PicturePhoto credit: BIcycling & Joel Kimmel

A key period when traveling with your bicycle is taking apart and reassembling for travels and tours. During these “build & pack” times, you get to know your bicycle intimately. As parts come off and go back on, the parts and the frame are inspected for damage and wear. And sometimes, small parts are lost.

We’d been here and there in Italy and were 

busy “building” our bikes for a ride in yet another beautiful locale when I noticed my riding partner searching around the small patio area of the hotel we were using for our “bike shop.” 

Turns out a quick-release spring had escaped and found its way into a crack between some paving stones. “Uh-oh,” I thought “must have spring to ride” since the spring provides leverage and tension to help hold your wheel in place. What to do? Well we agreed not to rip the hotel’s patio apart and we searched our supplies for a spare quick-release spring. Although we generally carry all manner of small parts, an extra spring was lacking.

The day’s ride was delayed as “butter-fingers” went on a mission to visit the local bicycle repair shop in town. Italians are gregarious, friendly folks in general and our cyclist returned with a “borrowed” quick-release spring. The shops only request was that the spring be returned after use. It was a request easily granted.

PictureBellagio, Italy on the shores of Lago di Como

So spring installed we set out for a nice little climb ….. part two of our adventure began with a little toodle through Bellagio, Italy on a stunningly glorious day. We still had enough time to climb up to Madonna del Ghisallo.

About three-quarters of the way up the climb, “Mr. Mechanic” flatted. The wheel with the substitute spring and a nearly new tire had a sidewall rubbed through. Guibert, a 10-year-old cyclist, watched as the “sgonfiato pneumatico” was changed, the tire “booted” and the quick-release spring re-installed in the correct direction. (Check diagram above.)

The remainder of the ride was mechanically uneventful but just as significantly memorable as the start of our day. How could it be otherwise? We were visiting cycling heaven.

Read quick maintenance tips in BIcycling’s article“Four Small But Essential Bike Parts” http://www.bicycling.com/maintenance/repair-maintenance/quick-release-springs 

Tail winds and thanks for reading  and LIKING us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/buildyourtourllc)

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