It's not every day that the ISWE staff recommends a product to the ISWE community, but then again it's not every day that said ISWE staff is standing in the middle of the office at work, covered in grease, 15 minutes before an important meeting on the other side of campus.
The chain pin pictured at the left is a small device that, normally, prevents the chain from falling off of the chain ring when the ISWE Birdy is folded. When the chain does however pop off, as happened last week when I clumsily unfolded the Birdy improperly to rush off to eDoc training, the chain pin also prevents the chain from going back on the chain ring. It does that really really well. In fact, no matter how hard I pried and prodded, it prevented me from putting the chain back on the Birdy for about five of my fifteen precious minutes. All I accomplished in that time was covering both hands with copious amounts of grimy chain grease. As I looked down at my blackened palms juxtaposed to my clean white button down shirt, I thought, "Im going to be late, I'm going to ruin this shirt, and my coworkers are going to come in and think, Barry is a total idiot!" With mere seconds to act before all three events occurred, I remembered my Doc Allen's Versatool !!!
According to their website, the Versatool is a lightweight, compact, multi-function, stainless steel tool that works well in tight places. It also works well in tight situations. I keep one in my messenger bag at all times. Here, I grabbed it, pulled out a hex bit, and removed the chain pin in like 10 seconds. I even used it to put the chain on without getting my hands greasy. Oh, I guess I didn't mention that I used about 20 of the office's Purell wipes and tons of elbow grease to remove the chain grease (sorry office, I'll replace them, I promise!). My hands were clean and they stayed clean. Ten seconds putting the chain pin back on and putting the tool back in its pouch and I was on my way, crisis avoided, and I even beat some of the car-driving people to my meeting because they couldn't find parking places where they wouldn't get towed. Lessons learned: 1) Don't be stupid when unfolding the Birdy, 2) Don't forget you have a Doc Allen's Versatool before getting greasy and using up all the office's Purell wipes, and 3) Small-wheel bikes never get towed and never have to feed greedy parking meters. Victory!
So, please consider picking up a Doc Allen's Versatool. They are way cool, made in the USA, and pretty inexpensive, especially considering they would probably outlast the cockroaches that would survive a nuclear apocalypse... Plus, using one makes you totally feel like MacGuyver and that's way good for your self esteem.
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Small wheels rule!