Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Diff'rent bike and dodging death

Well, as surprising as it may seem, the bike lost another spoke last week, and I haven't ridden since It seems I have to replace the wheel (again) because adding spokes doesn't do me any good. Why? Is the rim bent and it's taking out the spokes, one by one? Is the tension difference between the spokes so bad that they are breaking under the strain? Am I so fat I can't keep a wheel?

The only thing I can think of is to rebuild the wheel with a new rim and spokes and see what changes. Thing is, I've never built a wheel before, so this should be interesting. Since some of the biking blogs I've been reading have mentioned Hiawatha Cyclery, I decided to check them out and see what they have. I spoke to Jim about a new wheel and he seems to think that I can rebuild the wheel. I'll stop by and pick up a rim and spokes and a dishing tool sometime this week or next.

I also got to ride a Pugsley! What a cool bike! Thumping around on those monster truck tireswas an absolute gas. And that bike was smooove. They outfitted it with a Brooks saddle and some Nitto cruiser-like bars and had the frame painted powder-coated orange. I guess they didn't like the standard Surly decals and color. Whatever.

So, how is Yam getting to work? Is he stumbling back into cager-dom? No! With the bike without a wheel, I was getting antsy to ride, so I resurrected Mrs. Yam's Specialized Sirrus from it's basement exile and decided to bring back into road-worthy shape.

First was to wash the cobwebs from it. Ew. Then, adjust the derailleurs. Shimano RSX with the integrated brake and shifter. I've never seen 'em before, but what the hell, I'll take a shot at it. Once I figured out how they work, I realized that the rear shifter wasn't bringing the chain down to the smaller cogs. Crap, if the shifter is busted, I'd have to replace it and I wasn't really in the mood to take it all apart. Then, a little birdie by the name of Jamie told me of a trick: spray some Tri-Flow inside until it starts coming out the bottom. "Sometimes it works..."

This was sometimes. It shifts fine now and the brakes are okay. I got it done Monday while I was suffering from a combination of allergies and the reaction to the allergy medicine; sure, it dries out your nose, but it dries out everything else too. It's still filthy, but it runs and is it fast. Geeze, it's been a while since I've been on a road bike, and I've forgotten how fast these things are. But, with the aluminum frame and skinny tires, you feel every little bump in your teeth.

I rode the Sirrus to work today. It's fine, but I'm not used to riding without my rear view mirror, so I need to get into the habit of looking over my shoulder more, so I don't get creamed. Speaking of creamed, I was almost fit for soup today as I was taking a left into the parking lot at work. A bus slowed to let me turn, but some jerk was driving too fast (speed limit: 30mph) and passed the bus on the right and almost took out my back wheel.

Who needs coffee when adrenaline is so much effective at waking you up...