staring at the mountains
(Warning, gushy bike-loving anectode follows. I'm just sharing)
I needed to get my 98 stumpy ready for this spring, a bike that's seen more dust than miles since I bought it (new). My other sporting love (hockey) just isn't the same anymore and it's time to mix it up, so I'm getting back to the bikes. I haven't anticipated riding like this in years. That alone feels good.
I forgot how zenful it is to work on a bike. I pulled off the front shifter and derailleur (broke and frozen, respectfully; thank you ebay), checked the rear derailleur's action (butter smooth as always, gotta love that 8spd XT), and discovered some seatpost wear that prompted another ebay purchase (Hello, Thompson!). All that wasn't pushing the envelope too far, back in college I did a complete frame swap, minus BB and headset. But Friday night I tackled uncharted territory: I had to true up the wheels. I bought and skimmed through Jobst's book years ago, but I've never actually done it.
The front wheel was more out than the rear, so that's where I started. I turned the bike upside down, and using the brake pads as my guide, I went to work. Making small corrections, I quickly made the situation worse And then it dawned on me that I was tightening when I intended to loosen and vice-versa --not that I was on the wrong spoke, but I was turning the nipple in the wrong direction (doh!) Once I recentered myself (and had another sip of my Anchor Steam Porter), things got back into shape, and then I trued the slight variations across the whole wheel. The rear wheel wasn't very out of true, so with confidence I touched it up in no time, feeling more in tune with my bike than I can remember. I smiled.
The new (old stock) front end should arrive this week, and I'm itching to install and get riding. Man I can't wait!
I hope you enjoy the riding as much as the puttering!