So I was driving down the road the other day and noticed that a mouse had hitched a ride in my velomobile. There was a tiny squeak at first but as the day went on it became louder and more insistent. I don’t mind hitch-hikers but I do wish they wouldn’t complain so much.
My mouse was in the steering tiller and complained every time I twisted it. The squeak was now accompanied by a resistance to turn which reduced my silky smooth driving style to a series of pathetic stutters from one over-correction to the next. Now, I’ve always been an exceptionally
lazy patient man, but something had to be done.
As soon as I got home, I put a generous amount of oil on the steering joint inside the Strada, gave the tiller an authoritative twist to help the oil penetrate, and let it sink in overnight.
The next ride started out fairly quiet but slowly the mouse revealed its continued presence. What’s worse – the steering stutter was back and becoming much more pronounced. It was starting to get downright dangerous at high speeds!
Back at the garage, I squirted more oil and gave more twists but it didn’t seem to help a bit.
Then, with a flash of utter genius it hit me – “I’ll bet the steering joint is connected to something else, and maybe it’s that ‘something else’ that’s squeaking!” I know, I even astound myself sometimes. So I took the front wheel cover off and looked into the hole where the steering rod comes out.
This is what it looks like in there…
I know, just the kind of place you’d expect to find a mouse
That big metal thingy on the left is the bottom of the steering mechanism. Get a long nozzle for your lubricant and give it a good soak. And don’t forget the metal thingy on the right where the steering rod attaches – that’s minnie mouse. That solved the problem but I gave all of the little ball joints on the outside of the body a squirt for good measure.
Ah, back to the zen-like state of blissful silence and silky steering. I was so impressed by the results that I even tried the same treatment on Cammie. It didn’t work.