Thursday 26 July 2012

My Share of Worms

I spent some time today doing something I love to do which I haven’t done for far too long. No, not that, I did some work on Louise’s bike.

I used to do quite a lot of bike mechanic stuff, because with three kids it would have put me in the poor house if I took it in to the shop. There is a relatively shallow learning curve and of course some very specialized tools that make the job do-able. Interestingly, there are actually tools made by the company Specialized. They make bikes and a large assortment of bike gear to go with them. Well, it is interesting to me.
I just cleaned and lubricated the chain, did a quick clean and regreased the bearings on the rear wheel. I should have done all of the bikes in the spring, but I do get lazy. Tomorrow I will do my bike since I had a coffee cancellation. It needs a thorough cleaning, greased bearings on both wheels and maybe…just maybe…new cables. I have three or four bikes that need my attention, but only my primary cycle will get the attention. Maybe it will be next week for the others.

I have come to love the smell of the lube and grease and the work is kind of like an oily meditation. When the kids were home there was always something that needed to be done on one bike or another. It is possible that the reason they needed so much work is because I worked on them. It was also a way to spend some time by myself, doing something I was pretty good at and listening to the radio. Lately, I don’t do enough work often enough to remember those important little things, like how to adjust the rear derailleur. Is it the “H” screw to go up a sprocket or the “L” screw?

Thankfully, I have more than a few books on the subject. There is also the internet, but it was a pain to go into the house for every little thing and check the computer. I guess I could use the iPad, but I would have to protect it from the greasy fingers somehow. To me, the cycling bible is “Effective Cycling” by John Forrester. There are repair and how to sections to the book, but he is also an advocate for cycling as a whole and I find that his ideas just make a lot of sense. Here is his web site if you are at all interested in effective cycling.
John Forrester’s father was quite a famous writer. He wrote the Horatio Hornblower books and many of his stories were made into movies. The most famous one is “The African Queen”. He was quite a prolific author and his books are a good read, especially the Hornblower series.
Well, I had best get to bed early if I want to get my share of worms.

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