Friday, October 5

Day 279: Right-Brained

Ingenuity is something I don't usually possess when it comes to electronic or mechanical things. I am definitely more right-brain oriented. If you look at key words to describe left-brained people you find logical, rational, analytical, objective. Key words for right-brained people include random, intuitive, subjective, creativity. In fact, I'd even say that when it comes to assembling IKEA furniture I prefer the intuitive approach rather than doing the logical thing and reading the instructions. One time I had to completely take apart a coffee table and start over because of my "intuitive assembly method." You would think I would learn something from that and yet even today you could find me pressing every button possible or clicking around on a computer trying to fix a problem. Okay, maybe I don't click around randomly so much anymore since my husband has "trained me" (read: forbidden me to click or press buttons) but let's just say, my intuition is better used elsewhere.

So imagine my surprise when this morning I was able to fix a problem on my bicycle all by myself, nearly. On Wednesday when I was riding my bike home from my burger adventure, I first noticed that it felt like I was riding with the break on. I meant to ask my husband about it but forgot. So when I was getting my bike out to ride this morning I remembered and thought I'd take a quick look to see if there was anything obviously wrong. I checked out the back wheel. I picked it up and spun it and it seemed fine. I merely looked at the front wheel and it looked okay too so I decided to chance it and ride anyway. I mean, it was a gorgeous morning with sunshine and blue sky. It is sort of a given that I have to ride my bike if the weather is that nice.

I made it all the way to Kungsholmen, which is the island where I work and finally gave up and pulled over to try to figure out what the problem was. Looking down at the front wheel from my bike seat I could see that the break doohickey was slanted to the left. Weird. I cautiously pressed the left side part to the right (my "intuitive" tendency). Nothing happened. I pressed the right side part toward the right. Same thing. At this point I figured I better call the expert. I called my husband. He was very nice and even patient as he tried to walk me through checking certain things. He told me to check the front wheel to see if it was spinning free. I picked up the front wheel and tried to spin it. No dice. The break was definitely the problem.

He then told me to look for and find the "spring arm" on the right that is connected to the break joint. Right. I don't know about you but I didn't see any spring arm. But there WAS this wire looking thing hanging off to the side (the spring arm)... I looked at the other side and suddenly I had "intuitively" figured it out. that skinny, lever-arm looking thing (the spring arm) had come unhooked from that knobby thing sticking out. I pressed it back into place and voila! It worked! I did a quick happy dance. Then I jumped back on my bike and road the rest of the way to work. A Happy Day.

The spring arm is that very skinny thing sticking up that curves slightly to the left at the top and is tucked behind that knob. Cool, huh? Time for some bike repair lessons... :-)

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