Monday, November 10, 2008

bike repair

my bike has been resting in my family room since saturday afternoon.
(okay, it did escape sunday for that brief ride to little dell and back, but it quickly returned and took up its same position, jauntily leaning against the armoire.)
it's there because I'm hoping that having it stare me in the face will eventually force me to give it some attention.
I love the darn thing, but I sure don't feel like sitting down and caring for it the way I should.
what's up with that?
come to think of it, whenever I have a "patch and repair" project in my sewing pile, it tends to wait quite a while for me. why do I put these things off? it always feels so good when they're completed . . . why do I wait so long to start them? just like I did with my bike, I often leave them in plain sight, hoping that the visual stimulation will ignite a physical response. and it just doesn't happen.
hmmm. I could either delve more deeply into my psyche, or I could shrug my shoulders and say, yep, that's how I am.
guess what I just did?

this is what I need to do for my bike:
clean the thing, mainly the frame and wheels, with water and a mild soap. involves water and a rag and try as I might to avoid it, spillage, drips and splatters. tough on the carpet: would be much better outside but I am too much of a wimp to do this in 40 degree weather.
degrease all of the parts that collect grease. which to me, means the chain, the rear derailleur, and the rings, too. this involves a rag, the degreasing agent, and if I were being really good, my bike-cleaning-toothbrush. it's kind of messy, and difficult to get into those tight little places.
again, much better to do outside, but . . . you know, the weather.
lube the chain. pretty simple, really, but does involve another rag and I usually drip at least a little of the lubricant on something I don't want it to be on.
change my tires. take off the front and throw it away (which is painful, because I'm sure I could get at least another hundred or so miles out of it. but I'm trying to save myself the agony of a blowout and the embarrassment of having to ask someone to come rescue me when it happens), take off the rear tire and save it as "spare," and put on the two new tires I've had for the past couple months.
an aside: changing tires is frustrating for me, because even with the use of tire levers, I have a heck of a time getting the tires off their rims. I watch guys do it, and they just slip the lever in, flick it a couple inches around the rim, and presto, off pops the tire. it takes some strength, and I just don't have it in my right shoulder, so I struggle to yank (not flick) that lever along the rim. I'll eventually get it off, but it drives me crazy to know that half the world can do this fifty times more easily than I can. God knows this about me, though, and has given me the most incredible gift this summer: I have not had a flat tire since early july. that's over four months. I don't dare say this out loud, and I'm typing really lightly as to not make much noise ~ kind of like whispering ~ I can't believe my good fortune.
I think it has something to do with the fact that in june I ordered 10 spare tubes from a biking catalog.

and that's all. I could probably do it all in about an hour and a half. if I would just buckle down and do it.

I'll be sure to let you know if I get to it today.

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