Bad Oma

Oma was very naughty this morning. I need Super Dutch Bike Nanny. Angry that I was returning to work and spending less time with her (Trisha’s astute observation), Oma lashed out by tearing my pants leg. I was feeling spiffy, riding in my best Brooks Brothers pants suit, when the hem fell and Oma grabbed it with her crank arm.

The Aftermath

I had to show up on my first day of work with pants held together by a safety pin, and being yanked by my bike was not fun. I’ve never had a problem riding Oma in wide-leg jeans, but from now on I will secure long and loose pants.

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38 thoughts on “Bad Oma

  1. Steven Vance says:

    How did the hem fall?

  2. Cosmo says:

    Bummer. It looks like it was right on the seam though. I hope you can sew it up pretty easily at home without needing a tailor. I get my jeans legs caught on the cranks on my bikes more often than I’d like though I don’t have a super fancy Oma with complete chaincase.

  3. A E Colagross says:

    Oh no! I hope the first day of work went extra well!

  4. Steve A says:

    Lesson learned. Always secure long pants against bike attack, even if it doesn’t seem necessary. You get reflective things, you can call it a safety action instead of protecting your clothes.

  5. miss sarah says:


    That’s awful:(


  6. Mike says:

    Other than that inauspicious start (which I’m sure went unnoticed) how was the first day?

  7. grambev says:

    Falling on the floor laughing (well almost) This cheered me up reading this as I’m a bit down in the dumps recently. Thank You Dottie! ;)

  8. This just shows that the emotional relationship with one’s bike is very important. Have a talk with Oma over a cup of tea and explain that you just want to spend some quality time with Betty before the winter comes. Remind Oma that in the winter, all the attention will be on her again, and it’s important for Betty to not feel left out. If you are open and honest with your bikes, they will understand and the acting out won’t happen too often.

  9. BikeBike says:

    Bad Oma (spank, spank!)!

  10. Carrie says:

    oh no! Well, it did get the “I just know something is going to go wrong” heebie jeebies over with early in the day, so you could “wow” them at work stress-free – think of it as a great conversation opener. Looks close to the seam – fingers crossed for you that a tailor can fix it up fairly simply?

    Hope you had a great second day – no surprises. :o)

  11. G.E. says:

    I think the ‘unfortunate incident’ is a GOOD omen for your job. I swear, every time I’ve had some sort of wardrobe malfunction on the first day (or the interview – which has happened too. I’m extremely klutzy.), the job has been great. Well, the wardrobe malfunction, or breaking some sort of machinery on the first day. :o) Regardless, I hope the first day went great, and that the rest of the week is even better.

  12. anna says:

    I had a problem like that with my mtb, but of course because I don’t have a chain guard. My trousers were destroyed and I nearly fell from the bike. That thought me some lesson. Hopefully your damage is repairable.

  13. Frits says:

    Have Oma take a good long look at CANNONDALE DUTCHESS CONCEPT BIKE over on That might teach her.

  14. Hmm, it looks like Willow’s not the only bike that misbehaves and gets an attitude. The more I think about it, the more I realize that bikes are kinda like cats.

  15. Tad Salyards says:

    Hell hath no furry like an Oma’s scorn!

  16. sara says:

    I’m just impressed that you HAD a safety pin to secure your ripped pants.

  17. Sox says:

    I hope you enjoyed your first day.
    Some tailors have art menders who can make that tear invisible. While I can sew quite well, there are some things I just won’t touch.

  18. Emma J says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this – Lovely Bicycle’s one-on-one counselling session makes a lovely picture in my mind! – glad though to hear that the first day went well despite the spat with your transportation!

  19. donna says:

    I’m going to have to try the binder clips suggestion because I’ve used rubber bands in a pinch but they eventually snap.

  20. Elisa M says:

    Hell hath no fury like a bicycle left in the garage.

  21. Phillip R says:

    Can I guess that it was the left pant leg?
    I ride an Azor Transport and with just the right pair of wider legged pants and just the right wind & riding direction I can get an annoyingly strong grab at my left pantleg. I usually just move my foot farther out on the pedal until I change direction or forget. Until I read this I’ve never remembered to look at the problem area when off my bike.

    The grabber (and tear-er) could be the larger-than-bb-shell adjustable cup lock ring (mine is pretty sharp), the sharp angle of the crank shoulder itself, or maybe even stuff getting wrapped around the wide exapnse of exposed spindle.
    To test the sharp lock ring theory I’ve just wrapped mine in some black gaffers tape. We’ll see how it goes… it’s the easiest to fix so here’s hoping. A one time taping or filing would beat the heck out of having to worry about wraps or tucking every time.
    Oma knew not what she was doing and cannot be expected to bear the blame, garage time or not. She probably feels badly enough about her indirect role in the incident already.

  22. Frits says:

    Oma might of course be pining for this novelty:
    A lockable box incorporated in the front carrier, for chain locks or other valuables.
    The catalog isn’t available yet, so no details.

  23. maria says:

    Oh, no!! Very bad Oma!!

  24. Cycler says:

    Bad girl!
    I ride a similarly equipped full chain case/ skirt guarded bike, and “crank catch” is the only thing that I do worry about with my clothing. Ironically it never happens with skirts, just pant legs, especially the slightly wide ones. Another argument for biking in skirts. I think that I should add a safety pin to the two bolts, a nut, a lock washer,multitool and vise grips in the “tool pocket” in my bag. I

  25. sigrid says:

    we all get moody ~ maybe oma was just worried about her first day at the new job too.

  26. somervillain says:

    bad oma, indeed! and especially with the pedigree that she holds from the land where riding wearing a business suit is normal!

    i agree with phillip about the possibility of the BB lockring being the culprit, but the really sharp ones are usually only found on older bikes from the 80s and earlier. i encounter the snagging problem constantly with my old city bike with a jagged BB lockring. i always use an ankle band on that bike now. i even experience occassional snagging from the smooth crank arm cotter on my raleigh roadster– despite having a full chaincase to supposedly prevent any snagging!

  27. […] least! Afraid that continued neglect of my darling Batavus could lead to a pant-snatching incident, á la Oma, I took her out to enjoy one of the last days of fall. Together we posed in front of a scraggly […]

  28. […] least! Afraid that continued neglect of my darling Batavus could lead to a pant-snatching incident, á la Oma, I took her out to enjoy one of the last days of fall. Together we posed in front of a scraggly […]

  29. Jeanette says:

    I just found this post and it made me laugh. I trust Oma got over it. But I did wonder if it was your suit that was acting out….since the hem fell out at just that moment….new job stress? In any event, it’s ten months later so I hope all is well with Oma and the suit.

  30. […] or extremely long or loose pants—the flares can get caught in your chain or crank, and the extra material slapping against the chain case or frame as you pedal can be annoying. Of […]

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