Goodbye Bicycle

Well so much for exercise.  I went to the grocery store and as soon as I got on the bike to come home something felt a little strange with the chain.  I rode in front of the store from where I locked my bike at and tried to fiddle with the pedals to find out why the chain was giving me trouble but I couldn’t figure it out.

So I was fine to ride to the street I turn right on but then it started acting a little strange, the wheel didn’t feel right, it was wobbling.  I got off the bike in the middle of the street and had to walk it over to the sidewalk.  At first I thought the townie basket was coming off and was pushing against the wheel so I took the heavy groceries out.  That wasn’t it.

I still didn’t see it because the sun was almost finished going down so it was too dark to see, but then I saw it.  The bolt that goes all the way through the wheel was sticking out too far on the left.  The 2 nuts on the ride side were gone, I don’t even know what happened to those.  So since there was no long bolt to hold on to the frame on the right side the wheel couldn’t keep me balanced since it was only holding on the left side.

I had to walk the rest of the way home carrying 1 heavy grocery bag on my left hand and 1 light but still annoying grocery bag on my right hand while both hands held onto the handlebars.  The entire time I was walking the back wheel was rubbing against the brakes and making this awful noise which I can’t explain how it sounded.  Well, it sounded like some deep voiced animal either dying or giving birth.

I have 2 missing bolts and no idea where they are and no money until next week to be able to do anything about it.  It’s not going to be expensive, well, I don’t think it will be.  I mean it’s just a matter of screwing the bolt centered again and buying 2 nuts right?  Maybe?  I’m sure the nuts aren’t too expensive at Home Depot or maybe the bike store has them cheap.  Or who knows, maybe I have to bring the back wheel to the bike store and have them fix it and charge me $20 for it.

I wonder how this happened.  Last weekend when I rode the bike on my 22 mile trip I tightened everything .  In fact I did a full maintenance job on the entire bicycle to get it ready to ride with no issues.  How in the heck could that bolt screw itself all the way to the left?  It doesn’t make any sense at all.

Whatever, it doesn’t matter.  I’ll get it fixed and everything with be fine… blah blah blah.

Update 2011-01-28: As of this date I still do not have a new back wheel.  I just can’t afford it.

Solution To My Back Problems

I’ve been thinking that maybe the solution to my bike seat problem might be easier.  When I was 17 I had a beach cruiser bicycle.  The seat was fat in the back and the horn was very small.  It’s handlebars were long enough that I could sit up while riding so I never had any back issues.

My bike is a mountain bike.  I only bought a “mountain bike” because of the price.  I bought it at Wal•mart for $60.  I really wanted a beach cruiser but they were too expensive at the time and same with the 10 speed road bikes.  The mountain bike was my only cheap alternative.

I’ve already changed out most of the bike and it’s mainly just the frame that is the same so why not just take the handlebar off and put a new one on lol.  When I get my next check I plan on buying one of these:

beachcruiserbar

It’s long enough that I won’t have to bend even a little bit to reach and I can sit up fully while riding.  As long as my seat is in the right position I won’t feel like I’m falling forward as long as I have some longer handlebars.

This handlebar is $10 plus $5 shipping from NYCBikes.com which is not bad at all.  However, I’m not sure if I want to wait for it to ship to me.  I mean, we have a bike store in town (they don’t have a website :() so I’m going to check with them first.  Hopefully they will have a black one so I don’t have to spray paint it lol.

I will probably have to wait another week or so before I can ride my bike again so by the time I get this I will be healed up again hopefully and I can resume my 4:30am bike rides.  I can also add more crap to my seat lol.

Oh the only issue I can see with this is that the brakes won’t be long enough to reach to the end of the handlebars but that’s ok, I’m sure that when I need them I will be able to reach for them.  Or maybe they will be long enough to get close to the end of the handlebars.

But you know what?  Maybe I’m going at this all wrong.  Beach Cruiser bikes are probably not that expensive at Wal-Mart.  The last time we were there they were $60 so maybe I should just get a new bike.  Beach Cruiser bikes don’t have hand brakes.  All you do is peddle backwards and you stop lol.  They don’t even have gears which might make it a bit easier.  I’ll think about it.

Testosterone Overdose

I don’t know what’s going on but all of a sudden it’s almost like I got an overdose of testosterone from all the bike riding I’ve been doing.  It’s like all this energy is inside me now.

That rear bike rack that I got for my birthday wasn’t the right size but I figured out how to make it the right size by rigging it to the seat and using old brakes to screw it into the frame at the bottom.  Today I went to the store and could hear it creaking where I attached it to the seat post so I drilled a hole into the seat post and put a screw in there to make it more stable.

bikescrewpost

I also finally thought of a way to get the bar on my home gym back on.  When I got it (it’s a Weider Total Body Works 5000) that little plastic thing at the bottom (you see it in the picture from that link) which holds the bungee cords, the screws snapped off of it, when?  I have no idea.  It was loose in the box.  I didn’t send it back because I bought it from Wal*mart’s website and it was shipped to me.  So I didn’t want to pay for shipping just to get that replaced so I just left it.

So I was sitting here and I got a brain storm.  What if I use the Dremel tool to cut into the screws where they snapped off at the bar so that I can use a flat head screwdriver to unscrew them and take them out and finally get that plastic bungee cord holder back into place.  So I did and it worked.  OMG!!!  Finally!  I’ve had that thing for a couple of years now and it always put a bad taste in my mouth that I couldn’t use those bungee cords to add more resistance because I didn’t want to have to keep raising and lowering the darn thing, it’s too heavy to have to do that.  It would be easier to use the bungees which is why they put them in there in the first place.

So now I can.  Boy, I feel so butch these days lol.

Wheel Fixed

Well I had to bring my back wheel to Snider’s today to have them tighten the freewheel (the thing that holds the chain and has different gears) but it wasn’t that it needed to be tightened, the tech guy said that they all wobble like that.  So I told him about the cracking sounds and so he looked at it and said that the problem is that the metal in the screw that holds the ball bearings in place is worn down and so they had to replace the rod and ball bearings altogether.  That was only $18.

I’m so glad it wasn’t that much money.  I would rather just have them fix the issue than have to spend $25 or $30 on all the tools needed to screw the freewheel tighter just to have it still have the same old problem lol.

That’s why I shouldn’t try to diagnose my own problems because I don’t know jack about that dren.

Chips cousins girlfriend Venda drove me there and ended up buying me a rear rack and a pair of gloves for my birthday which I so didn’t want her to do because the gloves themselves were $40 and the rack was $25.  After I got my wheel on I tried to install the rack and they didn’t supply any screws darnit.  Plus there are no holes in the frame for the top bars to go into so I have to return the rack and get a different one.

–Edit: I got the rear rack on.  I had some old brakes that I kept for some strange reason.  I just couldn’t throw them away lol.  Can you say pack rat?  Anyway, those fit on the bottom so I don’t need those screws now.  But the top still didn’t fit so I went into the tool shed and there was a roll of this metal with holes in it so I cut a piece the size I needed, wrapped it around the seat post and took some bolts and washers and nuts and screwed them to the top of the rack.  Then I took another bolt with washer and nut and screwed the piece of metal together tight so it doesn’t go anywhere.  See?  I am handy once in awhile lol.  It is secure enough now that I don’t have to worry.  End Edit–

The gloves on the other hand are really good.  I didn’t realize that I needed these gloves instead of just any regular glove because these are specifically meant for people with Carpel Tunnel Syndrome which I have.  This is what it says on the cardboard that the gloves were attached to:

Patented Technology
With technology designed by Dr. A Robert Spitzer, a neurologist, Spenco® cycling gloves feature a unique, patented groove over the carpel tunnel nerve that channels away pressure and road shock to reduce hand numbness and fatigue.

So that’s what I needed all along.  Every time I ride my hands get numb with the gloves I wear now and even without the gloves and I have to shake both my hands (not at the same time of course lol) to shake the numbness out.  So thank you Vedra and Venda for the new gloves.

Bike Repairs

I rode my bike to the store the other day and I noticed that my back tire has been going flat and it wont stay inflated and so today I decided to go through my boxes in the closet to find the inner tubes that I got when I got the bike originally. When I bought the bike I bought those tire tubes that have the green goo inside of them which is supposed to fix your puncture if you run over a tack or a nail but I didn’t know that it doesn’t protect the sides, just the outer part. So, I took the back tire off and pumped the tube up by itself and held it under water which is what you do to find the leak. Found it, fixed it. All new again hehe.

Then I realized that the seat was really too high up so I lowered it and boy does that make a hell of a difference. So, I feel accomplished today hehe. I rode it over to our neighbors and back and I noticed it wasn’t stopping fast enough so I got off the bike and looked and my front and back brakes are shot lol. Which means I better not even think about getting on it until I go to Snyder’s Cyclery to buy some brakes and while I’m there I want to see their lights and a helmet. Not too many people wear helmets so I’d probably look dorky but I’d rather look dorky than dead.

When I was 16 my parents bought me a bike and they bought me this light set that had front and back lights that ran on a generator (the back wheel and my peddling was the generator) so I’d like to see if they have something similar to that, those are a bit more difficult to steal because it’s a lot of work to get it on so it must be a bitch to get off. I do recall how horrible the lighting was for the headlight. Every time you start to slow down the light started to fade away lol. I’d like to see if they’ve made improvements on that system.