Friday, July 15, 2011

Reflections of a Poor Bike Mechanic

Not poor economically, although I’m in the anxious middle class—but poor in mechanical ability. And, as you can see from one of the photos, which shows me using my Nikon to snap a picture of my new mirror, a bit of a pun.

I had to fix a flat on my front tire today, and also added a mirror. My daughter Katy had bought me a mirror last year for a previous bike, and I put that mirror on my new bike, but it was plastic and I managed to snap it.

So, today, I installed a new mirror. It’s bigger, which is good, and fits the bike better—the attachment is much tighter. I hope that, and its metal construction, means it will last longer.

The tire change was interesting. For one thing, I did not find a hole in the flat tube, but the tube was stuck, adhered, to the bike tire. Hmm.

I also inflated it with my frame pump, as an experiment. Then, after inflation, I noted the tire was not seated correctly, and had to deflate and re-inflate. The second time, I used my foot pump.

The foot pump works much better—45 or so pumps and the tire is nice and firm. I counted around 150 pumps with the frame model, and the tire was still slightly mushy. But, on the other hand, I would have been able to ride the bike in a pinch, so the frame pump earned a RAGBRAI ride.

Not quite done with pre-RAGBRAI maintenance. Besides a good chain lube, I’ll also be getting a new rear tire. I’ve worn through the first one training for RAGBRAI.

At least, I’m on the road again!

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