The problem is if the noodle is inserted into the arm link, the brake will be permanently engaged. If I engage the brake first, there's no way the noodle is going into the arm link. There isn't nearly enough length, and it doesn't stretch.
In fact, it's extremely difficult to do that with two hands, let alone one. Even if I did, the brake would be engaged.
But I know the bike isn't broken; I am. I just don't know where.