I’ve been riding Big Nellie, my Tour Easy recumbent, pretty much exclusively since the second week in June. All was going along swimmingly until tonight I started to feel my chain skipping ever so slightly. Unlike a conventional bike, this kind of skipping is not so obvious on Big Nellie because the chain is actually more than 2 chains long. Never the less, the skipping was there and that usually means that something is amiss with one of the links. The skipping occurs when the chain passes through the pulleys of the rear derailleur and the chain idler (this is a set of pulleys located about midway along the run of the chain to take up slack).
As I was spinning up the Park Terrace hill at a robust three miles per hour, I spotted an abnormality in the chain. The chain held together for another three miles until I got home. I then examined the chain and spotted one link that seemed wider than the others. I wiggled the link and a piece of one of the outer plates on the link fell off. Fug.
I didn’t have time to screw around with it so I decided that Big Nellie will get a rest until I can find two spare hours. (It would take a competent mechanic about ten minutes to fix a chain but I am not that kind of guy.) I have already watched two DIY chain repair videos and I must say that the people that make these things suck at instructional videos. I have, however, learned one thing that I didn’t know: you need to use something to hold the chain and give it some slack so you can work on the broken part. One video suggested an old spoke bent in appropriate places.
In the meantime, The Mule comes out of dry dock for a ride to Friday Coffee Club. It will be carrying an extra pound or two of tomatoes for friend of the blog Kirstin. I believe this may be the last of the tomato piles for the summer. The plant is starting to look weary. A plant is only as strong as it’s weakest link.