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7 Reasons That You Shouldn’t do Bicycle Maintenance at 3am

Posted on September 28, 2010 in Top Posts | 0 comments

3am:  A time when almost everyone is in bed, sleeping.  But you may not be.  You may be lying in bed, unable to sleep.  You may be pontificating on weighty and important matters such as: What is the best wine to serve with SPAM?  Why does my local supermarket always run out of crumpets on Monday?  What would win in a fight; a pangolin or a labrador?  Usually these thoughts are inconclusive but, as you lay thinking important things, you may have a eureka moment and suddenly – and rather excitingly – the cause of the strange noise that your bicycle has been making all week will become apparent to you.  But under no circumstance, no matter how enthused you are, should you take any action at this time.  Here are seven reasons you shouldn’t do bicycle maintenance at 3am.

a poster prohibiting a cycles being fixed at 3am with a spanner.

1.  It’s Cold.  Not in bed, it’s nice and warm there.  But it will be cold in the kitchen.  Very cold.  But that’s where the bicycle and tools are.  So, as you’ve arrived downstairs wearing a t-shirt and pyjama bottoms, you’ll grab whatever clothes you can find from the cupboard under the stairs.  And fairly soon, outfitted in green flip-flops, a pink and brown striped scarf, a beige trenchcoat,  a blue bobble hat and a pair of grey fingerless gloves, you’ll think to yourself, never mind, it’s not like anyone will see me. Then you’ll head into the kitchen where it will be…

2.  Dark.  So you’ll put the kitchen lights on, and the kitchen will become very bright indeed.  So bright, in fact, that you’ll hurt your eyes and be caused to squint.  But you’ll set to work anyway; squinting, with spanner in hand and then, out of the corner of your squinty eye, you’ll notice a light, shining through your window (because no one covers their kitchen windows).  Yes, it’s…

3.  The Neighbours.  Or more specifically, the neighbours whose bedroom overlooks your kitchen.  And you’ll do what anyone would do in this circumstance.  You’ll stand up, squinting, smile and wave at them.  Mostly to reassure them that it’s you and not a brainsick, colour-blind tramp who has broken in to steal the pasta from your kitchen.  Or the lemons.  And eventually, after the initial shock at seeing your outfit has worn off, they’ll realise that you’re not a burglar.  And the spanner that you’re waving in your right-hand will probably mirror their opinion of you.  Anyway, the neighbours will soon go back to sleep and you’ll return to the bike and work slowly and deliberately, in order to be…

4.  Quiet.  Shh.  Very Quiet.  As quiet as a timid dormouse breaking wind next to a hungry lion.  Because your bedroom’s above the kitchen.  And making a noise would be inconsiderate/very very dangerous.  So you’ll work quietly, and that will go well.  Until you drop the spanner onto the quarry tiles.  And you will drop the spanner onto the quarry tiles.  Then – suddenly – and without warning, you will be face to face with…

5.  Angry Woman.   And Angry Woman is…angry.  Furious, in fact.  Angry Woman is…shouting.  She’s shouting things like:

“What the hell are you doing?” In this circumstance – even though you have a spanner in your hand and a partly disassembled bicycle in front of you, you shouldn’t resort to sarcasm.  That will make Angry Woman turn red and growl.  You don’t want that.  And then she may shout…

“You love that bicycle more than you love me.” Now,  the last time she said something, you spoke, and that didn’t go at all well.  But that doesn’t mean that pausing and considering your words carefully is a good idea this time; it certainly isn’t.  Because then it will appear that you’re actually considering whether you love the bicycle more.  And even though your bicycle isn’t the one yelling and shouting at you, and it does have red handlebars and a nice…no, no you don’t love the bicycle more.  Really.  Anyway, the pause is a bad thing.  Because then she’ll shout…

“You’re supposed to be in bed.   WITH ME!” Okay, so sarcasm and thinking haven’t gone well for you.  What’s left?  Humour?  No.    “I didn’t think you’d want your bottom bracket lubricating at 3am, darling” is the wrong reply.  And after she’s shouted,

“And what the hell are you wearing?!” (it’s rhetorical this time) before storming upstairs, you’ll probably come to the conclusion that it’s time to go…

6.  Back To Bed.  Stepping out of your Beach-Boy-hobo-Humprey-Bogart-on-acid-costume, you’ll return to the nice warm bed where you’ll discover by touching legs with your wife that your body temperature is at least ten centigrade lower than hers.  And then she will kick you.  Very hard.  This will hurt, and in two days time you’ll have a large blue and purple bruise on your left shin.  At this point though, when the pain subsides, you’ll fall into a deep, satisfying, refreshing sleep and the next morning you’ll wake up and feel amazing.  And you’ll feel that way right up until the moment you open your eyes and see the…

7.  Oily Fingerprints All Over The Sheets And Pillows.  Ooops.  And later, on your cycle ride, you may feel inclined to visit both the florist and the chocolatier.

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