Poem 173 – Service Required

Hello sir, what can we do for you?
A mystery sensation when you pedal?
Hmm, might be the bottom bracket’s bearings,
is there a crunching when you turn the cranks?
Those pedals, are they new? Perhaps your cleats
are loose or worn. Let’s strip her down and change
your chain, it’s stretched and straining the cassette.
Your derailleurs look dodgy, did you know
(a cheeky wink) that wheels have nipples.
We’ll check your cables and their casing, rust
can stop their operation, make them snag.
Same for your brakes, your callipers and levers,
and let’s index those gears to make them smooth.
But sir, I hate to say it but I must,
have you considered that another factor
might be at play? Perhaps it’s not the bike
that creaks (a wince), perhaps it’s you.
Maybe the grinding’s in your knees, the pain
comes from a back that’s old and worn. I fear
There’s not so much that we can do…
                                                                                for you.

I find when I’m cycling for any length of time that I begin to obsess about the sound and feel of my bike. The smallest thing becomes amplified until I become convinced there’s something wrong. Am I just looking for an excuse, or looking in the wrong place?

© Ben Quant 2023
Image by Jarkko Mänty from Pixabay

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