Bike Repair

My bicycle has been having real issues with making noises, cracking, clicking noises.  It really makes me nervous when I ride, even if it’s just to the store.  And I can especially hear it when I don’t have my ear buds in.  At least when I’m listening to music I can ignore it.

I’ve been reading this website @ Mountain Bike World, they have an article all about the 6 most common problems and my problem is right in there.  Yes there is a problem with the back tire not being true and it does make these clicking sounds but the cracking or creaking sound is coming from the crank, not the wheel.

I have edited 4 paragraphs to update this post.  I have figured out what my bike problem is.  I don’t believe it is the crank at all.  I think that the crank needed some lube really bad so I sprayed a lot of WD-40 in it and held a towel to the bottom of it because it was getting all this black stuff all over the cement floor in my back patio.  I did that on both sides and it seems to be ok.

While I was holding the rag to the bottom of it on the side that has the chain and I was turning the crank I was looking at the cassette on the back wheel and noticed that it was moving up and down so I guess that just needs to be tightened and that should probably fix it.  So all I need are the tools to tighten the cassette which shouldn’t be a problem.  So on Wednesday morning when I get my check I’ll take the bus to the bike store and ask them for the tools to tighten it.  It’s good to have all the tools I need to do any/all maintenance on the bike to keep it in good working order at all times.

At least I don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars to get it fixed now.

Bike Tire PSI

I don’t know what’s wrong with me.  I’ve had bicycles since I was a kid and I’ve always had to fill them with air when they get low and I’ve never had an issue with following directions when it comes to how much PSI to put in them.  I’ve only been putting 20 PSI in my tires.  It clearly says on there 40 MINIMUM!  LOL I don’t know why I’ve only been putting 20 in.

I think it goes back to when I first got this bike, I bought a pump but the tire gauge that I have meant for a car wasn’t worth didley because it was saying that it was too low then I would pump too much air in the tire and pop it.  So when I first started riding again last year I bought a new pump with a gauge on it and for some strange reason was only putting in 20.  Well, I think 2 weeks ago I started putting in 30 but it still wasn’t enough.  And during my ride it goes down from 30 back to 20!  UGH!

Ok so I’ve put 40 in both and so in the morning hopefully they are still at 40 lol.  The night I started putting 30 in I woke up the next day to ride and it was completely flat.

Oh and my back tire isn’t true either, it’s wobbly.  I don’t think it’s bent though but I am going to have to buy the tools to tighten the cassette because I think it’s loose.  I’ve been hearing/feeling this clicking that is concerning me.  So I need the tools to tighten the cassette and a spokes tool to tighten those too because I think they might be the reason it’s not true.

I hate having to spend so much money on such a cheap Wal-Mart bike hehe.  If it were an expensive bike then fine, no problem, bring on the expense of tools but it’s not.  With all the money I’ve spent on tools just to maintain this stupid bike I could have bought another one.  Then again I wouldn’t be able to maintain that one either lol.

Kitty Grave Stone (Wood Actually)

Well I finished making it and I wanted to share it.  It was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be.  See my previous post with the template. I had this piece of wood so all I did was traced the cat, words, numbers and the paw print then started doing it.  This was one of the easiest things I have made to date.  I thought that making a Ouija Board would be so difficult but now I know different and as soon as I have that made then perhaps I can use it to talk to my Shanaynay.

Well here it is.  It needs to be stained and have the stuff to protect it from the rain and the elements and from rotting on top of the ground.  Although I may put a stake in the ground and then screw this to the stake to make it look like a cross.

Click to see it full size

shanaynay-wood-burn

Rest In Peace Kitty

This morning our cat Shanaynay passed away.  I don’t know the exact time but it was between 6:30am and 8am.  On Memorial Day no less.  So every Memorial Day I will remember her.  She was born some time in October 1994.  I couldn’t narrow down the exact date so I gave her October 31st for her birthday.  She passed away at age 14 1/2.

She was the best kitty anyone could ever hope for.  The day we got her I was actually in bed sleeping and I woke up and saw this little tiny kitten sitting there on the bed and the first thing that I said was awwwww.  Here are some pictures that we took of her the first month we had her.  Click the small thumbnails to open them up full size.

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When she was around 6 months old she started her howling thing because she was going into heat for the first time so we had to have her fixed.  It was so funny to hear her howl but that was the first and last time she had to go through that for the rest of her life.

Some of the memories I have of her are from when I would change the sheets on the bed, she would jump up and she would do her little dance where she would pounce sideways with her ears back and her head cocked to the side.  She also did not like her mirror reflection and she would do the same thing but to the mirror.

There was another thing that she used to do where I’d like have her face in my hand and she would kick and scratch my arm with her back feet.  It didn’t hurt as much though but she loved to play.

Over the years she calmed down and stopped wanting to play and just became a very calm kitty.  She didn’t like to have another animal in the house besides herself so we could never have any more cats or even a dog.  Then one day Darrin found a little kitten inside of a box in the middle of the street.  We took care of her and gradually let the 2 of them see each other until they were living peacefully in the same house.

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This picture was actually forced upon her, she did not like that at all lol.  I had to take the picture as fast as I possibly could.  That other kitty we never did name her but the Vet named her Baby when she passed away.

Then we got Flower last year, our Toy Chihuahua.  Shanaynay didn’t care.  The dog was a little too rambunctious for her though and she would scratch Flower when she got too playful.

Shanaynay mostly lived inside of our indoor patio.  It gave her the feeling of being outdoors while keeping her inside so she was happy.

She was diagnosed with Diabetes 2 1/2 years ago and we were told that she wouldn’t live very long if we didn’t give her insulin shots but they wanted so much money for the blood tests and then we’d have to pay for the insulin.  I think the dollar amount was like $600 the vet said for the tests.  I was ready to have her put to sleep then but Darrin said no, let’s give her a chance to die on her own.

I ended up changing her diet and instead of giving her the dry food which I believe was the Whiskas and the Friskies, I started giving her the canned Friskies and she did a 180.  She was walking on the back of her legs instead of her feet and when I switched her food she started walking normal again.  She didn’t stop drinking like a sailor and peeing a lot though but at least her legs were fine.

But I end this by saying that she was my favorite pet in the whole world and there is no other person or animal who could ever take her place.  I love you Shanaynay.  Take care of yourself wherever you are.

Edit:  Thanks to my friend Alyce for buying me the wood burning kit I have the tools to make a little grave stone (or grave wood).  Here is what it’s going to look like.

shanaynay-grave

So Much For That Idea…

Yesterday I was bad an ate a burrito and an apple empanada from Taco Bell.  It was the .99 cent burrito and I figured it was ok since I’m now riding 5 days a week.  I was going to up it to 7 days a week and I was kinda thinking about how important it was that I ride today to burn off that bad idea lol.

So I got up this morning at 4:30am as usual, by 5am I was in the patio getting my bike and it felt a little strange.  The back tire was totally flat.  I noticed yesterday that it kept getting low for some reason, I had to pump it up twice during my ride.  So I just went back to bed and figured today is a wash, I’ll probably have to get a new tube.

When I woke up I got up and went out there to take off the tube so I can at least seal the hole.  After all it is the kind of tube with the green slime inside of it so it’s supposed to seal itself and I guess it did because I put it in a bucket of water (pumped up) and there were no air bubbles.  So I put it back on and pumped it back up.  It’s sitting upside down in my back yard right now so I can keep squeezing it to make sure it’s still pumped up lol.

Tonight I’m going to check on it again to see if it’s still pumped up or not.  If not then I’ll just have to get a new tube tomorrow and figure that today and tomorrow are days off and I’ll have to ride 5 days in a row.  I would like to go buy a new tube anyway just to have a spare on hand.  I had a spare but this guy that we know named Brazil came to our house the day I had my accident, he wanted to borrow my bike for a while so he can get to work cause he got a new job and I told him about my accident.  He said he had a flat tire and I said well that’s no problem, I have a spare tube you can have lol.  So now I need another spare tube.

I also need a new head light anyway so I want to at least get to the .99 cent store while we’re out and get a new one.  They are cheap and take batteries but I need them as backup because my generator is screwing up and it’s making it very difficult for me to ride and feel safe.  I’m mainly afraid I’m going to get a ticket if my back light goes out during the ride or if my head light isn’t bright enough too.  So I need new ones.  And $1 is better than paying $15 or $20 for the same exact thing.

Our Cat Is Dying

Our cat Shanaynay is dying.  She isn’t walking normal, in fact she is staggering and I saw her getting out of her litter box, she fell out onto her butt.  She has litter stuck to her butt and her tail and it’s already hardened and she gets mad at me when I try to help her get it off.  Her meow isn’t as pronounced as before, meaning it’s shallow.  She has to take deep breaths.  Also she is so skinny now, you can feel her bones when you touch her.  She isn’t eating at all.  I recall refilling her food bowl days ago and she has barely even touched it.

I just saw her drinking some water so at least she’s able to drink.  We can’t afford to have her put to sleep so all we can do is wait and keep an eye on her to make sure she doesn’t fall off the table (like a coffee table, she sleeps on it) or falls out of her litter box (which I moved closer to where she sleeps).

My Aunt Louise bought our cat this little thing that it’s like a tube with a hole cut on the side and it’s carpeted, you know what I mean.  Anyway, I put that next to the table where she is sleeping right now so she can use it as a step to get on and off the table.

She is a 14-year-old cat.  Well, 14 1/2.  Darrin got her when she was 8 or 9 weeks old and since we didn’t know her exact birthdate I estimated that it would’ve been some time in October so I decided that her birthday should be on Halloween 1994.  So considering that she is so old we have been expecting this to happen for quite some time.  Even though it’s been expected, it doesn’t make it easy.

Anyway, I will add to this post if she passes today.

Muscles Used To Riding

Since I started riding the bike in the early morning before the sun comes up to escape the heat, I’ve noticed that my muscles are already used to riding the bike so I don’t have to ride every other day to rest my muscles.  I can ride everyday if I want to.  In fact, I rode for 3 days in a row.  Well, mainly that was to burn off some burgers and fries I ate lol.

But, I have no problem riding the bike anymore at all.  It’s like my muscles are back to the way they were when I was a kid, that’s how used to riding I am now.

I seem to recall last year when I started riding my bike again, when I first found out about the bike trail after summer was over from one of those city park summer guides, in the back it has a map of the bike trail.  So I got the bike out of moth balls, filled the tires, actually I had to buy a new tube for the front tire because it had a hole in it that I couldn’t repair with the new tire repair kit I had bought lol.  Anyway, I started riding and my legs were so not used to it and I would get down to H and 3rd and my legs were already tired and it was just 1 block away from my house lol.

So I would ride all the way to California and H and I was like screw this, I’m going back home and that whole trip was 1 mile lol.  Then when I got home my legs were so stiff from riding that 1 mile that I could barely even walk in the back door.  I had to sit and rest and I had to massage my thighs because they were just in so much pain from that pitiful ride lol.

I think I was riding like that for a week before I was finally able to go maybe 3 miles then went up to 4 then 5 which altogether took about a month before I was even able to get on the bike trail.

By the time I was finally riding the bike trail I could only go so far before I had to turn around and go back but eventually I was able to do 11 miles per day which was a little over an hour.

Now, I can do that 11 miles in just 55 minutes so I have to step up my ride and go further and go 16 miles just to make up my time which is about 1 hour and 16 minutes.  But that 16 miles to me now is no biggy.

Early To Bed, Early To Ride

I’ve been going to bed relatively early every night like 9 or 10pm which is odd for me because I’m usually up until like 1am but I’m making an effort to beat the heat to ride the bike to get my exercise.

It’s actually not that hard getting used to waking up at 4:30 in the morning and leaving by 5am and back around 7am.

It’s really nice being out there that early though because it’s in the 60’s or 70’s at 5am, there is no sun yet so the city hasn’t had a chance to get hot yet.  By the time I get home it’s still nice out even though the sun has been out for at least 45 minutes by that time.

I think that it’s going to be easy to get my exercise done and over with by going so early every day.  I just need to learn to take naps during the day to catch up.

Early Morning Bike Ride

Well, I did it.  I set the alarm clock for 4am and of course had to push the snooze and when it went off again in 10 minutes I decided ok, I need to do this, I need to wake up and get ready.  So I got up, went and got a bowl of raisin bran cereal.  I read my emails which weren’t that many since the last time I read them last night lol.

I like to eat then wait 30 minutes to go, so 4:45am came and I left the house and it was pitch black outside.  Thank goodness for bike lights.  Although I didn’t realize until I got there that the back light wasn’t working at all.  It wasn’t until the sun came out that I realized that it was because the wire snapped off.  UGH!  It’s easily repairable.

What I especially liked about riding that early is that there are absolutely no cars.  0 cars.  Well, there were a couple but none that I had to worry about.  Of course being that early I had to stop and push the walk button because certain lights just won’t turn green unless the sensors detect a car sitting there and they don’t detect bicycles.

While I was on the bike trail that early in the morning before the sun came up there were no other riders which isn’t odd for me not to see anyone because in the daytime there are barely any other riders.  So it really didn’t make much of a difference.  But when the sun did start coming up I did start to see a couple of riders.

Even coming home with the sun up at 6am there still weren’t any cars.  I finally got home at 6:22am so I was gone about an hour and half but my total time was 1 hour 5 min.  Hey, I have to take a break during my ride lol.

Now that my muscles are getting used to riding I’m gonna experiment with going out again tomorrow and then the day after that.  I want to go out every day, not just every other day.  I want to get as much exercise in as I can because the weight is coming off.  So, we will see tomorrow if I go out or not hehe.

Pedals, Mirrors and Shorts

Well I just came home from Snider’s Cyclry.  I bought brand new pedals that are metal, not the cheap metal ones either that cost $7.  No these were $20 and they are a lot heavier than the cheap ones.  Weight on a bike is a huge issue but when it comes to something like that you need them to be as sturdy as possible for standing up on.  That’s why the pedals that came with the bike are breaking, from having 230lbs of weight standing on them.

I also bought a helmet mirror.  When I was trying to put it on, I was having a hell of a time finding a good spot because the mirror isn’t that adjustable that I can just put it anywhere I want to.  I wanted it to stick to the plastic on the outside but the arm on it is so tiny that it had to be on the Styrofoam part in front of my face.  I finally found the perfect spot for it and stuck it on.  I had to go stand outside on the sidewalk, or more in the street, more the gutter really to be sure it was right.  It was so I stuck it on and then looked again without my arm being in the way.  The only problem is I have to look up with my eyes to see it.  That kinda hurts my eyes lol.  So for tomorrow mornings ride (at 4:30am that is) I’m going to bring both mirrors so I can see which one is better.  Who knows, I might need both.

I went to the thrift store before I went to the bus stop to look for shorts and to see if they had any bike shirts at all which they didn’t.  I picked out 2 pairs of shorts but they were so big and I went to hold them up to myself to see if they would fit but wasn’t quite sure.  They don’t have any dressing rooms there so you have to look at sizes and hold them up to yourself lol.  So annoying.  Anyway, I just took them to the register and figured if it’s too tight, it will fit me eventually lol.  One of them was $7 but the tag says $2 and I said well forget it then.  I know they have to charge the lower price, well, I know that applies to everywhere else you go lol but apparently not there.  I said forget it because I didn’t really like them anyway.  So I got 1 pair of shorts with a Hawaiian print on it.  It was only $2.  It’s a bit tight but… it will fit me eventually lol.