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Jesus showed me the way (to Halfords)


I went to London yesterday on the MZ to meet some mates. I don't like motorways, they're boring and they wear flat bits down the middle of the round bike tyres which then make it go round corners funny, so I didn't use the M1 or the A1(M), I went on the A and B roads through Hitchin and Welwyn and Stale-buns and places like that.

At some point after Hitchin I began to notice an intermittent misfire. It only happened at certain revs so it was possible to ride through it but it was a pain and was also symptomatic of a loose connection in some ignition system component with a mechanical resonance corresponding to the critical revs. Needed investigation, but I had forgotten to have my 5mm allen key in my back pocket, so I had nothing to get the side cover off with to look at the relevant bits of the bike. This is a vanishingly rare occurrence; I make sure to carry a 5mm allen key at all times because major parts of the bike's electrical system are inaccessible without one. So I figured I'd best look out for some shop that looked like it sold 5mm allen keys. It would have to be a pretty certain bet that there would be allen keys on sale because I had a suspicion that once I stopped the engine I wouldn't be able to start it again.

I came to a roundabout. It had been signposted, as too many are, on the invalid assumption that anyone going to London would want to go down the A1(M) and anyone not going down the A1(M) wouldn't need any signposts for London. Which exit to take... you wanna go this way. OK, fine. Went that way. Trundled on for a few miles, the misfire getting gradually worse. Ah, great, there's Halfords. Went into Halfords, bought allen keys, came out, experimentally tried to restart bike... nothing, which didn't surprise me too much.

Took side cover off with my brand new allen key, found problem, fixed it, started bike, bike ran. Switched bike off again and looked at map because I wasn't sure I was going the right way. I wasn't. I'd been heading North instead of South and had somehow got as far as Stevenage without noticing the Sun was in the wrong place. Put map and tools away, started bike again, went back the way I'd come until I got to that roundabout, took the correct non-A1(M) turning for London this time, went to meet my mates. Didn't pass a single other place that looked like it would have sold allen keys. Didn't try and start the bike again until 7pm. If I hadn't gone the wrong way and found Halfords I'd have been stuck in London at 7pm on a Sunday evening with a bike that wouldn't start and nowhere open to get an allen key from - well, not that I could have walked to in any less time than it would have taken me to go home on the train and come back with an allen key.

Naturally, I gave great thanks to the Lord for the "you wanna go this way"... this is just one of the great blessings He has given me recently.




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