Monday, June 18, 2007


Bush mechanics

Something for all aspiring bush mechanics to make sure they have in their tool kit. Zip ties! Aka 'cable ties'. Who knew they could be so bloody useful?! - although Marc has always reckoned they were handy things to have around, and he usually has a pack in the back of the car.

Yesterday we were on a BUG ride heading on a 30 km each way ride to Nana Glen (I just slipped that link in for the Russell Crowe connection!): me on my road bike, because Cait had a 3 hour rep netball training session, and Marc with the other two on the triplet. About 4 or 5 km out of Nana Glen (and the cafe we were headed to for lunch), Marc suddenly realised that the front tyre on the triplet was bulging off the rim. Eep! We stopped.. let some air out of the tube, repositioned it, pumped it up again, and set off, but barely 50 m down the road it was doing it again.

This time, with help from a couple of the BUG riders, he took the wheel off, and they investigated. The bead on the wall of the tyre was shredding at one point! To give you an idea, you usually need tyre levers to prise a bike tyre off the rim. Not so here.. When the air was let out of the tube, the tyre was that loose, it could slip right off the rim!

What a hassle. Options? Marc and girls sit on the side of the road while I ride (by myself) 25 km back to Coffs for the car. Or try to fix it enough to get us to Nana Glen (and lunch), and then do the car retrieval.

Marc is usually pretty good at coming up with temporary (at least) repairs in the field, but it was Garry who hit on the cable tie idea. "I've heard about using cable ties..!!" he said enthusiastically. "Don't suppose you have any?"

Only a bag full of them! Thankfully despite the rush we were in in the morning (another story about people in the family being slothful about getting up and being a bit less than enthusiastic to go because OMG!! it was a little bit windy!), and despite forgetting to put in his penknife, he had thrown a bag of cable ties in the pannier bag.

From now on I doubt he'll ever leave home without them! This fix got them the last 5 km into Nana Glen, albeit slowly, with the front brake disconnected, and the tyres a bit soft because they weren't game to pump them too much. We managed lunch, then he got a lift back into town with a guy who only rode one-way and had his wife there with the car.

Wouldn't have wanted to ride it too much further, but it got us out of a fix.

Without his penknife, at one point we thought we had no way of cutting off the ends of the ties... till Neil realised he had one of those small paper cutter stanley knives in his toolkit.

New tyre on the shopping list. And another bag of cable ties!


...and they colour match

Phew! Thank goodness for those ties. You could start a whole new post....101 uses of cable ties! ;)
That is TOO clever! AS I was reading I was thinking about SD's tub of cable ties, and they're all hot pink and yellow and such. I'm also eyeballing the bike real hard. That's quite the piece of work, isn't it! I bet they're a ral site, gliding down the road all pedalling in tandem.

You and your family have the coolest pastime. Don't you ever forget that.

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