OK, so on the way home from work yesterday, over near the small crane, I got a flat tyre (I love that spelling). Now I know that one should never ride farther without a patch kit and pump than you are willing to walk, and repairing the rear tyre is a bear on the city bike. After pushing the bike 3.5 kilometers home, I decided to wait until the morning to fix it.
Come the morning, I put the bike on the stand, took the rear wheel off and patched the tube. While putting the wheel back on I discovered that the hub had a problem. This bike has an 8-speed internal hub (like the old 3-speed) and the cable attachment was coming off. After fiddling around it with it for a while I managed to get it back together and working.
I put the tools away and started on my way to work. 1.7K later all the gearing went away and I was left with nothing but 1st gear. For the next 4K I moved only slightly faster than the Irish walk — they do walk fast. One does feel rather silly pedalling like mad and moving at a good walking pace. I made it to work.
That evening, figuring that if I couldn’t get out of first gear I might as well take the short route home, I took the one that goes up over the hill rather than around it. Once again I pedalled like mad and moved at a good walking clip. It turns out that a city bus in evening traffic travels slightly slower than the Irish walk, that is slower than I do in first gear. I managed to pass and stay in front of it all the way up the hill. The down hill section was rather nice.
Over the weekend I took the hub apart and reassembled it. Now it works smoothly and I can once again make it to work at a reasonable pace.