Ladies and Gentlemen, in a shameless attempt to boost the ratings of our fledgling series "The Pastry Is Right!", we today combine it with the stalwart TroisV Repair Shop to bring you an extra special tale of woe, repair, and money forkage-outage.
The TroisV was due to climb some Kentish hills this fine day, and so in preparation, I lovingly scrubbed my bike, thoroughly cleaned the chain, and then set about replacing the brake blocks, which were worn down to and/or below the wear limit. Faithful and longtime readers (as usual, Hi, Mom!) will recall that the inaugural episode of TroisV Repair shop covered this exact task. So after reviewing my own instructions, I set about the task.
Readers--Mom--I didn't get very far. Of the four brake pads that needed replacing, exactly one of them could be removed. This is because the other three were held in place by bolts the heads of which had been stripped. The allen key simply swiveled around and around in a too-round (unedged) hole. The square (hexagonal) peg wouldn't fit! I tried various solutions, including needlenose pliers and cutting through the rubber pad to see if I could remove the bolt from the underside. I phoned TroisV members to ask for advice. All this to no avail.
I'm blaming the mechanic who repaired my bike (and replaced the brake blocks) for this problem, though I have also decided there's a basic design flaw involved... don't build bolts that strip themselves so easily, jerks!
So anyway--and here's where "The Pastry Is Right!" comes in--this morning, instead of cycling, I was wandering around town looking for new brake shoes. I wandered to a local shop that I've been meaning to visit for a while, but they didn't have them in stock, "Because they're expensive," as the helpful shop guy told me. He offered to order them, but I want my bike working now rather than later, so I walked/public transported myself to Condor Cycles where I bought two new sets of Shimano 105 shoes, after asking the guy in the shop what the fundamental difference was between the 105s and the Ultegras (You can replace the blocks in the 105s, but not in the Ultegras... which leads me to think in retrospect that I should've bought the Ultegras, but anyway, I didn't).
I have now replaced all of my brake shoes, and my bike is ready for the road:
But how much did they set me back? Keep in mind that I used my LCC discount... if your guess is closest, "The Pastry Is Right!"
I also would like to point out at this juncture that neither Dr. Matt nor Mr. Jon rode the Sevenoaks trail today, either. One of them is still recovering from illness, another was engaged in some sort of high stakes bake-off with his mother-in-law, and as usual it was pouring rain anyway, which decreased the collective motivation in the first place.
What I'd really like to know, however, is what any of this has to do with London 2012 Cycling Events.
Gram's going to talk for a little bit before he sings one of my favorite songs: