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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

 
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today i went to a bike maintenance workshop at my local bike gallery (on division). i even biked there! ;) i deliberately picked a bike with an internal hub because it required less maintenance, but when i read about bike maintenance it assumes you have a derailleur. i really wanted to know what did & didn't apply to me. so here are the things i need to worry about:

* air your tires: they're porous and leak over time. each pump is about 1 psi.

* inspect tires for cuts & wear before every ride. fortunately i have kevlar puncture resistant tires w/ slime seal, thanks to mph's suggestion.

* keep your chain lubed & clean, as well as your brake pivots. moreso during rainy season.

* check brakes for wear: they have groove indicators (if the brake is worn to the groove, it's time to replace them) and wheels should have a black indicator mark (if the area past it is concave, it's time to replace the rim). he recommends cool stop brake pads rather than shimano. (i only have a front brake to worry about; the back is a coaster brake.)

* don't wash your bike; clean the frame with pledge & the rims w/ 409.

* check if wheels, pedals & handlebars are secure.

* inspect rims, frame & forks for cracks & damage every six months

* most shifting problems can be solved by turning the cable "adjusting barrel" counter clockwise half a turn at a time. my internal hub has two red lines that should align in 4th gear.

this helped validate that i bought the right bike for me; i only have about 1/3 of the maintenance of a typical bike. since i have such an unusual bike, afterwards the tech came outside to point to the spots on my bike that need attention. i also found a new way to lock my bike; my bike baskets get in the way of locking the rear wheel to most things (especially since i've switched to a U lock rather than a combination cable lock, though i loved that cable lock), so he says i can just lock the front fork since it doesn't connect to the quick release section.

attending the workshop were 7 girls & 1 boy. my job, as usual, was to ask questions to allow other people to ask questions.

so here's the punchline: after the workshop i found the #17 holgate bus waiting for a while at the last stop, so i asked if i could practice putting my bike on the bike rack. if i need to use the bus at some point, i don't want to freak out too much when there's traffic and people waiting for me. and actually, i did this last night, too, with a different driver and with another bicyclist to help me. so this time i tried to get rose on the row closest to the bus -- but i think i banged her weirdly, because when i biked away, it was much harder to pedal & shift her than normal, and she ticks while pedaling now, which she's never done before. argh!

so now that i've taken the bike to the bike maintenance workshop, i have to take it back to the bike gallery to be fixed. ha! hopefully it's an easy fix and it can get done by saturday, when i'm scheduled to ride in the "pretty dress ride" at the alberta art hop parade.

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