Malfunction Junction

commuting chronicles



Since re-assembling my bike after a flight home form Australia eight months ago, I haven’t had a single malfunction, that is, until Sunday. There I was, minding my own business, digging up Brookswood rounding the Old Mill and suddenly, something felt off with my pedal… With each rotation the surface below my foot became more and more uneven. Pretty soon the discrepancy was impossible to ignore. I dismounted and examined the damage. After fiddling with the pedal for a moment, it fell out of the crank arm entirely, reveling a totally texture-less socket… It was stripped.

My mind rushed back to eight months earlier when I hastily screwed the pedals on…I accepted that this was probably my own doing. I began the long walk to Crows Feet. Dave was there, he was kind enough to cram the foot piece back in with a pedal wrench. He recommended I head down to Gear Peddler (the irony was palpable) to find a more long term solution with their used parts. Neither of us was convinced the make-shift hold would last the mile ride.

Luckily, between avoiding weighting my right leg and most of the distance being down hill, the Jerry-rig pedal made it. When I arrived at Gear Peddler, Ret, a new bike mechanic from Eastern Oregon, set me up with a used crank arm to replace the stripped one.

It seemed like such an inconvenience initially. An unexpected $25.00 bill and the time lost. Then I remembered how much I used to payout for a car- a loan, insurance, gas, and maintenance. Even though it can be really cumbersome to be stranded by a bike malfunction, it still costs way less money to sustain a cycle commuting lifestyle. Next time I will take great care in threading the pedals.


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