While partway home yesterday, my bike started to act – and sound – very odd. Initially, I wondered if something had gone wrong with the gears but, finding a safe point to spot, I realised that the issue was the collapse of the hub of the rear wheel, on the side opposite the gear sprocket. It has to cope with a lot of forces and, after what must have been hundreds or even thousands of miles (I probably do about 25 miles most weeks), it finally gave up the ghost.
That meant pushing the bike the rest of the way home and, since I didn’t have a spare wheel, arranging to some disruption to today’s work. I could have gone in late and left early but my boss was happy for me to work at home. In fact, the local bike shop (the excellent Reg Taylor Cycles on Iffley Road) got it sorted out in the morning but there were enough useful things I could work on at home so I picked it up during my lunch break and carried on.
It cost just over £30 but I’ve got a new rear wheel, expertly fitted. Those kind of maintenance costs mean that having a bike isn’t entirely free transport but, even with annual services, a bit of DIY fitting of spares, an occasional outlay on tools and the original cost of the bike (c. £250, about a decade ago), I think the average cost is probably no more than about £2.50 a week – less than a return bus fare to town.
Anyway, on my bike again tomorrow.