Lesson Learned, Again. For Now.

03.29.2009 | 10:20 pm

workstand.jpgLast November, I bought something bike-related, but have not yet mentioned it in this blog. Since I generally over-share all of my bike-related life to (and often beyond) the point of ickiness, you are no doubt curious what that thing is.

It’s a bike stand. Specifically, a Bontrager ProWrench Repair Stand. Which I suspect is a terrific bike stand, though I must now admit that I will probably never really know. Because, if things go well and I keep my head, I will use this bike stand primarily as a combination clothesline / vanity bike stand / scarecrow.

Let me explain.

Mechanicus Inepticus Maximus, Defined

I suffer from Mechanicus Inepticus Maximus (MIM), a disease that prevents me from successfully executing even the simplest bike repair and maintenance. When I work on my bike, my hands get clammy. I sweat profusely, I forget the meaning of “righty-tighty-lefty-loosey” (except in Australia).

I strip bolts. I drop and lose small parts. I scratch paint, dent metal, and splinter carbon.

I start talking to myself, and not in a very nice way. I will say things like, “You, sir, are a buffoon. An addle-brained, senile, and uneducated buffoon. You are fit to handle neither wrench nor screwdriver. Hex keys scatter in your presence.”

As I work, my failures cascade. After trying to replace brake pads, somehow my wheels have come out of true. After I flail around for a bit with the spoke wrench, somehow my left crank has become loose. When I tackle that, somehow, mystically my bike chain shortens by two links.

Let me use last weekend as an example. I have lately become very comfortable with disassembling bike chains, since I have completely disassembled four of them in the past month. So I thought to myself, “It’s high time I remove the chain from my Waltworks, give it a thorough degreasing, and put it back on.

Naturally, I went a turn too far with the chainbreaker tool and popped the pin out altogether.

So I thought, “Well, I have a new chain just sitting in the garage. I’ll put it on the bike. Except I made it one link too short. So I added a link back in…except I must have added two, because then the chain was flopping around like it was a foot too long.

So I adjusted the limit screws and the dropout. Evidently, though, not the same amount, because now the wheel wobbles when it spins. Not that it spins very much, of course, because of course it rubs against the brakes.

At this point I abandoned the project before it got worse. And believe me, it would have gotten worse.

MIM: Is it a disease or a curse? I cannot tell. Maybe it’s some of both. Like syphilis, but more embarrassing.

What Triggers MIM?

MIM can remain dormant for as long as the one affected doesn’t try anything stupid — like working on a bike. In my case, however, I’ll occasionally get the urge to improve my bike wrenching skills, thinking that I could save myself a lot of time if I knew how to take care of the basics.

So I’ll go and buy the tools for my project. Last week, for example, I got a torque wrench and some hex bits, thinking that I wanted to have everything I need on hand to adjust the settings on my new Superfly Singlespeed. Maybe swap out the handlebars, maybe practice changing the tire with those Chris King Funbolts installed.

You know. Try to become more self-sufficient.

I’ve already mentioned how well the bike chain project went. I have not mentioned, however, that I first stripped the adjustment bolt on my new bike’s seatpost. I’m sure this information surprises you. A lot.

I believe I will donate all my tools to a worthy bike shop before I once again get the impression that I have any business doing anything with a bike but riding it.

Secret Shame

I do my best to hide the fact that I suffer from MIM. It’s not easy, though. When neighbors — who have seen I have a ridiculous number of bikes in my garage — ask me to help them repair their kids’ bikes, I have to come up with a diffierent excuse each time. When my bike’s broken down at the side of the road and another cyclist stops and asks what the problem is, I have to make something up. When I ride by people suffering from a mechanical on the trail, I have to pretend I am deaf and have not seen them.

But I am not the only one who suffers from MIM. I know this for a fact, because a few months ago, I stopped by Dug’s house, and found him in the garage…muttering over a chain (a purple one, which indicates an entirely different disease).

I offered help. It shows you just how desperate he was that he accepted that help. From me.

Eventually, we did in fact get that chain on the bike, but we twisted one end of it 180 degrees before connecting, creating a bike-chain mobius strip.

And also Dug lost a finger.

The First Step

I am convinced that before a MIM sufferer can hope to be cured, he must first acknowledge his sickness, and then publicly vow to never harm a bicycle again. Toward that end, I hereby declare and swear myself to the following:

The MIM Sufferer’s Oath
I, (Your Name Here), have no ability with tools. I have never had such an ability and freely confess that I will never have such an ability. Nothing but harm and sadness will ever come of me trying to convince myself otherwise.

As a cyclist without mechanical skill, I now promise that I will no longer pretend to have the ability to do anything with my bike beyond inflating a tire and lubing the chain. I will not change brake pads. I will not true a wheel. I will not try to fix that creaky noise coming from either the bottom bracket or stem, I’m not sure which.

I will not even pretend to think about setting up disc brakes.

I promise to sell — or if necessary, give — all my tools to someone who can use them without causing irreparable harm. When my bike is broken, I shall confess as much and bring it straight to the bike shop before I make things worse. And I shall tip the mechanic generously, for he has a skill that I have not.

From this day forward, I will ride my bikes with renewed understanding as I embrace my limitations. Specifically, if my bike ever breaks even a little bit and I’m by myself without a good cel phone signal, I’ve got a long walk ahead of me. For while the tools in my seatbag may help me survive in the wilderness or perhaps whittle a flute, in my hands these tools are tools exclusively of destruction, and will do the bike no good whatsoever.

At all.

No matter how long I tinker, nor how many knuckles I bloody.

Hi, my name’s Fatty, and I have MIM.


  1. Comment by Lorie | 03.30.2009 | 12:16 am

    I once got a flat tire. Thinking I could fix it, I got the patch kit out of the seatbag, put the patch on the tire, got the CO2 cartridge, inflated the tire and wondered why it didn’t hold the air. Only when I took the bike to the shop and the mechanic nearly died laughing, did I realize that I should have patched the inner tube, not the TIRE. My reply, “Well, there was a hole in the tire too” – which only caused more laughter.
    Mechanically, for some of us, there is no hope.

  2. Comment by BikeCopVT | 03.30.2009 | 1:21 am

    I Know this is off topic and it is totally a shot in the dark, but here goes.

    I got my awesome new Fat Cyclist Wooly for my birthday on 03/27. Then promptly left it on the roof of my friend’s car and lost it on 03/28.

    Anyone in Vermont (Colchester Area) that sees a Fat Cyclist Wooly sitting on the side of the road, please help. I’m really hoping someone found it and will do the right thing.

    Win Susan!

  3. Comment by SYJ | 03.30.2009 | 1:26 am

    So very sad.

    During job interviews over the past two years I have made no secret (during the inevitable question) that my ultimate goal in life is to obtain a small bike/ski shop. I can think of few things better than spending hours wrenching on bikes, provided I have a few days off to spend w/the fam…and my bike(s). As much as I love riding my them, I derive nearly equal pleasure from fixing/tweaking/”improving” my bikes.

    Unfortunately, a law degree (and more importantly, paying for said degree) does not lend itself to owning one of the slimmest margin businesses in the world.

  4. Comment by Nix | 03.30.2009 | 1:37 am

    haha, wonderful. I want to go a step further and even vow that I will never even try to replace my slicks to knobblies and viceversa. Have done now two long races with a hobble in my wheel…

  5. Comment by Pinkbike | 03.30.2009 | 2:10 am

    I’ll bet I’ve gone through around ten tubes (okay, I’m exaggerating, but still, it’s been a LOT) in the last month just from breaking off the valve trying to put air in them. Arggg! And my wonderful, super smart JPL boyfriend (you’ll recall JPL is where they build things that fly to Mars) once gave me three more flats, two of which were exploded tubes from over-inflation, while trying to fix the original.

    So don’t despair, dear Fatty. You’re in good company.

  6. Comment by Bluenoser | 03.30.2009 | 3:49 am


    I was born with a wrench in my hands. The first thing my smiling father said to me was, “I wondered where that wrench went.”

    Mumbling to yourself while working just comes with the territory.


  7. Comment by Boz | 03.30.2009 | 5:38 am

    I can not know how this NIM deal feels. I’m the guy always called in after the fact to set things right. I can fix most anything, except maybe a broken heart.

  8. Comment by Mike Roadie | 03.30.2009 | 5:52 am

    MIM also increases with age. I used to be able to fix anything. Then I went through a period of “let’s get (hire) someone else to do it”. Now I am a MIM-iot…


  9. Comment by Lizzylou | 03.30.2009 | 5:55 am

    I’m curious about that “Dug lost a finger” bit… only because my uncle once removed the tip of his finger after running it around the chain ring… underneath the chain.

  10. Comment by Big Boned | 03.30.2009 | 6:16 am

    I too suffer from MIM. That I’ve worked in a bike shop for 10 years hasn’t helped my affliction. The wrenches always grouse about working on my bike, but I tell them “My job is to ride them, your job is to fix them”. As you can imagine I make a lot of friends with that line…
    Anyway, I’m just wondering if as current President of AAMIMAC (American Association of MIM Afflicted Cyclists) if you can lobby for some bailout money for the members of the association? If you get me some money and send me to Barnetts I’ll try to stop breaking people’s bikes when I stop to help when out riding.

  11. Comment by Jeff | 03.30.2009 | 6:31 am

    Huh, I suddenly feel a lot better about myself. I’m not a sufferer of MIM, I used to think I was, but I’ve learned my limits and as long as my bike stand doesn’t tip over, I’m generally okay.

  12. Comment by DOM | 03.30.2009 | 6:36 am

    MIM extends beyond bikes. I put together a swingset once. The directions called for 2 adults. When the muttering turned to curse riddled rants I understood why they specifically said adults.

  13. Comment by Bonzai Buckaroo | 03.30.2009 | 6:40 am

    If you have MIM now wait until you become a “silver back” (60+). I did take the oath, however, I kept my tools. They look very artsy hanging on the wall (No, I have not outlined them with a marker pen). My technique for helping others on a group ride is to grope for my mini tool until someone else volunteers their assistance.

  14. Comment by Onan the Barbarian | 03.30.2009 | 6:51 am

    I thought I suffered MIM about 25 years ago, but it wasn’t fear of working on bikes, it was fear of working on cars.

    Fast forward 25 years and several “older” cars/bikes later, and I feel pretty comfortable around bikes/cars.

    The key is to know one’s limitations. After having built a couple bikes from the frame up, I can honestly say nothing about attempting to fix a mountain bike phases me. I haven’t attempted to mess with the shifter/brake pods on my CX bike though…

    So far as cars go, I can do a LOT of things on a car, but tend to pay others to fix them due to lack of time on my part. While I don’t mind tossing a few hours fixing a car – say putting on a new oil pan on my daughter’s Beetle because she hit an ice boulder and cracked her old one, I draw the line at taking a couple days under the car to throw in a new clutch. Will it cost more? Yes, but I can go back to the mechanic if/when the job is screwed up PLUS I haven’t wasted a couple days under the car.

    If you REALLY feel like you want to donate some tools to someone, you can toss them my way. I had ALL my tools, bike tools and otherwise, stolen from my garage about a year ago and haven’t replaced all of them as of yet.

    (They stole the MTB that I built up from a frame, too).

    Oh well.

  15. Comment by Onan the Barbarian | 03.30.2009 | 6:57 am

    My technique for helping others on a group ride is to grope for my mini tool until someone else volunteers their assistance.

    I usually bring a metric pantload of tools along for my rides and have stopped to help others during actual races back when I was MTB racing. I completely sucked at racing, mind you, so I didn’t feel TOO bad about giving up so much time.

    I hope I get selected for the Chequamegon Fat Tire 40 this year so I can piss away another 30 minutes of race time helping a few people change their flats because they “forgot” to bring a spare/their mini pump/they don’t know how to change a flat.

    And yes, I’ll be rocking the “Team Fatty” gear.

  16. Comment by sharon | 03.30.2009 | 7:18 am

    I feel so relieved that someone has finally recognized this and named the disease. I somehow feel I am no longer alone in this. Thank you, Fatty

  17. Comment by mmat | 03.30.2009 | 7:26 am

    i suffer from MIM as well, to the point that it took me more than an hour to change the grips on my Trek hybrid. it was almost embarrassing, but thankfully i kept the garage door closed so that nobody could see why i was cursing.

  18. Comment by Linda | 03.30.2009 | 7:33 am

    I didn’t think I had MIM until my neighbor asked if I could fix her son’s bike. He had a flat. I said I would be happy to fix it as I worked in a bike shop for 5 years. Of course, the five years were about 30 years ago and a few things have changed since then. The flat was no problem even though it was on the rear wheel (woo hoo) but his headset was very loose. Let’s just say I did not improve the headset situation. It was at that moment I realized there was something wrong with me. Thanks to your blog I now know I have PTMIM, with the PT standing for Post Traumatic. At least I do not stand (or sit) alone.

  19. Comment by Bandobras. | 03.30.2009 | 8:02 am

    Just so you know the mobius strip is a warp in the space time continuum so if you un mobius it Dug’s finger will probably reappear.

  20. Comment by chtrich | 03.30.2009 | 8:34 am

    I hate MIM’s

  21. Comment by Bill | 03.30.2009 | 8:42 am


    It’s not just a matter of knowing your limitations, but knowing your tools. Here’s a little gem that may help you in the garage, mainly with cars, but a few apply to bicycles as well:

    DRILL PRESS: A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching flat metal bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in the chest and flings your beer across the room, denting the freshly-painted project which you had carefully set in the corner where nothing could get to it.

    WIRE WHEEL: Cleans paint off bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light. Also removes fingerprints and hard-earned calluses from fingers in about the time it takes you to say, ‘Oh sh –’

    SKILL SAW: A portable cutting tool used to make studs too short.

    PLIERS: Used to round off bolt heads. Sometimes used in the creation of blood-blisters.

    BELT SANDER: An electric sanding tool commonly used to convert minor touch-up jobs into major refinishing jobs.

    HACKSAW: One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija board principle. It transforms human energy into a crooked, unpredictable motion, and the more you attempt to influence its course, the more dismal your future becomes.

    VISE-GRIPS: Generally used after pliers to completely round off bolt heads. If nothing else is available, they can also be used to transfer intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.

    OXYACETYLENE TORCH: Used almost entirely for lighting various flammable objects in your shop on fire. Also handy for igniting the grease inside the wheel hub out of which you want to remove a bearing race.

    TABLE SAW: A large stationary power tool commonly used to launch wood projectiles for testing wall integrity.

    HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK: Used for lowering an automobile to the ground after you have installed your new brake shoes, trapping the jack handle firmly under the bumper.

    BAND SAW: A large stationary power saw primarily used by most shops to cut good aluminum sheet into smaller pieces that more easily fit into the trash can after you cut on the inside of the line instead of the outside edge.

    TWO-TON ENGINE HOIST: A tool for testing the maximum tensile strength of everything you forgot to disconnect.

    PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER: Normally used to stab the vacuum seals under lids or for opening old-style paper-and-tin oil cans and splashing oil on your shirt; but can also be used, as the name implies, to strip out phillips screw heads.

    STRAIGHT SCREWDRIVER: A tool for opening paint cans.. Sometimes used to convert common slotted screws into non-removable screws and butchering your palms.

    PRY BAR: A tool used to crumple the metal surrounding that clip or bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 50 cent part.

    HOSE CUTTER: A tool used to make hoses too short.

    HAMMER: Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is used as a kind of divining rod to locate the most expensive parts adjacent the object we are trying to hit.

    UTILITY KNIFE: Used to open and slice through the contents of cardboard cartons delivered to your front door; works particularly well on contents such as seats, vinyl records, liquids in plastic bottles, collector magazines, refund checks, and rubber or plastic parts. Especially useful for slicing work clothes, but only while wearing said clothes.

    **SOB TOOL: Any handy tool that you grab and throw across the garage while yelling ‘Son of a b—-’ at the top of your lungs. It is also, most often, the next tool that you will need.*

  22. Comment by Spiff | 03.30.2009 | 8:55 am


    Step away from the torque wrench…

    I’d be a willing recipient of your orphan tools, although I bet a cancer-fighting tool raffle is probably a better way of treating your MIM.

  23. Comment by russ | 03.30.2009 | 9:03 am

    The first rule of MIM’s is..don’t admit MIM just go to the LBS, hang your head and admit incompetence. They’re more than used to it.

  24. Comment by Jenny-Jenny | 03.30.2009 | 9:08 am

    Yikes…that clenches it, I will never attempt to fix or understand the inner workings of my bike.

  25. Comment by KanyonKris | 03.30.2009 | 9:12 am

    Elden, you have a bright future helping millions of MIM sufferers through your 12 step program.

    Bill, thank you for the accurate tool dictionary.

  26. Comment by Rick S. | 03.30.2009 | 9:40 am

    It’s sad but true. I suffer from MIM. How can a bike be so complicated?

  27. Comment by ann | 03.30.2009 | 9:43 am

    The metaphor here….It’s not your fault, and you can’t do anything more than you are doing. Blessings and prayers your way.

  28. Comment by db | 03.30.2009 | 10:01 am

    It’s nice to have a name for this affliction. I once “overhauled” my bottom bracket to the point that the crank wouldn’t turn. That got the bike shop’s attention.

    But I will say that MIM can be conquered. Time and the internet are great tools in overcoming this deficiency. In the past year, I have replaced chains, brake pads, and whole brake assemblies, more or less successfully.

    I take it slow, and I know that the job won’t be completely done for a few days, as riding tends to highlight your work’s short-comings. Yeah, my chain was one link too long. So it skipped in the smaller cassette cogs. When I took out one link, the skipping stopped, and that thing started shifting beautifully, too. Keep at it.

  29. Comment by dug | 03.30.2009 | 10:08 am

    is this when robin williams hugs you to his chest and repeats over and over again “it’s not your fault, it’s not your fault?”

  30. Comment by mark | 03.30.2009 | 11:00 am

    Nice stand. I have the solution: leave it in my garage. In exchange, you can drop your bikes off at my house, and when you come back, they will magically be fixed. Unless I am on vacation. (Except your superfly single speed may require test rides before it gets returned.)

  31. Comment by Clydesteve | 03.30.2009 | 11:15 am

    dug – not unless your name is will.

    Bill – thanks for the definitions. I have scars named after each of them.

    Fatty – I love tools, and generally use them to mutilate my own body – send them. But I am pretty good at not mutillating my work pieces. My kids think my affliction is more serious than yours. Not so – i am just thinking of the bike/car/cabinet/appliance.

  32. Comment by bikemike | 03.30.2009 | 11:15 am

    you just need a bigger hammer.

  33. Comment by cyclostu | 03.30.2009 | 11:16 am

    Ah yes, the healing powers of Robin William’s chest and/or chest hair. And as hairy as he is, it has to be all warm and cushiony. Just don’t open your mouth or you could get a stray hair or 2. Eewww.

  34. Comment by Michael | 03.30.2009 | 11:45 am

    I totally dismantled my bike, carefully taking detailed photos at every stage in order that I might have a chance of putting it back together properly. I then totally deleted said photos……
    I therefore claim IM even before being able to demonstrate MIM !

  35. Comment by Kim | 03.30.2009 | 1:57 pm

    Hey Fatty,
    I got my bracelets today! I am so excited! They are beautiful. I wanted to find out if Susan is going to be making more…I am sure that when people see my bracelet they are going to want one. I can’t wait to share the story behind the bracelet.

    Win Susan!

  36. Comment by Charisa | 03.30.2009 | 2:03 pm

    Do I have MIM if I save all my old tubes in plans of one day patching them (and saving loads of money), but never really do?

  37. Comment by HellcatOnWheels | 03.30.2009 | 2:06 pm

    Don’t worry even if you WERE mechanically gifted…it would also be a disease… just ask my duly betrothed..he builds all his own bikes, built mine, does all the maintenance and then has to pretend that he CAN’T do anything or else he will spend all day answering questions and fixing other people’s bikes. It’s not much different than his day job (IT), wherein every one thinks they can call him after hours for computer help! Be glad you stink at mechanics…probably saves you a lot of time spent fixing your friends’ stuff :)

  38. Comment by Tim D | 03.30.2009 | 2:12 pm

    I think I suffer from Manic MIM. When I am in equilibrium I am an OK mechanic, able to do most thing that don’t require special tools.

    In my manic phase, I can do just about anything, usually with just my bare hands. I once trashed my rear mech so badly it was sitting above the seat stay, but still connected to the hanger. Through brute force and an unwillingness to accept walking down some of the best downhill singletrack in Wales, I managed to rearrange things so that not only could I still ride, I also had some workable gears.

    Then there’s the down side. In this phase “righty tighty” seems like some cryptic riddle. All my metric bolts develop imperial heads.

    Unfortunately, like my migraines, I don’t recognise when each phase is on me.

  39. Comment by Corey | 03.30.2009 | 2:13 pm

    So in your chain example, the obvious solution is to get a Sram chain with the power link. Or just get the powerlink and use it on your Shimano chain. Then even you can break apart that chain and remove it for cleaning like a real man!

  40. Comment by Rodie Steve | 03.30.2009 | 3:05 pm

    Haha… was having a pretty bad day until I read this! Being an assistant mechanic at a LBS I am constantly grateful for my ability to fix things, but also other people inability to fix things. Just remember… we all have our limitations. I wouldn’t touch the internals of a suspension element with a 10 ft wrench, while some mechanics I know wouldn’t touch a spoke.

    Good luck wrenching Fatty!

  41. Comment by Linda | 03.30.2009 | 3:57 pm

    Hi. My name’s Linda, and I have MIM…..too

  42. Comment by jwbikes | 03.30.2009 | 4:01 pm

    So if I find a great girl that I am really attracted to and as a bonus is mechanically challenged would she be a MIMF?

  43. Comment by Jill | 03.30.2009 | 4:21 pm

    I, too, am ready to admit I have a problem.

  44. Comment by Kala | 03.30.2009 | 5:16 pm

    My name is Kala, and I have MIM.

  45. Comment by Hilslug | 03.30.2009 | 5:27 pm

    Finally, a name for my ailment. I feel a great weight lifted from my tool laden hands. Fortunately, I am married to the Anti-MIM so my bikes can receive the help they need.

  46. Comment by FlatsMan | 03.30.2009 | 6:01 pm

    I am not a MIM.

    I know “just” enough to be dangerous.

    And I hate chains.

    I am a M I (1.5M)

  47. Comment by FlatsMan | 03.30.2009 | 6:03 pm

    I am a M I (1.5M)

    See what I mean ?

    I meant to write:
    I am a M I (.5M)

  48. Comment by MikeD | 03.30.2009 | 6:14 pm

    If it jams, force it.
    If it breaks, it needed replacing anyway.

  49. Comment by dave | 03.30.2009 | 7:33 pm

    my condolences to all y’all MIM sufferers, and my gratitude on the “tip the mechanic” clause. though frankly, most people whose bikes i fix i’d be more than satisfied with a smile and a “thank you” – you’d think people were sad to get their bikes back in working order…

  50. Comment by Triflefat | 03.30.2009 | 7:34 pm

    Oh, thank you very much Mr Fat Cyclist.

    I am reminded of the dandy comic actor Terry-Thomas who was quite content when he simply had the shakes in his hands, but faced an entirely greater problem when the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease was made.

    The fact that you have identified and named this affliction means that I haven’t simply been unlucky all these years in things mechanical.

    I too have the dreaded MIM condition! Woe is me.

  51. Comment by bubbaseadog | 03.30.2009 | 7:43 pm

    i started to buy a bike stand on sat .now i know why i didnt thanks fatty you just saved me two hundred dollars …..but then ill probably pay a good bike wrench that anyway. win susan go lance

  52. Comment by Born 4Lycra | 03.30.2009 | 7:58 pm

    I have MIM with a touch of PHBM (Pig Headed Bloody Mindedness). I had a puncture on my second bike (front wheel) which I hardly ride. I used the toolkit that accompanies the second bike to fix it. As I hardly ride the second bike the toolkit is not fully functional for instance it has metal tyre levers. Rembering that Bike 1 and its associated toolkit including state of the art plastic tyre levers is less than 2 metres away I decided to fix bike two with bike two toolkit. 7 count them 7 pinched inner tubes later I gave up. Was I enjoying myself …no! I was proving a point and beating system except I didn’t. I’m not proud but I am happy I had a chance to confess.

  53. Comment by Born 4Lycra | 03.30.2009 | 8:07 pm

    Oops forgot to mention Bill = Brilliant. Charisa I can send you 7 tubes to help you save more money.

  54. Comment by Dopey | 03.30.2009 | 9:39 pm

    Since you have vowed never again to use your tools against bikes why not bundle them together and auction them off for your LiveStrong challenge? Surely, Fatty Nation would want the barely used tools of their dignitary.

  55. Comment by M | 03.30.2009 | 10:06 pm

    I never have a problem fixing my bike. I married a guy who fixes bikes and loves it! Problem solved!

    By the way I found your blog through http://diaryofanoverachievingmom.blogspot.com/ who just received a bike chain bracelet! Very, very cool!

  56. Comment by M | 03.30.2009 | 10:09 pm

    …one more thing…my teenaged daughter is a cancer SURVIVOR! I have added you to my blog roll. Livestrong

  57. Comment by dawn from houston | 03.30.2009 | 10:43 pm

    Off topic, but not completely, I must commend the graphics with this article. Very fancy indeed.

  58. Comment by Lyndon | 03.31.2009 | 8:58 am

    You can make a mobius loop from a bike chain?!

    I know what I’ll be trying to do as soon as I get home today.

    Great post Fatty. Great comments Bill.

  59. Comment by Rob M | 03.31.2009 | 10:33 am

    Fatty, please stop beating yourself up. A lot of people find bicycle repair very difficult.

    Remember that two bike mechanics were so frustrated with the difficulty of working on bikes that they sought an easier life by inventing the airplane.

    Great post Fatty, as always, and my complements to Bill.

  60. Comment by Kenny from Minneapolis | 03.31.2009 | 4:59 pm

    I buy very expensive beer for my bike mechanics…at two different bike shops! I too, am MIM.

  61. Comment by jimmy | 03.31.2009 | 7:07 pm

    I must admit, I am at the opposite end of the scale. I am fairly mechanically capable. It does help having a Dad who is a plant mechanic (forklifts), so it wasn’t uncommon for me to help him out in my youth.

    As a result now, I pretty much do all of my own maintenance, and I currently have my right hand Campy shifter in pieces getting it’s 30,000km overhaul.


  62. Comment by The D | 04.1.2009 | 3:31 pm


    +1 Exactly.

  63. Comment by pinkbikes | 04.2.2009 | 5:37 am

    I am not entirely incompetent with the tools but have a very competent husband, which does tend to reduce my competence over time (until he gets busy and I have to pick up the tools again) dammit.

    However, I truly realised the depth of your MIM-ness when I read your “righty-tighty-lefty-loosey (except in Australia)” comment!

    Suffice it to say, if you come on down to visit the antipodeans you will find that it is only the water going down the plughole that spins the other way! Nuts and bolts are very much still “righty tighty and lefty loosey” – or was I missing the intended irony there!?

    Laughs a minute!

    Win Susan!

  64. Comment by eileen | 04.5.2009 | 3:06 pm

    representing MIM in the southern hemisphere (and substantiating Jen’s comment that the stuff’s threaded the same). I’m good at buying tools n parts n stuff. And at letting someone else do the dirty work. Though the XX chromasome setup maybe makes it all a bit less embarassing.


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