Well.. OK, not really. But it was impeccable timing on the part of my Omafiets. She’s a year old now and I guess it was time to be feisty. Lets also be honest though – I am hard on my bike. I’m not a small rider – I’m 6ft tall and built like the Midwestern Dutch girl I am. I ride year-round, every day. While I store my bike inside at home and now at work too, last winter and spring it sat outside in the elements all day long. And I don’t wash it that much in the winter.
First off, my kickstand fell apart. Think about that for a sec: my heavy-duty- weighs-at-least-3lbs-on-it’s- own-kickstand fell off my bike?! I”m still not sure how it happened. Here’s a picture of what’s left – I gave it to Little Ding and he’s been ‘working on it’ at his workbench.
As you can see the kickstand itself did not bend or break though I thought it was bent at first as it was leaning to one side for a couple of months. I realized however, that it was actually the section that this stand connects to, which in turn connects to the bike, that was having the problem. Then, last week as I unlocked my bike at the grocery store and attempted to kick the stand back up, it got stuck. Wouldn’t move at all. I tried to jiggle it and the entire thing fell off. I was going to go to the Dutch Bike Company this past weekend to replace it, but well, as I mentioned in my previous post, they’re no longer in business. Instead I rode over to J.C. Lind Bike Company on Wells Street and they had a few in stock and installed it on the spot for me.
I have never heard of anyone having this problem with the Oma or Opafiets – have you? I do know that my bike was knocked over once while locked up. I came back outside and my bike was on the ground. This might have started my kickstand problems but I’m not sure.
Without a kickstand you know it was only a matter of time before it would tumble over when I forgot about the lack of kickstand or tried leaning it up against something that could not really support it. Which happened. And so my bike tumbled over. Crashed over is more like it. And the crash totally smashed up my bell. Smashed it beyond refurbishment. So along with a new kickstand, I got a new bell. This time I got a giant “Ding Dong” bell! I wasn’t really planning on that, but the other bell options were not to my liking and I really use my bell a lot. I have to say that this bell is nice and loud! I don’t have to change the name of my blog do I?
And finally to top it all off, on the way home from the J.C. Lind bike shop with all my new accessories, I got a flat tire! First flat in a year. A year is not too bad – though I’ve gone longer without a flat on the Specialized Armadillo tires that were on my MTB. My Dutch bike has Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires – they may be heavy tires but in cities where the bike lanes are full of broken pavement and glass like Chicago, they’re a godsend. I do highly recommend the heavier ‘puncture resistant’ tires. Unfortunately I haven’t yet learned how to take off the real wheel and deal with the hub on my Dutch bike so a visit back to the bike shop is in order for me.
A little more bike drama than I would like to start my week, but all is well. And my fellow Oma and Opafiets owners -there are other bike shops in Chicago that have the parts and accessories we need – do not worry.