Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Late Night Frustrations

The apartment has become a vast wasteland. Parts of three different bikes, bike tools, tape measures, dirty paper towels, and an array of tools that should never be used on bikes lay scattered from one end of the kitchen to the dining room to the family room. Anna has long ago decided she has mono or strep throat and retired to bed taking the smarter of the two dogs with her. Bailey, who stuck around for moral support, is running out of clear spots to lay. I am covered in grease in areas I did not know grease could reach, and none of my three bikes are operable.

Yes, I have been playing bike mechanic.

Normally, I am half way decent with a wrench in my hand. But lately, I have become an expert in exercises of futility. The only thing I have successfully worked on lately is my patience.

Many months ago I acquired a pretty decent mountain bike for an incredibly low price from a Trustfundarian college kid who decided he would rather buy an entire new bike then replace his stolen wheels and rear derailleur. It has taken me until this week to acquire the few parts necessary to rebuild the bike because I refuse to spend anything more than pennies on the dollar. In my excitement to get the bike running, I forgot to adjust the chain length before snapping the chain together, which means that it pretty much will not shift gears. Being the cheapskate that I am, I didn't want to use a chain breaker and buy a new master link, so I asked around for two days until the guys at let me use a master link tool today. I busted out the tools tonight and went to work attempting to fix the chain and immediately ran the chain on the wrong side of the chain guide on the rear derailleur. Of course I didn't notice this until after I had reconnected the chain. So now the bike pretty much won't move.

On to project number two!

A few days ago I bought a new bike, a 2003 Specialized S-Works E5 Road Bike. In typical Hunter fashion, buying as cheap as possible, this deal did not include wheels. So I set off to stripping the pedals, saddle, wheels, and cadence sensor off my tri bike to move to the new bike. I set everything up, fixed the brakes, and started toying with the front derailleur. After way more time than should ever be spend on a FD, I decided to fix the shifting in the rear. I couldn't figure out why it kept over shifting into the spokes and then I realized that I had a 10 speed cassette on these wheels and this was a 9 speed bike. This was not going to work no matter how much frustrated tinkering I put into it. I am going to blame these simple mistakes on restlessness from sitting on the couch for 2 weeks, not being able to train because of the flu and then an upper respiratory infection.

But being the typical first born, I cannot simply wrap up shop following a bunch of failures and then peacefully head off to bed. So I fixed the kitchen sink.