Carless -Day Twenty Eight -Mastery

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I can always tell when I’m in the presence of a master because he only requires three tries to put something together right the first time. Then, he’ll find some invisible fault and propose an improvement that will force him to have to put it back together three more times. Then he’ll find a perfection I can’t even sense, but do appreciate.

The necessity of seeking help from masters probably qualifies as the very greatest benefit of my mechanical klutziness. The bike shop was open today, and the owner’s eyes lit up when I slinked in with my disassembled rear wheel and brake hub parts, announcing that my prediction had come true, I could not reassemble this puzzle. Could he?

”I’m an old Schwinn guy,” this master admitted. “I love working on these things. Can you wait? It’ll only take a few minutes.”

Sure, I could wait if I could watch. I could!

He’s seen this type of hub before but consults the schematic in his old repair books for reminders. That he even has the original drawings for this hub suggests that he’s a master.

He ends up reassembling that hub three times before he’s satisfied. Then his satisfaction slips away as he realizes that the assembly’s just not right somehow. He’d noted that the axle, a long headless threaded bolt, was very worn and concluded that it simply needed replacing. “My brother has a bunch of these,” he reflected.

So the bike’s out of commission for another few days. I’ll check back on Saturday. Until then, I’ll be moving at the time-honored speed of a walking horse, which might be the perfect cadence for this swampy clime.

©2012 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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