Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Recycling Some Bikes for Final RAGBRAI Rides

Junk bike, courtesy of Ames dumpster.  Yes, I got both wheels fixed and chain back on, so it's sort of ready to ride.
Well, yesterday's wobble was more than I thought.  I missed it when I inspected my bike, but I broke a spoke, again.

So, I took Old Blackie into the shop, which this week feels like my second home because I have been there three times in two days.

Anyway, I’ll be without a bike in the week in which I want to maximize my miles.

But, luckily, I have three other bikes to choose from.  Audrey’s?  Well, I did ride it once before. But I prefer for it to be available to her, even if she doesn't choose to use it much. What other bikes do I have?

Audrey and Ben found an old junk bike in a dumpster in Ames this summer and brought it home.  It had multiple problems, including a weirdly overlong chain.  Jon removed some links, but didn’t have time to put the chain back together before moving to Paraguay.

This week, one of my extra trips to the bike shop was to get spare tubes for my main bike and a tube for the junk bike.  When I went to put the tube on, I found it needed new wheel spoke tape, which was an extra trip to Northtowne.  Anyway, what with one thing and another, in several hours I think I got “New Junkie” ready to ride.  Sort of.  It is supposed to be a 21-speed bike, but the derailers are so out of whack that it’s really just a 3 speed.  Well, I can still use it to get some flat trail miles in, so it’s progress.

Jon's pedals.  Need special shoes.

I also bought two cheap pedals at Target.  I swapped out the pedals on Jon’s bike, which require bike shoes, for the plain pedals.  That was a quick fix, and Jon’s will certainly be a more versatile bike, but I have not figured out how to pump up his tires yet.  (CR Biker hates those precious new dinky valves—give me big old fat old-school valves every time).

Anyway, my plan is to use the junk bike for the most part, but do some hilly rides on Jon’s bike once I figure out how to get air into his tires.  My RAGBRAI bike should be back in less than a week, and I admit I am not too sad that I broke that spoke.  It forces me to get the bike tuned now, which makes sense—I’ll be riding over 400 miles across Iowa on a newly tuned bike.

The new pedals, no special shoes.


  1. Joe, I don't know that putting a hat on those valves will help, but my nifty car-powered pump (the one we used before Raccoon River) has several adaptors, maybe one of those would fit?

    1. OK, OK, I fixed the typo. Watched some You Tube videos and I think I can inflate it with my pump--will try later this afternoon.