Sunday, August 29th, 2010
7:54 am - This Sounds Like a Job for... Bicycle Repair Man!  
Between four straight days of heavy rain and an evening spent building a new mail server, I hadn't ridden in a week when I hit the path yesterday morning. I assumed that I would feel well-rested and strong after the layoff, but I didn't exactly. I wound up doing 25 miles at just under 14 per, which is pretty good for me, but the body was complaining most of the way. Tough to get old. Shrug.

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It was a lovely day outside, and since the tailgate of my truck sits under the late afternoon shade of medium-sized tree, it makes a perfect workbench for outdoor bicycle repair. I spent a couple of hours on the 3-speed swapping out all of the 40+ year-old rubber—all new tires, tubes*, brake pads, and even rim strips (the bands that protect the tubes from the sharp edges on the spoke nuts). I also took up the slack in the brake cables. It still won't brake as quickly as the Fuji, but it'll be better. Then I spent some time getting the gears back into adjustment. It seemed alright while doing some slow circles on the street out front of the house. I'll know better when I take it down to the path later on this morning.

* One disappointment here—I haven't been able to find tubes with screw-down valves (i.e., threaded the full length of the outside of the valve, so that you can use a lock nut to fasten them to the wheel, instead of threaded just enough for the cap) like the original equipment had. All Presta valves are screw-downs, but I haven't seen them on Schrader valve** tubes in many years. I like the look of them, and they were traditional on 3-speeds.

** Schrader valves are the kind of valves you find on automobile tires and most bikes. Presta valves are specialized bike valves usually found on higher-end bikes.


One thing noted while working on the bike was the number of bicycles that came down the street while I was working. Lots more than I recall seeing in the past.
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