Like I mentioned recently, the clutch cable on my bike gave out while riding home one night a few weeks ago.
On the ensuing Saturday morning, I set about taking the broken cable off.
At this point I should say that I do not enjoy mechanical work and am not very good at it. Perhaps not being very good at it is a big part of the reason why I don’t enjoy it. Whatever, for some people that kind of thing is actually recreational, but for me it most certainly is not.
Still, I figured I could at least take a shot at removing the broken cable, which I quickly realized would entail loosening and/or removing the plastic fairing on the right side of the bike.
Even after getting the fairing out of the way, it was still awkward and tedious working on that cable. And it became even more awkward and tedious when the little 10mm wrench I was using slipped out of my hand and slid, in the manner of a coin down a vending machine slot, into the engine area and disappeared.
Yes, it was every bit as absurd as you are probably thinking. The bike isn’t that big, and it’s not like there’s a floor in there to catch dropped objects; as soon as it left my grasp, I figured very quickly I would be hearing the wrench clang off the concrete floor in my garage.
But actually, I heard not a sound. The wrench vanished silently just like a deer melting into the forest.
Well, this can’t be good, I figured, and so I set about looking for the wrench and really figured I’d find it right away. But I didn’t. I didn’t find it all.
Neither did my neighbor Ken, who came over a few days later to help me. And we couldn’t find it Monday either when we completed the installation of the new cable he ordered for me (Ken, unlike yours truly, is very handy with, well, everything and was happy to provide assistance, i.e. do the work while I held tools, a flashlight, etc.)
“Well, there isn’t really anything dangerous about having a wrench ride around in there,” Ken said. “I dropped a socket in my Tundra once and didn’t find it until two years later. It just found its little happy place and stayed put.”
I believed Ken that the wrench was, say, unlikely to jam my chain and freeze the rear axle, something that seldom ends well, and so I wasn’t necessarily worried about riding the bike to work Tuesday.
Still, I did feel relieved when, about 5 miles from my house, I heard the distinctive sound of a wrench landing on something hard, like asphalt. I pulled over but, alas, was again unable to locate the wrench for solid proof that it was no longer accompanying the engine; likely it bounded off into the weeds on either side of the road.
If I don’t eventually find it, I suppose I’ll need to get another 10mm wrench at some point to put back into the bike’s tool kit, but that’s a small price to pay, especially since the tool dislodged harmlessly and didn’t leave me like this guy:
When I stopped to look for the wrench, I noticed this medium-sized bull snake on the side of the road. There wasn’t a mark on him, but he had expired, so I tossed him into the tall grass. The vultures can eat him just as well there, and more safely.