USER’S MANUAL: TEEN MOUNTAIN BICYCLE
Appendix Y: Extracting foreign unwanted pedals from bicycle tire spokes
TO AVOID RISK OF DEATH, SERIOUS INJURY, OR DEMORALIZATION, PLEASE READ THE PRECEDING 300-PAGE MANUAL BEFORE RIDING, TOUCHING, LOOKING AT, OR THINKING ABOUT YOUR BICYCLE PURCHASE. FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THIS WARNING MAY LEAD TO UNAVOIDABLE UNFORTUNATE SITUATIONS SUCH AS THE ONE ADDRESSED IN THIS APPENDIX. PLEASE ALSO NOTE THAT THESE INSTRUCTIONS HAVE WORKED A GRAND TOTAL OF ONCE. REPEATABILITY OF THIS PROCEDURE IS BY NO MEANS GUARANTEED.
Typical need for the instructions in this appendix occur in high bike density settings such as a student bike cage at the local high school. Such situations may present themselves suddenly and unexpectedly, as exemplified in the following example-case dialogue:
[YOU and FRIEND 1 are walking across campus at the end of school. FRIEND 2 approaches.]
FRIEND 1 and YOU: Hi.
FRIEND 2: Do you have any pliers?
YOU: Pliers? Why on earth would you need pliers?
FRIEND 2: To cut the spokes of my bicycle wheel.
YOU: First of all, you mean wire cutters, not pliers, and second of all, WHAT?!
FRIEND 2: Let me just show you…
At this point in the situation, the primary course of action is to examine the situation for yourself. Follow the affected party to his bicycle in the crowded, rack-filled bicycle cage. Allow him to present the issue. With any accompanying friends, vow to rectify the issue efficiently such that afterwards there will be enough time left in the day to write your barely-started English essay that is due within twenty-four hours. Acknowledge that the essay can wait; assisting friends must be the priority.
The problem (which would be illustrated by a diagram, except for a fact that we can afford not the hiring translators, or especially not artists for drawing of skilled diagrams) is as follows: most probably in the adrenaline-filled rush to get to class on time, the pedal of the adjacent bike was wedged into the spokes your friend’s back bicycle tire. The following conditions may compound the difficulty of the situation:
(1) Both bikes have limited mobility, as they are securely locked to bike racks.
(2) You only possess the means to open one of the two locks. The owner of the other bike has not yet appeared.
(3) The offending pedal is inconveniently shaped such that its sides have barbs preventing the pedal’s slipping out of the tire spokes as easily as it slipped in.
Initial stages of attempting to disconnect the pedal and wheel should be faced with optimism, cooperation, and teamwork. In order to determine the best course of action, refer to this convenient procedure:
(1) Does everyone fully understand the problem?
NO: see step (2)
YES: see step (5)
(2) Employ kinesthetic learning to explain the problem. Try to pull the pedal out of the wheel spokes.
FAIL: continue to step (3)
(3) Friend 1 try to pull the pedal out.
FAIL: continue to step (4)
(4) Friend 2 try to pull the pedal out.
FAIL: return to step (1)
(5) Are we feeling optimistic?
YES: see step (6)
NO: see step (8)
(6) Work as a team to try to pull the pedal out of the wheel spokes.
FAIL: continue to step (7)
(7) Try to pull the pedal out alone.
FAIL: return to step (3)
(8) Consult administrator or janitor for professional assistance.
NOTE: due to unflagging optimism and the lack of desire to involve adults, step (8) “consult… professional assistance” should be frequently threatened and never reached. Use only as an ultimatum for a cap on time spent fruitlessly. In fact, decline all offers of outside help, including a passerby classmate who offers to provide “tools,” nature unspecified.
After a solid ten to fifteen or more minutes of the aforementioned procedure, you may start to have doubts as to the promise of your current efforts. This is entirely normal, and will eventually breed rebellious thoughts of alternative methods of disconnection. Specifically, that if the pedal will not disconnect from the wheel, perhaps it would help to disconnect the wheel from the bicycle.
PRO TIP: Mobility is key! If the wheel were, theoretically, no longer connected to your friend’s bike, it could be easier to maneuver it off the inconveniently barbed pedal.
Mention this brainchild to friend 1 and friend 2. If (when) they are hesitant, wait one minute and mention it again. Continue indefinitely.
PRO TIP: Repetition just might lead to success! In the case of urging friends to try your idea, it will work within a short half hour.
Various tools are required to remove a bicycle tire. (NOTE: Please do not use these to steal others’ unsecured bicycle tires. Stealing bicycle components and selling them on Ebay is wholly profitable and entirely unethical.) The tools are as follows:
(1) Quick-release handle (already installed on bike wheel)
(2) Knowledge or sufficient intuition to operate aforementioned quick-release
(3) Lack of knowledge and/or sufficient intuition to release brake tension.
(4) The disconnected bike wheel, too fat to slip between the still-tensioned brake pads, and hence still stuck in the bike
(5) One nearly brand-new, orangey-yellow number two pencil topped with an entirely unused dusty red eraser
(6) Two ears (each) to listen to the hiss of air as you push the brand-new red pencil eraser into the bike tire valve
(7) One nose (each) to smell the rancid rubber air escaping from the deflating bike tire
(8) Two hands to pull the now-skinny wheel through the brake pads’ gap - or, more accurately, to pull the rest of the bike up and out of the way of the still stuck bicycle wheel
You are now almost done. Do the honors of wiggling the now bike-free tire around until the spokes of the wheel can slip around the barbs of the pedal. Narrating your progress is optional but suggested.
WARNING: in order to satisfy psycho-emotional requirements of excitement and climax after the nearly forty-minute ordeal, ensure that accompanying friends are watching carefully as you finally yank the tire free!
REQUIRED: Cheering is an absolutely necessary step in the procedure. As is photographing your friend holding up his liberated wheel like a fisherman’s big catch. Make him smile for the camera.
The infamous barbed bike pedal should still be attached to its bike. Its owner will still be missing.
Help reassemble your friend’s bike. If all of the previous instructions were followed diligently and to-the-letter, he should have enough conquered-challenge-induced energy to carry him on his newly flat bicycle tire back home.