Last week, I sold my trusted motorcycle (to save money on petrol and do the right thing by the environment), before replacing it with an electric bicycle. The bike, which travelled to Finland all the way from Germany, was a sheer delight. The only fault I could find were two flat tyres (on delivery), so I went and dusted off the bike pump, only to discovered that it, too, had died. (RIP). Not wanting it to be stolen from my happy home in Utsjoki, I pedal-straddled the bike to the end of the riding path in order to lock the bike up safely in the shed. As I did so, the handlebars dropped and I came a cropper.
Yesterday, I bought not one, but two new bike pumps from the local hardware store. After pumping up the tyres, I was set to ride – forgetting (of course) that the handlebars weren’t quite right. Not far into my journey, the handlebars dropped down and, again, I came a cropper – much to the delight of the applauding neighbours who were having their Saturday afternoon beer-fest.
It would sound rather sad to say that I’d forgotten the first incident when my handlebars got too close to my overly-rounded girls before I nose-dived into the gravel path. Regardless, that’s exactly what I’d done, and now I have TWO bruises to remind me of it. On inspecting the screws on the handlebars, I tightened the ones on left and right, before tightening the ones front and back. The one at the back of the handlebar was fine. The one at the front…. was missing the nut which secures it in place. Mystery solved. I have since sent the people in Germany (Bikester) an email regarding my small misfortune, and felt bad asking them to send me a nut (which should have been on the bike, but sadly seems to have been forgotten about). I dread their response.
In the meantime, my new electric bike and I shall walk down the bike path of shame to the bike shed, whilst shielding my bloody gravel-face from further applause.
*bows graciously to the tune of further applause, before limping away*
PS: Here’s my letter to Bikester in Germany:
Today, I was able to take my new bike for a test ride for a second time, confident that all would be well, and eager to test out the electrical system. Once again, the handlebars dropped, and I was confused as to why they would do this. On pulling up back at the house (I fell off at the house, and the surrounding population applauded and cheered), I did a thorough inspection of the screws holding the handlebars in place. Those on the left and right were tight. The screws at the front (top and bottom) of the handlebars were a different matter.
I ensured the one at the back was unable to be tightened any further, but when I attempted to tighten the screw at the front, I turned the alan-key, and turned it, and turned it some more. I wondered why it was not tightening at all, so felt underneath to see if the nut was geared to go in the opposite direction (I am from Australia, and when we flush, the water goes up – yes I am kidding – but it does go in the opposite direction). What I found was that there was no nut at all securing the screw at the front. This answered the question of why the bike’s handlebars keep falling forwards and backwards, and why I was entertaining the neighbours so much, finally has been answered.
As I very much wish to use my bike before the ice freezes the streets (which is in the next few weeks), please forward the replacement bolt so I can securely screw the handlebars into a secured place.
As for the other invoice, I will have to follow up on that. But missing bolt aside, this is a truly outstanding bicycle.
I look forward to hearing from you. Hyvää kesää (Have a great summer!)