Pumped up

1 GoodGymer made their way to help an isolated older person in Camden.

  • Madhan
Saturday, 2nd of September 2023

The mission description says the below

"Age UK Camden has asked if we can help Mrs J please following a bereavement. She is hoping to get back on her bicycle again but it's under some tarpaulin and needs a little MOT - tires pumped, oil checked, brakes, etc. - things that can be done at home but she needs a bit of support with this at this difficult time."

Mrs.J showed me the bike. The correct term would be bikes as there were 3 bikes that needed repairs. She handed over some tools and asked me if would like to drink something. I asked for some water as it was sunny and hot today.

After cooling me down with the water I told Mrs.J that I'm not an expert in bikes and I'll try to do what I can. She said she was not an expert either and left me to my wits. I noticed that all the tires needed air pumped and asked for an air pump. Mrs.J said it was right next to me. It's a small hand pump with a pressure gauge attached to it.

I started pumping the front wheel and moved to the back wheel and couldn't get the air pump to fit the valve. Then Mrs.J brought some electric pumps, but they didn't have a nozzle that would fit the bike. They were for inflatables. I pulled the valve with pliers made the hand pump fit in the back wheel and started pumping.

Then Mrs.J's daughter and her friend came to the house. Mrs.J's daughter's friend seemed knowledgeable in bike repair and told me that I needed to pump more as the tire said it needed 45-60 psi. I had pumped up to 20 at that point. Getting it to 40 seemed like quite a workout for the hands with the small hand pump. After 15 minutes I pumped it to 40 and it tyre looked okay. I oiled the chains with leftover WD-40 and the daughter's friend was happy to give it a test ride. He gave it a thumbs up and Mrs.J was happy with that.

Mrs.J's daughter said that I could leave for the day and don't worry about other bikes. As I had 30 more minutes, I thought of checking one more bike before I left. The second bike had a puncture, so I skipped that and went for the last bike. It needed some correction on the handlebar and pumping. After fixing 2 bikes with my limited bike knowledge I decided to call it a day and took the tube back home.

Report written by Madhan

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