Saturday, 15 December 2007

Brake now or die

I finally got around to replacing the brake pads on the bike tonight. I bought two sets last weekend, but had been too bone idle to gets my hands dirty during the week. I have a particular horror about changing brake pads. I've changed a few sets on cars, and all I have to say is that bike pads are much filthier than car pads. The bike pads are made of some sort of rubber compound, and it turns to dust as it wears. That dust combines with God knows what to form a black grease that sticks to everything. Especially the brake shoes.

Changing a puncture is normally a filthy chore because that brake slime gets all over the wheels as well, so you end up with a pair of hands out of the Black and White Minstrel show after the job is done.

Which is why I preferred to ride with lousy brakes this week instead of doing the safety-first thing.

What saved me was a big box of disposable rubber gloves that we have in the cupboard. Some people use them for preparing food - I keep them around for the particularly stinking jobs like emptying the fly trap or cleaning the rubbish bins. They are the perfect thing for changing brake pads.

Except that I was halfway doing the pads when a mozzie bit me on the foot. I took a swipe at it, and now have one black foot from where I swatted the little bastard.

Win some, lose some.

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