mirror and headlight. Normally, I would have just asked the manager if he would attach both for me before I left but lately I've been feeling ashamed of not taking a greater responsibility for my own bike maintenance. About the most I know how to do (or really want to do) is put air in my tires.
|My personal bike mechanic.|
|He performs many helpful tasks and looks good in a suit.|
|Bob, me and my romantic advisor, Winn.|
|Is my mother smiling because she thinks I still don't know??|
So, back to bicycles and guilt. Bob has previously lovingly performed the tasks of installing fenders, bike racks, headlights, rear view mirrors, bells and seat posts on to my other bikes. The guilt comes in when I read posts by other women bloggers who are personally, with their own manicured hands, putting studded tires on their rims, sand blasting and soldering rusted old Schwinn frames, and rebuilding vintage Raleighs. I'm not doing any of those things. I'm not even sure I want to either but you can take the Catholic out of the girl but never the Catholic guilt.
|Two rubber washers are attached to the screw to secure tightly in the handlebar.|
So after watching the mirror and the headlight sit idle on the coffee table for several days, I thought to myself, "I can do it! I can do it." Bob asked me if I needed help. I told him that I just wanted him to take pictures as photographic evidence that I really did it by myself. "Oh, yes," he said, "you really should learn a little bike maintenance just in case something happens and you're out by yourself." Well, if you insist!
|A cap at the end of the handlebar was easy to remove with a butter knife.|
|Twist and push.|
So I found that there is nothing to installing a rear view mirror, especially if your bike has a little cap at the end of the handlebar that can be easily removed with a butter knife. I hate it when special tools are involved.
Really, the most important thing to remember about attaching new accessories to one's bike is not the toss the instructions in the recycling bin. Look at them. Match the various parts to the enclosed diagram. Read the instructions a couple of times.
I learned that it really is just fine to ask for help. The garage was freezing so I accessorized my Dahon in the living room and asked Bob turn on the overhead light so I could see better. I also asked him to steady my bike a couple of times and one time I asked him to unscrew a bolt that was too tight for me to manage on my own.
Mirror installation complete!
|Cat Eye headlight|
|Attaching the bracket.|
|Adjusting the Ziptie.|
As for helpful tasks performed by Bob, he's been on a bread making frenzy for the last two months. He's been getting a great deal of satisfaction every time he hands me a slice of warm Italian bread, slathered with unsalted butter and seeing my eyes promptly roll back into my head.