My kid’s bycicle seat had this awful squeak. With each turn of the pedal, his sole mode of transportation groaned and creaked. So, I asked, “How long has the neighborhood been able to hear you coming? And how do you ride that?” Then, I was reminded that his bycicle had (1) creaked for weeks, and (2) I was asked to help. This was why he wanted a new pair of wheels, rode his bike sparingly these days, and spent most of his time flipping back and forth on iOS screens. And this was all my fault. Sigh, no parenting award for me this month.

I’m sure this slipped my mind. Busy gets in the way of the important things in life. So, I went right to work, my kid helping each step of the way.

And solving the problem wasn’t a hard fix. I replaced the seat. Removed the chain, giving it a bath of oil. Finally, I blasted a little WD-40 on the pedals. I’m convinced duct tape and liquid oil will prevent a nuclear melt down in the future.

Like magic, the bike rode like new. This did get me thinking. When we build anything, be it a backyard playground, website, house, vehicle, or the next great software application or web service, it’s important to think about the long game. Maintenace matters. Make this an easy task.

“Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.”

Kurt Vonnegut


  • Picture taken on a ride, somewhere over the bridge and through the woods …