Sunday, November 26, 2006

Bike Shop Happenings

Been busy tinkering away in the SHOP in my spare time. I have been working on a project bike, a woman's Takara 6 speed. I got it free from a neighbor. It was pretty seized up, wheels didn't turn, steering locked, brakes frozen, bent rim and dry as a bone. So far I have overhauled the headset, bottom bracket, both hubs, de-seized the seatpost, new tires and tubes, trued the wheels, found the rear wheel was too bent to true, purchased new wheel, added a new freewheel and chain. Just need to replace the derailleur and brake cables, maybe one of the brake handles, and it should be good to go. It's pretty simplistic.

So once it is finished, I will have yet another bike. I'm not really in the need for another bike so I think I will give it to a lady at work, she tells me pretty often she really enjoyed riding her bike, she would like something better than the X-mart bike she has but she can't afford to get one. So if she wants it, it's hers. And guarenteed to work better than what she currently has. If she doesn't want it, I will hang on to it until I find someone who does.

Next on the agenda is to tune up Bike Boy's 1st bike, the K2 hardtail. It has mechanical disk brakes, I replaced the pads today, just that made a huge difference. I couldn't get the new pads in the rear caliper, so made some adjustment so I could slide it in. Then new cables and housing all around. May have to get one of the cogs replaced on the cassette or will have to get a new derailleur hanger. Either the cog is bent/worn or the derailler is not hanging straight. Also a new chain for that bike, my Santa Cruz and my roadie turned commuter. My road bike is overdue for a chain and I plan on replacing the chain on my Santa Cruz annually. Bike Guy will keep the Santa Cruz tuned up until I get more experience. I don't want to tinker on that bike.

While I was in the bike shop picking up the new wheel for the Takara, I was telling Bike Guy how I tried to true up the old one. He then handed me the spoke wrench and told me go true up the new wheel. Gulp - ok, I have about 10 minutes of experience, I was using the brake as the truing guide, I have to talk out loud to myself to remember counterclock-wise on the spoke which goes to the opposite side of the bend to tighten it, clockwise on this side to loosen, blah, blah, plus the fact that BIKE GUY is watching.

Talk about performance anxiety.

So I start twisting and talking, twisting and spinning a few times. Then I just bail out. I had him the wrench and he has it done perfectly in 3 minutes or less. I start kicking myself on the drive home, I should have taken better advantage of the situation and learned something about truing wheels. Darn.

The weather here is COLD and we have NO SNOW. What little we had blew away.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 13, 2006

It's DONE - The SHOP!

Just needs a few more things: light fixtures, pegboards, hooks to hang tires and the hooks to hang the bikes on the walls. Raise up the desk to work bench height. Walls are painted, stuff is moved in - almost all of it. Furnace is installed and it's all nice and toasty.

Pictures are before the trim was all finished
1st things in are my Julianna and bike kid's K2 monster - it's a big bike. He's getting tall, almost 6 ft alreadys

Treadmill moved in, shelves up.

Views from the bike shop's windows.

What I really need - a CLOCK!

I came home really tired from work today, bike kid is riding around the driveway, ready to pull me into the shop as soon as I get out of the truck to start getting to work. I need some food, a drink - Tequila shot, ahhh.

Shoulders and wrists really sore. I don't know whats going on with my wrists but they aren't happy lately.

Shoulders really sore, both of them. The heat went out at work today, spent the day hunched up tight with coat and gloves on and still froze. It's no way to work. I am sure that is part of the reason I'm sore, from being tense all day.

The wind is whipping in Wasilla, the town in which I work. A homeless guy was standing in the double entryway of the japanese restaurant where I had ordered lunch. He was trying to warm up a bit, the windchill is way down there. He rides a bike, it was parked against the wall outside, loaded down with all his worldly possessions. I couldn't tell what kind of bike it was, it was soo loaded down. All I was able to see is a RockShox fork. His load made a pretty big sail for the wind. By the time I had picked up my order, he was gone, but whoo, the entryway was pretty rank smelling.

In the world of my work, guys like him are my clients. I'm glad he was able to warm up a bit, as the wind is painfully cold and frostbite is a real possibility. There are no shelters here in the valley for men. We have a growning homeless population out here, so we are behind the need. Bike guy has told me of a few stories of a few different homeless guys going through his trash, scavanging for parts or whatever. I gave a wheel to one of my homeless clients who's wheel was so rusted I thought it would turn to dust under him.

Thank God I am here in my cozy home, with my warm shop, my nice bikes, my normal life and family.

Friday, November 03, 2006

My New to Me Winter Bike

I picked up my used, cheap winter bike today. Bike guy sold it to me for $50. He replaced the cranks, gave it a semi-tune up, adjusted the brake handles so I could reach them better. Some guy sold it to him for $20 because the guy was in desperate need for gas $.

Since I sold my Cannondale I was left without a winter bike. I don't want to use my Juliana, just no need to put the wear and tear of winter biking on it.

Bike Guy put my Nokians on it. It should do what I want it to do for this winter. It's a Kona Hahanna

Bike Guy and I had a good conversation regarding the local politics - Governor election. He asked who I was going to vote for in the upcoming election. I don't usually share my political views in casual conversation as I get enough arguing from my clients, I don't need it in my leasure time. So I told him my secret. He was respectful, which was nice. I know who I am going to vote for and why I'm going to vote for them. No one will change my mind that except that particular individual.

Another worker walked off the job today. So what does that say about the conditions of my job?? They suck.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Left San Fran with it's temps of about 78. Came home to temps of 25, snow and darkness. Hmmm yeah....

It wasn't a great thing at 1st but now I'm hyped about winter. I am buying a cheap, used Kona from Bike Guy, not anything special at all but should work for winter just fine. He's putting on my Nokian's today, should be ready tomorrow.

I had a good time in San Francisco, I miss the sun and warmth. The bike scene there is CRAZY! I am standing on the Golden Gate Bridge, gawking at all the cyclists. I've got to say, bike guys make nice scenery :) no harm in looking, right? Beautiful bikes, nice muscles. Talking bikes also makes for good conversation. I was longing to ride, but my daughter just isn't a bike girl.

Not much progress on my bike shop since I have been gone, but I have a nice new stairway in the house, which is great! Now back to the bike shop. It's almost totally sheeted inside, then needs paint and get the propane heater installed and I'm good to GO!!

Work is **** since I've been back. 3 people walked off the job in 3 weeks. The welfare lines don't get smaller, my caseload is larger than it has ever been. I'm worn out by the time I get home so haven't done any riding in a couple weeks. My muscles are shrinking. I've got to get back into it.