Who really needs to shift, anyway?

Over the weekend, I swapped out my old bent-up gear shifter linkage rod thingie with a shiny new (and most importantly: straight) gear shifter rod. Easy as pie: loosen up the locknuts, unscrew old rod, screw in new rod, tighten up the locknuts.

Problem is that apparently, simple things are hard.

Halfway to work yesterday, I realized that my shift pedal was nowhere near my foot. It was, in fact, about 4″ below my toe. I could downshift by shoving my foot down there, but there was no way I could get my foot under it to upshift.

OK, no problem, I’m getting off the freeway anyway — I’ll just downshift to 1st gear and Ride Real Slow into work. OK.

So I get to the first stoplight, I downshift into 1st and CLUNK! Suddenly, no gear pedal. At all. I say, “oh, poo” and coast to the shoulder.

Fortunately, I had karmic boomerang brownie points, and the linkage rod had come unscrewed on one side but was still (barely) hanging onto the other side. All I had to do was screw the rod back on and
finger-tighten the locknuts just enough to get into work. I was very happy that I didn’t have to walk up and down Page Mill Road, against the stream of rush hour traffic, looking for a missing linkage rod.

Once I got to work, I dug into the underseat toolkit for the 10mm open-ended wrench and Really Actually Tightened the locknuts this time.

See, folks, this is why you need to go to the fitness section and lift weights — so you can tighten those pesky 10mm locknuts. 😉

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