Sunday, May 1, 2016

In Which I Bling My Beastly Bike

The Beast, removed from garage (but in dry overhang of house), ready for reassembly to commence. Theresa, I put the nut back on your bike, so it's ready to ride, too.
I may have gone a little overboard. After all, The Beast has been in a coma since last year when a spoke broke on the back wheel, so I’m not sure all will be well when I attempt to commute using this heavy, old mountain bike.

But I was on a quest today, for nuts. Northowne had replaced a spoke on the 26-inch wheel of the The Beast, but somehow in the process, the nuts that hold the wheel on the bike went missing.

I can’t figure out how I would have lost them. Usually, I do the logical thing with nuts—if you take a wheel off of a bike, what do you do with them? You screw them back on the wheel, that’s what you do. Still, it has been some time since the broken wheel was removed from the bike, so who knows who lost the nuts and when? To be honest, despite my surety of following rational habits, I have to admit I would still be high among the list of suspects.

Anyway, so I needed two nuts and washers. I took a nut off of Theresa’s bike—a women’s mountain bike, but by the same maker the same wheel size as The Beast, and noted the wrench that fit that nut. It was 5/8ths.

And I went shopping with the wife and grandson—who we were amusing while mom wrote final papers for law school. At Wal-Mart, I ended up buying a plethora of bling for The Beast—chain lube (I was not out but was low), new lights, a rear view mirror, a spoke light. Even new brake shoes. It was lots of cool stuff, but I did not find my nuts.

Bling for The Beast. Upper left, clockwise, chain lube, rear view mirror, headlight and taillight, brake shoes and spoke light.
I went to Lowe’s, but the 5/8ths nuts I found looked way too huge. So I dropped Audrey and Baby Bump at Target and went home to actually remove Theresa’s nut again and take it with me.

Target? No nuts.

Where to next? We thought of Home Depot. And we thought of Theisen’s. Theisen’s was closer, so I drove there and asked Audrey if she wanted to wait in the van with the baby.

“Are you nuts?” she asked with no trace of irony. “They have popcorn in there!”

At Theisen’s, not only was the teen who aided me more helpful and friendlier than the Lowe’s boy, but the store also had handy nut gauges. While the wrench that removes Theresa’s nut was indeed clearly labeled 5/8ths, the nut turned out to be a much more modest size—3/8, I think. Anyway, I was able, for about a dollar, to get two washers and two nuts.

I had a lot of grading to do yet this Sunday, and time was running out, but as soon as I got home I quickly reassembled The Beast. The brake shoes, not surprisingly, were the trickiest part, and I spent a fair amount of time adjusting the brakes. I hope they work well Monday! It was raining, so there was not much of a test drive—so we’ll see if the bike seems ride-able in the morning.

I hope so. That’s a lot of bling if The Beast won’t run.

And if The Beast will run, I still have to try to shift over the toddler seat from Francis. Meanwhile, new bling on The Beast:

Above, new mirror with CR Biker reflection. Below, lights on The Beast.

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