I had a senior moment

I had a senior moment. It wasn’t the first. And, I suspect, it won’t be the last.

Last week I installed a new chain on the commuter. It is not the first time I have done this. No, I have been installing chains for 35 years. I use the large cog, large chainring method to determine the optimum chain length. Using this method, the chain is put on the large front chainring and large cog on the freewheel (or cassette) without threading it through the rear derailleur. The chain is pulled taught and then you add two additional links to the length. There are other methods but I have found this to be fast, reliable and easy.

The next day, I road the bike to the office. On the way there is a small, short incline. I kept the chain on the large chainring and geared down to the third largest cog on the back. The chain locked. The bike stopped abruptly. I was fortunate I wasn’t going fast otherwise, I would have been thrown violently over the bars.

The chain was really locked. The only way I could free it was to loosen the rear wheel and move it forward in the drops to get enough slack in the chain to move it to a smaller cog. The chain was too short. It could not get onto the larger cogs. What did I do wrong?

That night, I was unexpectedly awakened by a dream. I was in the midst of installing a new chain on my bike. It showed me what I had done wrong. I had subtracted two links instead of adding them to the length. No wonder the chain was too short.

How could I have done that? Was I rushed? No! Was I careless? No! Am I inexperienced? No!

I can only think it was one of those senior moments. One of those moments you would rather forget. Certainly not a moment you want to admit and share.

I’ll keep this to myself.

2 thoughts on “I had a senior moment

  1. I’ve been having senior moments since I was 6.

    Strangely enough my chain locked as well on Tuesday. I thought I’d bent the derailleur after falling – eventually turned out it was loose on the hanger.

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