A warning to anyone stopping in Whitechapel

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by Tynan, 18 May 2010.

  1. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    Today, 6.45pm ish, eastbound on the Whitechapel High Roada stop to deal with a call from the fairy, all good, found a nice spot in front of a shop, where the market stalls begin, I've barely got the whell off and started on the tyre when an appeal for help in very broken english uters from behind me

    Two teenage asian kids, perhaps 14 or 15 with an old banger of a bike with the front brakes jammed on the rims, 'you have tool' he said pointing at my pannier, he was right but heaven knows how, I got the multitool out and looked at the rusty cantilever brakes, hmm, looked at the inline adjuster on the brake lever, of course it fully wound out, wound it back in, job done

    amazed and delighted, the oik then asks me what's wrong with the back brake

    that one's easy, there's no brake cable at all, I explain what a brake cable is and how to fit one, he says thanks and the two of them shamble off

    good, back to the job in hand, a minute passes and again, broken english asking for a brake to be fixed, I turn round thinking it's a piss take, different asian youth speaking more patois this time than broken english, asks me to come and fix his bike brake, I politely suggests that he brings it to me under the circumstances, a horrid bashed up stunt type bike is produced, a something rhino

    that ones easy too, the spring on one side of the cantilver brakes is dead as a dead thing, leaving one brake stuck on the rim, I call him back from where he's gone back to packing up his stall, I explain that it's a not a roadside fix, not by me anyway, he invites me to inspect the back brakes, I politely demur, excusing myself on the grounds that I had to get home at some point and still had a hole to patch

    soooo, should you find yourself having to stop thereabouts, looking vaguely competent or needing to fix something where people can see you, display tools of the calibre of tyre levers and above, allow plenty of time
  2. PrettyboyTim

    PrettyboyTim New Member

    Good job mate - really nice of you to help them out.
  3. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    You were lucky the git's didn't off with the bike or kit mate..........

    I don't sort folk out when I'm in trouble - fix and off.... certainly not in the less pleasant parts of Manchester...... sitting duck with £xxxx of bike.......
  4. OP

    Tynan Veteran

    it was on my mind a bit but it was broad daylight and the main road after all

    and I'm a big bloke init
  5. slowmotion

    slowmotion Quite dreadful

    lost somewhere
    Well done, Good Samaritan. Consider your halo well and truly polished!
  6. hackbike 666

    hackbike 666 Guest

    I was worried for you for a moment Tynan...A workmate who commutes from Manor Park down the Mile End Road got mugged in Brick Lane apparently...by two scumbags so I wouldn't trust anyone on my commute.
  7. Yes, I had a similar problem

    I had "do you have a pumper?" from one doe-eyed little kid looking sadly at his deflated tyre and duly pumped up his tyre and set his limit screws since I noticed the chain was off. And being a tinkerer by nature, while I was at it, set up the indexing properly

    2 hours later there was a knock on my door and outside stood 2 more kids about 6-8 years old clutching bicycles with various faults....

    So if you ARE going to be a good samaritan, mmy advice is to not do it from home....at least when en-route you can simply pedal off and don't have to resort to hiding under the stairs!!!
  8. OP

    Tynan Veteran

    Brick Lane is a different place entirely

    Stick to the main roads with street lights and you'll be ok

    spec if you don't stop or slow down

    I have fixed roadside at a few rather grim spots after dark, the Whitechapel Road gets a bit deserted round about Bow and there's some horrid hoodlums in Leyton once the sun goes down

    yes be careful but most people are fine
  9. hackbike 666

    hackbike 666 Guest

    .....and don't use the canal.
  10. Crankarm

    Crankarm Guru

    Nr Cambridge
    Not a nice area Whitechapel. I remember going there before all the derelict tenaments and warehouses were knocked down and the area revitalised although it's by no means nice now. Down by Wapping (now News International), Shad Thames and across the river in Bermondsey, behind the Design Museum, it was just like Dicken's squalid Victorian London that he wrote about in Oliver Twist.
  11. DrSquirrel

    DrSquirrel Guest

    I'd be very cautious... how does an inline adjuster suddenly wind itself in or out...?
  12. Globalti

    Globalti Legendary Member

    When I lived in a "popular" area in my batchelor years word got around amongst the local kids that I was willing to fix bikes and I would sometimes come home to find some wreck of a bike in my back yard. I remember once a knock at the door and there was a whole gang of them with one in tears wheeling his brand new cheapo BMX which had a bent back wheel. By a combination of bending and spoke tweaking I was able to get it more or less straight again and he went off mighty relieved. It reached the point where I started to worry about having small kids hanging around my house as that was at the height of the paedophile paranoia.

    In February in the Cape Argus I heard something going tick tick tick in my front tyre then a mile later it flatted right in the middle of a rough area. I was immediately surrounded by small boys wanting to help and asking for sweets, water bottle, cash. I spent a few anxious minutes removing the punctured tube, which disappeared. Got the tyre fitted and enough air into it to get me to the next service point where I borrowed a track pump. Later I saw a young lad walking along with about a dozen tubes looped over his shoulder so I began to suspect they had been chucking tacks on the roads approaching their areas. With 35,000 riders going through you'd be sure of a few hits!
  13. BigSteev

    BigSteev Senior Member

    Yeah, but you won't need to fix their Shoreditch poodles as they don't ride them. ;)
  14. Jezston

    Jezston Über Member

    Fancy thinking one of them would want to talk to you.

  15. Domeo

    Domeo Well-Known Member

    By the Ching
    That's what I was expecting the post to be :biggrin:
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