At the end of the battle and not without tears streaming down my face I stood with the tattered remains of my vanquished foe held high before the front window where my Susan looked out at me.

“I do not quit,” I said in a quiet and quivering voice. And my Susan left the window and came through the house and out the front door and to me and put her arms around me and I think she got choked up a bit, too.

What was it that Susan had endured me fighting and failing for about two hours? Nothing more than the bottom bracket of my bike whose lockring refused — and I mean refused! — to budge.

And I almost gave up. Having bloodied one finger and smashed two others while stripping the teeth of the lockring so that the bottom bracket tool could barely find purchase I turned to my last resort: the big plumbing wrench almost entirely unsuited for the task of loosening the frozen thing from its threads. But it had worked before on another bike so I figured I had to give it a try.

That failed to do anything but simultaneously crush a fingertip and chip the paint on the bike when it slipped with me in full exertion mode.

And that was it. I threw in the towel. “I guess I’m beaten,” I said aloud. And I hated myself. And I hated the bottom bracket and the bike and the world. And I wanted to break the bike and the tools and the bricks I walked back and forth on in a tantrum while fighting the urge to cry like a little baby and curse at the top of my lungs.

I do not know what made me dig deep for one last attempt, but I picked up the bottom bracket tool and using it with a 32mm wrench on one side and the socket/ratchet arm on the other, I seated it as tightly as I could onto the thoroughly damaged lockring one more time and I took a deep breath and I leaned into it and with every last bit of me I gave it a twist and the lockring held just like it had for the last two hours, but this time so did the tool. So I leaned into it a little more, and this time instead of slipping off the ring and sending my fingers smashing into the bike frame, it turned. Befuckinggrudingly, it turned.

And I let out a “hell yeah!” through clenched teeth and kept up the pressure and it kept turning and in a few more rotations, I had the bottom bracket in my hand and I walked away from the bike and with tears of joy and pride and relief streaming down my face I stood with the tattered remains of my vanquished foe held high before the front window where my Susan looked out at me.

“I do not quit,” I said.

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Will Campbell arrived in town via the maternity ward at Good Sam Hospital way back in OneNineSixFour and has never stopped calling Los Angeles home. Presently he lives in Silver Lake with his wife Susan, their cat Rocky, dogs Terra and Hazel, and a red-eared slider turtle named Mater. Blogging since 2001, Will's web endeavors extend back to 1995 with, a comprehensive theater site that was well received but ever-short on capital (or a business model). The pinnacle of his online success (which speaks volumes) arrived in 1997, when much to his surprise, a hobby site he'd built called VisuaL.A. was named "best website" in Los Angeles magazine's annual "Best of L.A." issue. He enjoys experiencing (and writing about) pretty much anything creative, explorational and/or adventurous, loves his ebike, is a better tennis player than he is horr golfer, and a lover of all creatures great and small -- emphasis on "all."