Thursday, October 23, 2008

Check Lists

Have you ever driven out to a ride and found that you've forgotten your pump? Ever forgotten your front wheel? Helmet? All these little comedies have happened to me at one time or another. I've told myself for quite a while that I need a checklist so that I don't forget essential items when I ride. One day a couple of months ago I finally made one. My Flevo back to back has it's own pre-ride check list and one of the most important items on the list is to check the two main connecting screws that hold the frame together as well as the screws that hold the movable cranks onto the frame. The bike was made in Holland and I've never seen screws quite like these. I wouldn't want to lose any of them because I have a feeling that they'd be difficult if not impossible to replace.

Since I transport the Flevo on a trailer, there is lots of vibration and the screws do tend to loosen during the trip. My check list requires me to check all screws before I leave the house and tighten them before we actually ride. This past Saturday we drove to Fulshear for our usual morning ride with the gang. I failed to use my checklist. The weather was beautiful and the ride was a joy. Something was nagging at me in the back of my mind though. At the 10 mile rests top I realized I hadn't checked frame screws. "I'll just tighten them up," I thought as I dismounted. You can see what I found in the pic below:

The bottom frame screw wasn't just had fallen out. Our ride was over. There was no way we could ride the bike with one of the main frame screws missing. The rest of the group pushed on to finish the ride while Ken headed back 10 miles to Fulshear to get my truck.

This story has a happy ending though. We found the screw on the trailer and I use my checklist religiously these days.