Which way was it again?

Even if you’ve been riding pushbikes since you were a nipper, chances are you still have the odd moment when you can’t remember some (or all) of these…

>>> Seven things mountain bikers always have in their car

1. Rear derailleur limit screws

Unless you’re a bike shop mechanic we defy you to remember which screw controls which end of the cassette. Even if you remember that “it’s never the one you think it is” you somehow end up double-thinking yourself and getting it wrong anyway.

2. Pedal threads

Which way do pedals unscrew again? This dilemma is made all the more confounding by the fact that each pedal undoes a different way and that pedals are always really hard to unscrew even if you’re doing it in the correct direction.

3. Disc brake pad type

Do I want sintered or organic? Is resin the same as organic? Have I got those Shimano rotors that don’t work with a certain flavour of pad? Ah forget, I’ll just order the semi-metallic ones again. They sound like they’ll do for anything just about.

Shimano Saint M820 shifter

4. Shifter barrel adjusters

Which way do you turn the barrel if the rear mech isn’t shifting up (or down) the cassette properly? And surely half a turn can’t really make that much difference anyway? Let’s wazz a few turns on/off. Be ‘right. And lo, your drivetrain never shifts properly ever again.

5. Garmin folders

You’ve trawled Strava and duly ripped off someone’s ride and made yourself a fancy new .gpx file via some mapping site/software. You are a techno genius. Can you remember which of the seventeen thousand folders on your Garmin the .gpx file needs to go in? Can you heck.

100% speedtrap

They’re like goggles, but glasses.

6. Location of sunglasses

“Where are they? Where are they?” you ask yourself repeatedly as you wander around the house, leaving muck/oil from your shoe soles on every carpet in the house. All the while you’re trying to pretend you don’t know the answer; you left your sunglasses on a wall/hill/car roof several weeks ago. Either that, or they’re on top of your head.

7. Lube chain after cleaning

Apparently chains aren’t meant to be orange. Who knew? We don’t know about you but we can just about summon up enough willpower to hose the worst of the filth off our bikes after a mucky ride, let alone break out the WD40, rag and chain lube to sort out our chain.

8. Wet shoes

Similar to the orange chain above, it’s all too easy to hurl off your sodden shoes and forget about them until the next ride. By which point they’re still damp. And they now stink like a rotting sheep. Nice.

9. It’s not about the bike

Lance Armstrong wasn’t right about much but there’s no denying that the title of his autobiography (It’s Not About The Bike) was very true. It’s alltoo easy to get sucked into thinking your riding experience is entirely subservient to – and dominated by – your bike’s performance. It isn’t. You are in sole charge of your riding experience. That’s actually what’s great about riding. Just get out and ride.