Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Twofer Tuesday

So this lady and gentleman (and an occasional third reader) is the inside of my hub. I never got my paws on the pawls. The best I can figure that's something on the drive side, where I can't seem to access. Things shooting off into the ether was quite a discourager.

That and the couple people I consulted with made it sound like tackling the impossible. But really any mechanic will tell a non-mechanic that no matter what. A little bit of patience goes a long way and saves a ton of cash; I know that.

So I got as far as removing the nut and we'll say the cap. Then I hit a road block. There's talk of a 10mm and a 5mm and this and that, but I don't even have a 10mm so we stop there regardless. And both parties keep talking about repacking the hub, the bearings, and the like. Okay, I hear you! But that there folks appears to me to be a sealed cartridge. No servicing required.

But I cleaned up what I could, dripped a couple drops of oil around it and screwed her back up. Nothing I did shoulda made a lick of difference, but the $80 service quote sure would have. Know what, it worked. No more noise (for now). I'm not gloating because I can tell it wants to howl again. But with a little screw and a little lube I got a quiet smooth ride. That's what she said.

And on that nice quiet ride I encountered a war zone over on Connecticut Avenue. Water main break. I didn't realize it at the time, but with those pants I coulda got a ring side seat to the geyser. And maybe an honest answer as to when the water restrictions would be lifted. It smelled a whole lot like gas so I didn't hang around.

The trail was still open and the traffic was horrendous so I was sitting pretty. All 4 stations were camped there but no one stopped me to interview me. :( And there I was all prepared with my sound byte:  How am I affected by the water restrictions? Oh not so bad, I drink more beer and shower with my girlfriend...sounds like a lifelong plan!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Rien Ne Va Plus

I lent my bike to a friend a few months ago. And now it's broken. I'm not saying there's a correlation; however, I heard she had a broken nipple the other day. Spoke. Broken nipple spoke.

I couldn't recreate the noise she claimed she heard while riding it. I'm not saying it was in her head, I heard it too, and I'm not in her head. But as much as I rode it I could never recreate the noise.

True, many of those miles were logged on my trainer. Because let's be real, it's scary out there on the roads. This was my old commute route just one week ago. Then this weekend I took Mary Todd back out on the road, that's when I saw the crushed car. DAYS after the wicked snow 'storm'. It was the same car I saw on the news, just now, live, in person, up close.

And there it was. The noise. Was back. For me. It sounded like rubbing. Something seemed to be rubbing but I had no idea what or where. And it only happened at speed. Downhill speed accessorized with a bump. It's not exactly a time when you want something undefined 'rubbing'. On a bike. In the city.
When I got home I took the thing the apart. I removed the cassette, gave it a good cleaning, gave the wheel a spin. ?? What the?? I spun the wheel in my hands like a roulette wheel and it seriously sounded like one. It sounded just like the little marble looking for a number to land on. With a fully pumped tube inflated in it? I think not. But sure enough no matter how many times I spun it, it was an unmistakable sound.

I had no choice but to pull the tube. And if you had been here when I put the new tires on you would know that's not an exercise I cared to repeat. Tire off, tube removed, bouncing ball still in tact. Another reason I dislike the deep dish rims, add it to the list. So, I'm guessing there's a pebble caught between the rim and the tape and I can't decide if it's worth looking for. Spin, spin, watch, spin, watch. I kept my eye on the nozzle hole like a puppy watching a mole hole. Red Fourteen. FINALLY, out popped a...presta tip? What are the odds? Okay, I wasn't expecting that.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Stair Me Down

Let me just start by saying this IS the doggie in the window but NOT the puppy in my tale. She's cute as shit though right?

Okay, so here's how it goes down...I've had my new bike for just under a month now. It's been cold and wet and muddy; I haven't been on it much. In fact I've been off it more than you'd think.

So yeah, I've fallen off it on more than one occasion. And every time the girl says, how's your ego? Snicker snicker. After confirming that I'm okay, of course.

Really? My ego? As if I care. You can't fall if you don't ride. And you don't ride if you don't fall. Me? I just fell down the stairs. Excuse me, STAIR. It was just ONE stair. I fell off one stair. Oh no, I wasn't ON a bike. I was on my feet, emphasis on the WAS.

Here's how I went down...hard. End of story. Don't ask me; I have NO freaking clue. There I was just sock hoppin' down the steps and boom. I went boom. 4 inches from the ground. Clearly I caught myself on my forearms. Lucky me. Happy Half Birthday I feel OLD.

Enter Puppy 911. Ripley was a little slow to respond but quite able and willing, unlike some other first responders you may have heard recently in the news. This dog was on it, er, well, on me. As I rolled myself over I was face to face with a whimpering puppy. No doubt, concerned about my well being. How sweet.

When I didn't really answer outside the groans and moans, she panicked. Tempered panic mind you. She began CPR-- Cute Puppy Response. There I laid at the foot of the stairs, puppy poised above me. The whimpering stopped and the paw tapping began. Yes, Ripley began tapping my chest as if she might fix what was wrong with her careful chest compressions. She would stop, look, and listen then continue with more tapping. Thank god she skipped the breath.

Come to think of it, sweetie, would it be okay if I rode my bike in the house? I do much better on stairs on two wheels than two feet. I mean as soon as I can maneuver a handlebar again. :(