At TroisV, we like riding our bikes. We also like fixing them, though we, individually and as a group, are of variable proficiency in matters mechanical. Thus, the TroisV Repair Shop is a blundering guide to fixing stuff, written for blundering idiots by blundering idiots. Or anyway, it's an account of what happens when we get the tools out.
Today's lesson: removing dog hair from your tyre.Obviously this isn't an everyday maintenance job, but fortunately it requires no special tools. It does, however, require you to have dog hair on your tyre in the first place.
First find your dog
There are dogs everywhere, but mostly they are on leads or well behaved. You could apply dog hair to your tyre by finding some abandoned by a dog, perhaps by a recently watered tree, or in a recently vacated basket. Or you can get your dog hair fresh off a dog. This is a more daring approach, but a lot more satisfying in the long run.
Today I found a dog in Regent's Park.
Picture the scene. Dr. Doug and I had just completed a pleasant set of laps, largely uneventful save for being stopped in the street by an armed policeman to allow the US ambassador to leave his residence to go ambassading.
I headed to the Broad Walk to cut down the park and head into the centre of the city for work. I eased off my earlier 'pace' and meandered gently down the broad walk sharing it happily with walkers, joggers, squirrels, and friendly bouncing canines.
Suddenly, as if from nowhere (about ten yards away) I was charged by a ferocious devil dog:
well, perhaps a bit smaller than that:
and maybe a bit less satanic:
Anyway, as this albino Scrappy Doo charged, yapping, towards me, I swerved to avoid it. The dog, having a much shorter wheelbase than me, swerved too, intent on... well, its intentions were unclear, but they seemed to involve wanting to swallow my front wheel whole.
Realising that collision was imminent, I bravely abandoned my previously deployed and well rehearsed crash procedure - crashing - and had the presence of mind to clip out of my pedals and not overplay the front brake.
The dog now recognised that its mouth was much smaller than my front wheel, that I was a lot bigger than it, and that I wouldn't be stopping as soon as it might like. It turned sideways, and bent itself into a banana shape to try and avoid impact.
Flashing through my mind was a story I heard once about a cyclist hitting a squirrel and slicing it in half.
I hit the dog. It yelped. I stayed upright. It ran off. Its owners apologised to me. I asked if the dog was alright. They said it would be fine. I suspected this might not be the dog's first attempt at bicycle swallowing. It sat at the side of the path, giving me a dirty look. I went to work.
And I had dog hair on my tyre.
Then Remove the Dog Hair
This part is very easy. Brush the tyre with your glove or hand, and the hair comes right off.
I have no hard feelings towards the dog, and I hope it feels the same way about me. Here's Kate to sing a song of forgiveness for both sides of this adventure.