Saturday, April 16, 2011

"Eh, it's more purply."

That was the reply I got when I asked Juli, "Not so bad for a pink bike, eh?"

Hopefully that'll be the end of the arguments about the frame color.

As you can see, Juli and I finished (sort of) her bike last night before she went off to bed.  I spent a bit more time thinking about what to do about the rack that I'd butchered, rendering it useless for the time being, and scheming solutions for my own carelessness.  But first, the bike.

I've talked about Juli's little Schwinn before, and in truth, the bike has been rideable for a couple of months, now.  Missing until last night were a trio of accessories, and a day warm enough to coax Juli outside for a spin.  It wasn't warm today, but it was warm enough for coaxing.  The water bottle cage and holder went onto the handlebars in mere minutes, as did the bell.  And so equipped, Juli swung a leg over it and made a single lap of the driveway before scampering back into the warmth of the house.  She paused long enough before setting off to smile for the camera.  Note the dandy cycling shoes, and the frame-matching piping on her fleece jacket.

Most of the work last night went into trying to fit a Pletscher CS rack to the rear of the Schwinn, in much the same way that I'd fit one to the Fuji -- by shortening the struts so that the rack would sit level on the small frame.  Unfortunately, I didn't test the brakes while positioning the rack and marking the struts for cutting, because while the location of the rack with the short struts is low and level, the straddle cable doesn't clear the rack in that position, rendering the rear brake both stiff and weak.  Not good.

The bike doesn't need a rack to be ridden, of course, so it's now out in the barn, ready for warmer days.  But Juli wants a rack, and I found it handy for her to have one on rides to the state park for a kayak or swim last year, so I do, too.

I tried splicing ends back onto the struts, sweating the strut and the severed end inside of a quarter-inch copper pipe.  Sadly, my pipe-sweating skills are nearly as feeble as my dancing skills, and it didn't work.  So I ground off the pivot rivets, and removed the struts from the rack altogether.  I'm going to pick up some long struts for a Nitto rack, plus their hardware, and use those instead.  That retrofit will definitely work, and I won't have to throw the rack away.  I'd have felt badly about wasting a classic (even if I recycled it), though the cost to replace the rack is roughy comparable to the cost of the struts.  Oh, well...

I have only a few bike purchases planned for myself this year.  The rear tire on my Motobecane is looking perfectly serviceable for the coming season, so I'm not going to swap it like I'd initially planned.  That leaves me with a need for just some toe clips and straps for my Moto and Schwinn, and a new helmet.  Easy!

Next up is my friend Carol's bike.  It needs a repack of all of its bearings, and today I picked up the balls I need for that job.  It feels good to be wrenching again, after a few months' hiatus, as did the 15 miles on the rollers this morning (21 average), after a weekend off at the canyon.

All for now.


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