I had another long walk to the bike shop this afternoon, but the bike is back and it's fixed. It's great to be able to stop! There was a lot wrong with the bike, most of which I suspected: there were broken spokes – causing the wheel to seem buckled and the root cause of that major puncture recently. The gear changing mechanism adjacent to the bottom bracket needed replacing – Andy will recall how it recently jammed my rear wheel, which could have caused a nasty accident had it jammed going down Westerham Hill. As for that small crank, it was badly dented – God knows how that happened – but has been knocked back into shape. All in all, a good job, even if I was a little pissed off with both Evan's and Halford's for not having the Dot 4 hydraulic fluid – see previous post.
Hat's off to Carl, the bike mechanic at the Purley Way branch of Halford's. A true gent. And he kept me informed of progress from start to finish.
Those damaged spokes might have been caused by the Citadel lock that I clamp around the rear wheel – although Andy thinks not. When I locked up the bike tonight (having cycled home from Halford's and narrowly missed a soaking) I noticed how the circular part of the lock rested heavily on the spokes. Now I place the lock at the very bottom of the wheel so there's no pressure on the spokes. I'm probably wrong, but to hell with it.
Total cost of repairs: £71. Not bad. I thought for a moment that I'd been ripped off, but I hadn't. Everything Carl found wrong with the bike was something I had an inkling about already.
I was going to write something else, but I can't remember what.