The kit that maintenance forgot 

Lube all the moving bits. Right? But there is one bit you can easily forget.

A couple of weeks ago I cycled into Cardiff to watch Wales play France in the six nations. I rode into the centre of the city, parked my bike outside the central police station, locked it to the bike stand and headed off to the match.

A few hours, a couple of pints and a scrappy Welsh win later, I returned with a spring in my step. No need to rely on non-existent public transport. No need to pay over the top fees to a cabbie. No need to rely on an inconvenient late night pick up by a family member. NO. I have my bike. I am empowered.

I placed the key in the lock. Turned it. Felt a slight resistance, then a gut wrenching surrender as the key tore in my hands. THE BLOODY KEY HAD SNAPPED OFF. I stood there eyes half closed. Sh*t. THAT is not good. The lock is reinforced. I won’t be cutting through this bad boy with a hacksaw. I tried holding the thin sliver of metal that protruded from the lock. There was no chance I could turn it with my fingers. I had a small Leatherman micra on me and tried using the scissors in lieu of pliers, but again no joy. After several abortive attempts I gave up trying to turn the stub and hinged my hopes on winkling out the metal with a very thin screwdriver head. It worked.

Ok….the removal of the broken key didn’t help me get home that night*, but it did allow me to run back the following day with a spare key and a bloody big can of GT-85. The moral of the story is – don’t neglect the one thing that can immobilise you the most (quite a lot like life really).

*You might be wondering how I did get home. I walked the 4 and a bit miles along the Taff trail, largely in a straight line.


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