The idea was to replace the old crankset which was looking and feeling a bit tired and broken.
It was one of those jobs that would have to go all in one go, especially as I needed the chainring bolts to fit the new crankset when I broke it down to just one chainring. This no-turning-back situation was confirmed as the plastic spacer for the old bottom bracket snapped and had to be hacksawed gently out. If this didn’t work I was pretty stuck now.
The real issue here was possibly the four pints I had drunk before starting this job, but apart from bleeding a little it went surprisingly well while I concentrated.
With everything off the bike I checked the internet and started to fit the newer style bottom bracket. This all went swimmingly and the cranks flew on as well. I had carefully placed the pedals the right way round as they came off the bike, but this would turn out to be a fatal error. Here was where the drunk part of the night kicked in.
It turned out I had turned the bike round several times and lost track of the right side for each one. I determinedly started to fit them, struggling to get them started, I eventually force one into the thread before realising that I had entirely cross-threaded it. I swore a lot and had a sit down. Then looked at the actual pedals to see which was which. I forced the cross-threaded one out and fitted it correctly, then tried the other one. Having slightly ruined the thread I found it couldn’t go in and I screwed it as far as I could before drunkenly resigning myself to having ruined it and hoping I could get it to work to ride at least to ride to work.
In the end the internet came to the rescue again as a forum suggested screwing the pedal into the wrong side of the crank to recut the thread.
Amazingly this worked and at only 1am the bike was back together and ready to ride. I'd only cut one hand, nearly ruined one crank arm and dropped the bike on my head once.
So there we have it. Form all the lessons the most important one might be to not engage in major bike surgery when drunk. Still, all’s well that ends well.