Brake Repair and Vulnerability

I’ve been going to the St. Pete Bike Co-op since I decided to go on my Canada bike ride birthday trip next year. Since August, I think.

I’ve learned a ton from going to the Bike Co-op. So I figured I was ready for the “simple” task of switching out my brake levers on my own.

Well, I did switch out my brake levers. I even replaced my handlebar tape!

But I can’t get the brakes tight enough now.

No, really.

I think I have about 3 hours into trying to get the brake cables tight enough to actually stop the tires. Both front and back. My hands are raw from pulling on the loop the front brake cable attaches to. After my approximately 20th time tightening them, I was near tears. That was the two hours yesterday.

Today I tried both front and back brakes. I worked for nearly an hour, and I stopped when I started feeling that frustration dominating again.

From this failure, I’ve had a few realizations:

  1. I’m still not great letting go of negative emotions. I’ve been grumpy as hell with dealing with these damn brakes for the past two days. (Though I did just chuckle at myself while typing this.)
  2. I am incredibly persistent (i.e. stubborn). Not really a true realization, because I’m aware of this particular character trait. Still… Three hours.
  3. I’ve been having trouble being patient with myself in regards to this. I labeled this “easy task.” It hasn’t been, so obviously I am a failure in not being able to complete it on my own.
  4. I can be patient with others while they are learning (I’m better in one-on-one settings).
  5. I’m pretty terrible at asking for help. This realization is further confirmed by rereading Amanda Palmer‘s The Art of Asking.

For the last one, I knew that I can take the bike to the Co-op if I really need help. So there’s that. But somewhere in there, I had something to prove to myself. Something about being independent.

I’ve already proved that to myself a time or two (or three or four). I need to remind myself of my life’s mission (living daringly!!) and take a new cue from Amanda Palmer and Brené Brown. I do a lot of things that honor my true self, but I’m not great at opening myself to help (i.e. making myself vulnerable). Amanda Palmer says this is one of the key components to create connection between people: allowing people to help. 

Tomorrow I’ll ask for help with my bike. And I’ll make new connections by offering my help through volunteering with the Co-op. 

Yeah, I’m much better at offering my help than accepting it…

Comments Off on Brake Repair and Vulnerability

Filed under Challenge, Travels

Comments are closed.