I (not so) casually dropped in to my last post that I had collected a Turbo Trainer (TT) and done my first cycling session. Before I could use it, it had to be assembled. Joy!
At the shop where I collected the TT, I departed to the following words from the helpful assistant: “You’ll probably exhaust yourself just trying to put that together!” (chuckle, chuckle). Great! Marvellous!
I wouldn’t say I’m particularly good with my hands. I don’t get a lot of practice (out of choice). Most manual activities usually involve a disproportionate amount of bad language and sweat that is inconsistent with the physical effort expected.
Within that context, I would say there are two things that I’ve historically been particularly unsuccessful with:
- Following instructions
So I was clearly set up for success!
As far as instructions are concerned, I’m a bloke. Instructions are there to help you unpick problems, to confirm you’ve made a mistake, to compare your attempt to, or to retrospectively understand the criticality of the red writing on the label marked “IMPORTANT”.
I find bikes fiddly. My main experiences have been with brake adjustments, tweaks to gears and tyres / inner tubes. All of them have been disappointingly unsatisfying and much harder work than they should have been. I’m sure there’s a “knack”, but I don’t have it (in fact I had to check the dictionary to see how it’s spelt!).
Having got the TT home and unpacked it, I did the grown up thing… I sat down and read the instructions! Ten single sentence lines and some incomprehensible diagrams. Still, it appeared that as long as I could accurately measure the wheel of the bike (and didn’t drop / damage the “important bit”), nothing could go wrong.
And so, to the source of my pride… after less than 2 hours, and without having to take the whole thing apart to start again, I managed to build the TT. (To be honest, I did have to measure the wheel multiple times… I knew it was important, but couldn’t get the “fine tuning” to work for quite a while!)
I know it’s a small thing, sad even, but in my book assembling something without destroying it, even in a small way, should always be a cause for celebration.
Although I may be grimacing and cursing when I’m riding the bike, there will forever be a small smile (on the inside) because I managed to get this far in the first place!