funkshn (Regular) View all posts in this topic  
Mon Nov 07, 2011 11:51 am
Quirky little breakdown & recovery        

During my commute I reached the end of a freeway offramp, waited for traffic to clear, and accelerated onto a surface street. The shift up into second was difficult for some reason, so I angled my toe downward, tried again... and the bike shifted into second, but I could tell something had come loose. I glanced down and the shifter was dangling. The large bolt securing it at the base had come completely unscrewed.

I pulled to the side and had a look. The bolt needed an Allen wrench, about 5 or 6 mm. Did I have one of those? If not, I could at least screw it back in finger-tight and ride a few miles to somewhere where I could buy one. Oh, wait, the bike was on the sidestand, and I couldn't position the shifter properly with the sidestand down. No problem, I'll just put it on the centerstand... oh, wait, the bike is in what gear? Second? And I can't easily shift it back to neutral. So I carefully raised the sidestand, held the bike up with one hand, and got the bolt partly threaded into the hole. I lowered the stand and screwed the bolt finger-tight. I was thinking about checking the little factory toolkit to see if got lucky about the Allen wrench, and right about then the Bicycle Guy rolled up behind me.

The Bicycle Guy is a motorcyclist I see occasionally on my commute in the vicinity of Griffith Park, which is where I was broken down. He rides a large BMW adventure bike, and he has all the major luggage and farkles stuck on it. In addition, he has what I can only describe as a sort of vertical mast rising a few feet from the rear of the frame, and on that mast is a bracket, and clamped into that bracket is a mountain bike. I figure he rides to some trailhead, then abandons internal combustion and pedals farther on the mountain bike.

Bicycle Guy asked me what was going on, and I showed him the bolt, and he (naturally) had a set of Allen wrenches. Said he rides to Baja a lot and you pretty much do have to be self-supporting down there. He torqued down the bolt, we shook hands, and off we went. I'm glad I didn't have to test my finger-tight assumptions, and it was interesting to get a better look at Bicycle Guy's rig.

Oh, and yes, I do feel kind of stupid about not giving my 250 more and better once-overs. I caught an engine mounting bolt that had lost a nut by doing that last year, but I have kind of slacked off. I will reform.

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