Or at least ground crew chief.
I finally got around to rebuilding the wheel that potato chipped on me back in January. No, I haven't been riding, I'm a sad and weak man. But I did build my own wheel for the first time and I used the guide from Sheldon's site. What a great guide it is, too. I followed the instructions and, sure as shootin', I had a wheel. I have a truing stand but I needed to find a dish stick (gauge, tool, whatever) and the fine and always helpful folks at the HCHQ lent me one. Thanks guys.
It's still not dished properly, but I sorta like it this way. It made me jigger the rear brakes, but I have a pretty good chainline and it does work. I think I feel a wobble, but I can't find it by using a truing stand so I suspect that it is complaining about my sizeable hinder and I need to check the spoke tension I think -- I'm still new at this whole building wheels thing. This is why I am also attending HCHQ's wheel building class this Saturday. I hope to learn how to do this from master wheelsmithys Jim and Kevin. Perhaps I'll see ya there. According to their blog the class is full. Nice to see.
So, anyways, I took the wheel, along with the rest of the bike, for a spin to see how it rides. Again, I noticed a bit of a wobble, but I really noticed that I suck right now at riding. I've got the the bike as a single speed with 46/18 and the climb up 54th to Lyndale damn near killed me. I was riding on the middle chainring previously, so this gearing took me by surprise. I wheezed my way up it and continued on the Parkway and around Harriet and back.
Man, I suck. I could complain about big, studded tires not rolling well. Or that the snow makes it harder to pedal. Or the gearing. That's whining. I just suck. Me darlin' Mrs assures me that it will come back and that I'll be back in less time than it took to get into that shape the first time.
I don't feel like waiting a year...
But, to quote Eddy Merckx: "Ride your bike. Lots." Or Scott: "Keep Ridin'...Always." So, I will.