Monday, July 19th, 2010
10:35 am - Weekend  
It was wicked nasty outside this weekend, a combination of mid-90s heat and cranked to eleven humidity that made me nostalgic for the 100+ temperatures of a couple weeks ago. Apart from a couple of rides, I stayed inside, huddled near the air conditioner, entering receipts and reconciling old credit card statements in GnuCash. The garden seems to like the weather, though. A couple of tomatoes are starting to color up, so perhaps in a week or so there'll be tomatoey goodness to be had.

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The rides I took were polar opposites. Saturday morning I pushed the Fuji hard, hitting an average of 15 mph for the second time ever. Sunday morning I had a nice easy jaunt on the 3-speed, about 12 mph, easy mostly because the legs were still recovering from Saturday's ride and couldn't have gone faster if I'd had the inclination, and because the ridiculous humidity had me sweating buckets before I'd even gone a mile.

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After Saturday's ride, I took the Fuji over to the bike shop. It has been making a nasty clicking noise of late, located somewhere in the drive train/rear hub. The noise is always worst at the start of a ride, then eventually disappears after a mile or two or sometimes three. Which meant that since I'd already ridden the thing, I couldn't demonstrate the noise to BSG. We both agreed that the noise disappearing was probably a matter of the parts warming up as the ride proceeds. He suggested a new chain, pointing out that the chain should probably be replaced every 1500 miles or so. The Fuji is approaching 5000 miles, and still has the original chain. So he installed a new chain. I'll find out if that was it tomorrow night, weather permitting. We'll see.

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One of the beauties of my 40+ year-old Sears 3-speed is that pretty much all of it is original equipment. The saddle is the only thing that isn't, being a very similar to original saddle I bought on eBay. The downside to this is that the rubber in the tires and, especially, the brake pads is showing its age. The pads have hardened to the point where they are more slippery than sticky, like the eraser on an old pencil, so braking the bike quickly can be a problem.

So I picked up a pair of new pads and installed them on the rear wheel. They don't quite match the rest of the bike, being all new-fangled looking, but do do seem to work a little better. The bike still doesn't stop on the proverbial dime, but I think that's also a function of the brake mechanisms themselves.

The tires still have a lot of tread and are in better shape, but the rubber is cracking here and there, so I picked up a pair of new tires at the bike shop. They're gum-sided (yellow walls), so the look of the bike will be different, but they'll be sturdier in the long run. I still haven't installed them. Sometime this week, perhaps.