Tag Archives: bicycles

Cross Chaining

Follow me on a journey where I take a very small lesson in life and twist it to where it applies to life principles found everywhere in the universe.

I recently took my bike in to be fixed because I was pretty certain my husband had messed with it.  I showed the bike store owner (I believe it adds to the story if you know he is about my age, very buff, and very, very knowledgeable about bikes and all things bike related.  Included padded shorts.)  I showed him what was wrong.  He looked at me and told me, “It’s time for some tough love.”  And then he told me I was cross chaining.

(You should google what this is because I’m about to destroy the definition.)

If your chain is on the front large wheel then it should be on the back small wheels.  If your chain is on the front small wheel then it should be on the back large wheel.  If your chain is on the front small wheel and the back small wheels then it is on an angle, or ‘crossing.’  So you shouldn’t ride your bike in every possible gear or you will cross chain and bring your bike into the bike shop thinking it’s broken when you really just don’t know how to ride a bike that has more than 3 gears or wasn’t purchased from JCPenney’s in 1988.

It’s tough love to be told something so basic and yet not exactly obvious knowledge.  If I shouldn’t do something, my bike shouldn’t allow me to do it.  That makes sense to me.  I need my margin for error shrunk to the smallest possible gap.  So that I don’t fall into that gap.

And here is where I enlarge this story to create a metaphor that only works if you read it while squinting.  Learning any basic lesson that you think you should just know is embarrassing.  But we gotta do it.  Because no matter how much we wish we could, we just can’t cross chain through life.

(Ok.  It’s at the very end it kind of comes a part.)

Mine is the one with a first aid kit.

Mine is the one with a first aid kit.

 

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