Tag Archives: cycling

The Bike Doctor

I’ll write on the new job soon, I promise. I’m in week 3 of it, and suffice it to say that I love it so far.

More, however, on the bike.

I got her (Rebecca, formerly [briefly and grumpily] Jezebel) all dusted off, oiled up, chain replaced, light batteries replaced, tires pumped, and ready to roll a couple of weeks ago. Deana and I went out for a nice little 5 mile ride around my area of town–on streets! Where cars are!

Bright orange helmet, a stop for a picnic with Greg (he drove), and no traffic incidents other than a stopped ambulance to avoid. A good ride.

She rode quite well, with the exception of me not being able to get her into the first gear on the front derailleur. There are hardly any hills around here that would justify me dropping down to that low a gear.

All was right until the final quarter-mile or so, when my back tire blew. I wobbled safely into the apartment complex, and then we walked the bike home.

I’m proud to say I didn’t hyperventilate even once.

Also, it’s not illegal in North Carolina to ride on the sidewalks. So hmph.

This past weekend, I took on the task of replacing the tube on the back tire. I got the wheel off, then the tire (that took a while, and involved one tire lever and a spoon handle). The new tube and old tire went on easy and inflated nicely, but getting the wheel back on proved problematic. I couldn’t get the alignment right–either one of the brake pads were stuck against the wheel, or the tire itself was rubbing on the frame, depending on how I seated it.

I finally got it into what I thought was a stable position, and called it a night. I checked over everything the next morning (and oiled the chain!), and went for a ride that afternoon.

And then… well.

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A Shiny (Old) Bike!

After my bike accident back in 2005, my father bought me a sweet Mongoose mountain bike. It’s maroon and champagne colored, and I used it to commute in college.

When I graduated and moved to Charlotte, though, riding became purely for pleasure, and wasn’t particularly feasible for commuting. (I’ve pretty much always lived across town from my job and I sweat a lot when I exercise.) By the beginning of 2008, the bike was idle.

I carted it with me to the house, where it sat in the garage (excuse: the neighborhood was too hilly and roads too narrow!), and to my current apartment patio (excuse: it’s probably ruined now!)… until now.

Inspired by a potential biking partner (albeit one on a road bike), I’m cleaning up the bike. Tuesday night we wiped down the frame, gave the cables and tires a look-see, and degreased the chain.

Beautiful bike. I can’t believe I’d forgotten.

Continue reading A Shiny (Old) Bike!