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The Bike

Recently I have been forced to fill the car every six weeks, instead of every two months, and that was annoying. So I decided to use the bike more and extend the range of places I would use it.

My original bike was one abandoned by a former tenant of the apartments my Mother manages. It was saved in case the guy realized he would need it. When he didn’t come back after several months, I decided to use it, because no one else seemed to want it.

The reason he left it was obvious after I looked at it as a possible source of transportation – it needed new tires and tubes, as well as a new chain. This is how free stuff costs you money.

So it was OK, but I wasn’t using it as much as I should have because of the design of the frame. I have short legs, and they don’t reach the ground while sitting on that bike.

Finally, I bought a new bike with the necessary frame, after running out of sources for a used one. It came partially assembled and I have to fix some of that before I can add the final bits and put it on the road. The rules for routing control cables are simple: as short as possible, no kinks, and no restrictions to the movement of the handle bars. This is common sense, not rocket science, but whoever did the partial assembly obviously has never seen a properly assembled bike.

So, in addition to all of the other things that are going on, I have to find the time, and a place to complete this, while not freezing, and without the possibility of somecat converting a vital part into a cat toy.


1 Steve Bates { 01.04.10 at 7:52 am }

Oh, what fun it is to ride. For 25 or 30 years I bicycled for transportation to and from the various institutions I contracted for in the Texas Medical Center, mostly because I begrudged them their parking fees, day in, day out, to park a car literally miles from the job I happened to have at that moment. TMC and City of Houston did not make it easy, but I settled into a routine. People came to think of me as a cycle enthusiast because I maintained and (mostly) repaired my bike. But anyone who rode those bicycle paths and old, cracked streets had better learn to do that, and carry adequate tools with him/her, because it could be a real PITA walking the bike home or on to work, or (unlikely) to a shop. You can save parking fees and gas money that way, but people who think they are going to get around for free by switching to a bicycle are seriously self-deluded.

Good luck on the maintenance. Just remember that ALL small bicycle parts are cat toys!

2 Moi;) { 01.04.10 at 10:00 am }

Every six weeks? Oh, man. I am jealous….
.-= last blog ..What Was Your Worst Gift? =-.

3 Bryan { 01.04.10 at 1:01 pm }

I would do more biking if the area was minimally bike friendly, but people don’t notice bikes and you are apt to be hit by people stopping coming out of their driveways. This is mostly for trips to the pharmacy, and small forgotten items. I try to string trips together, but there are some things that have to be done immediately. It should be quicker and won’t disturb the cats sleeping on the car.

Moi, almost everyplace I normally go is within 4 miles, and the top speed is 45mph, so the time between fill-ups is nothing compared to anyone who commutes, or lives in the country.

I’m already thinking about getting new tubes, as they always put cheap crap in mass produced bikes and aren’t careful about smooth spoke ends. I have fixed bikes for the neighborhood kids for years, Steve, and know it will be a constant thing. The sand spurs can puncture a bike tire with no problem.

4 Moi;) { 01.04.10 at 10:54 pm }

Hmmm…..within those 4 miles, will you encounter many iguanas on the road? ;D
.-= last blog ..Who is the guy….. =-.

5 Bryan { 01.04.10 at 11:34 pm }

Snakes, gators, possum, raccoon, fox, coyote, bears, dogs, and cats, but no iguanas – yet.

6 Steve Bates { 01.05.10 at 8:28 pm }

Good quality rims are essential. It took me years to realize how great a percentage of my flats were due to faulty rims interacting with not-very-good tires. If one can stand them, “puncture-proof” tires (heh), i.e., those with extra-thick rubber on the road-side surface, are worth it, but damn, they’re heavy. That separate thin protective strip between the ends of the spokes where they come through the wheel and the inside of the tire is another essential item; omit one, and you can expect a puncture in a very short time. Pump by hand… NOT by service-station air hose… and in the first 10 pounds or so, run your hands around the tire, eliminating any unevenness or failure of the tire to lock with the bead of the rim.

Here ends the lesson for the day. You now know everything I know about dealing with bicycle tires. It might even help you! 🙂

7 Steve Bates { 01.05.10 at 8:34 pm }

Read “tube” for “tire” in about 90 percent of the cases above. It’s late; I’m tired…
.-= last blog ..Don’t You Feel Safer? =-.

8 Bryan { 01.05.10 at 10:16 pm }

I’m really considering moving the tires and tubes that I bought for the old bike to the new one, because they are definitely better quality. I’ll see how they go for a week or two before making a final decision.