Sunday, August 7, 2016

In Which I Had a Hammer

If I had a hammer, I’d … repeatedly beat the seat post of my new bicycle.

Really, I would—and Saturday, I did. In spring, we purchased a used tag-a-long bicycle wheel and seat—one of those things that looks like half a bike and attaches to the rear of a larger bike so a child can bike along with an adult. Part of my argument for acquiring the yet-unnamed new blue hybrid bike was that, besides a pickup truck for commuting, I wanted a grandpa-bike--one I could attach a toddler seat to, and the hitch for the child half bike behind.

The hitch was a hitch. The attachment piece was not original, it was a sturdy piece of steel welded by a friend or family member of the previous owner—and the inside diameter of the piece was way too close to the outside diameter of my seat post.

I used WD40 and chain lube, but they were not enough. The hammer proved more persuasive, and 40 minutes of me humming “Working in the Coal Mine” or “If I Had a Hammer” later, the hitch was firmly in place.

The nut to hold it to the seat post was mostly installed as an afterthought—I’m sure this sucker isn’t going anywhere. Installing it required me to raise the seat on my commuting bike—today’s planned ride to the Hiawatha Farmer’s Market will test how well that worked, although I did take a short ride after installation, and the bike felt fine.

The new bike, with child bike attached and toddler seat in place. What shall we call this?

My experience with bike shops is that they usually adjust my seat too low. I know you don’t want to unbend your leg all the way on the down stroke, but I almost always end up raising the seat after they’ve adjusted it.

Anyway, I had to take the toddler bar off to installed the hitch, and putting that back on was difficult. Today’s ride will test that system, too, although again I checked it out and it seems OK.

So, now that the bike is ready to tow grandchildren, what do we call this new vehicle? I know it’s the wrong color, it’s blue and not a yellowish green, but I am tempted by “Clarissa,” the name of the first family car I remember, because Clarissa, a chartreuse 1959 VW Microbus, was a people hauler, too. Then again, this is a manly bike--is there a masculine form of the name Clarissa?

So, friends and family, what do you say? What do we call the new bus, or rather, bike?

No comments:

Post a Comment