Sunday, July 26, 2015

Parts is parts

Four hours on the bike today.


Randonneurs are a restless lot, on the whole. It might be a good thing that bicycles need maintenance. It keeps us home once in a while, in the garage. Doing something other than riding. We ride enough to wear things out.

On went a new chain and cassette, with coaching and some muscle from Danny. Adjusted the seat, because a loose bolt flew off somewhere on a road in Northern California. This made the seat tilt backwards, not a comfortable position.

Replaced the computer battery. Its display promptly came back to life, even the backlight! Danny had suggested it was dead and needed throwing away. No way - it came from Route 66. A new battery and a few nudges with the end of a paperclip and it is resurrected, speaking kilometers per hour and Central European Summer Time.

Replaced the handlebar bag. The previous one split a seam 3 months in; no endurance. Back to REI. It holds all the placebos: gels, lip balm, salt tabs, and (yes) OTC meds. Wallet. A little tube of sunscreen. An extra Larabar (or 3). A tiny cloth soaked with Windex. Repack it all.

New Continentals, front and rear. Off comes the rear tire, that same weary specimen that collected a piece of glass and went astray in the dark between Fort Bragg and Philo. Tires should not have stories to tell.

Now, in the hot summer sun, I take a good look and see a big horizontal cut, shallow. Another deeper gash in the tread. These wounds are new, from 2 weeks ago. The Official Spot of Sorrow on 101 where Jack's tire got sliced.

The front tire is whole but completely used up, floppy and tired. Into the bin.

Where the wire connects my headlight to the front hub, the connector looks loose and unreliable; turns out it was stuck on there good. New electrical tape. Test the light; still works. Gussy up the lamp with some stainless steel polish. Gotta look in the mirror.

Go through the tool kit. Make sure everything in there is strictly needed. No artifacts of spare tubes deployed months ago. Make sure nothing's missing. Touch every piece. Get rid of that extra little chain tool; no one needs two. Lighten up! But at least one tire boot...

Replace the spare rear light with one from Portland that's impervious to moisture. Check the spare headlamp. Batteries still good.

Wipe away the sand, dust, grime, grease, dirt. Clean it all with a rag and Simple Green. It will get dirty again, soon enough. I'm not much for clean, but this bike is getting taken apart and put in a box.

Honestly, it's sweaty, hard work. Exhausting! Four hours in the garage and I'm beat.

1 comment :

  1. Yes, the traveling pharmacy shouldn't have to contend with faulty containment... ;) The new language for the bike computer made me laugh.
    It's hard to schedule in time to do maintenance like this, isn't it? When it's so much more interesting to be ON the bike!
    I will note though that the Waterford looks red in this pic. Did you get a new paint job? Is it just the photo?
    (Also, hi! It's Rachel.) I may have finally joined the appropriate decade and figured out subscriptions.