Break, break, break,
On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter
The thoughts that arise in me.
O, well for the fisherman’s boy,
That he shouts with his sister at play!
O, well for the sailor lad,
That he sings in his boat on the bay!
And the stately ships go on
To their haven under the hill;
But O for the touch of a vanish’d hand,
And the sound of a voice that is still!
Break, break, break
At the foot of thy crags, O Sea!
But the tender grace of a day that is dead
Will never come back to me.
When Brakes break, all sorts of things can happen. Obviously, you can run a red light and disappear under a bus, but far more likely is that you become aware of strange symptoms and a vague feeling of something being not quite right.
In my case my rear brake started to shudder and jerk as if it was rapidly engaging and then failing, and braking became quite unpleasant as I was half expecting a catastrophic failure. A careful inspection revealed the problem.
A dear friend once explained to me why she always went to bed in spotlessly clean pyjamas, because you may have to be rescued by a fireman. By this standard my bike would clearly fail and be left behind to burn, although one would hope that in this day and age the fire service would train its members to overcome their prejudice against the unwashed. My excuse is that I commute in all weathers….
Between the washer and the yellow tube there should be a specially shaped washer that stops the brake assembly from swivelling as the brakes engage. This had disappeared, presumably corroded and fallen off. As these are the original Weinman brakes from 1982 I can’t complain. Cyclestore in Congleton dived into their box of bits and bobs and found the washer for me so my restored brake now looks and feels as it should:
The repair took about ten minutes and the cost of parts was 50 pence.
Now you will have to excuse me as I have a bike to go and clean.