Saturday, February 16, 2019

What's That Click'n Noise

A few years ago I heard a great comedy routine by Henry Cho. It was titled "What's that click'n noise?" You'll find it on YouTube. Mr. Cho's voice echoed in my brain again a couple of days ago when the Exerpeutic bike, which typically runs whisper quiet, started acting up. I was forced to ask, "What's that click'n noise?"

No, I wasn't signaling to turn. In fact, my exercise bike has no brakes, no tail lights, no turn signals,  no steering wheel, and no engine. That eliminates most of the things that go wrong on a car. The bike's only source of power is me . . . pedaling, and it has a very limited number of moving parts. It also has no wheels and therefore doesn't travel very far. The only time the bicycle might turn right or left, is if I lean over too far reaching for the water bottle on the table next to me and tip it over. That will be signaled by a scream as the floor rises up to meet me.

The bike has been working exceptionally well since it was purchased a few years ago, and it has only accumulated a few thousand miles. Who knew it was going to need a tune up? Now, the car I can take in to Service Lube for maintenance and repair, but where do you take your exercise bike for repair and upkeeep?

After only three miles this morning, I couldn't stand the click'n noise any longer, so I stopped, climbed off, flipped the bike over, and got out the tools. Maybe it was afflicted with something, like dirt or cobwebs? Yes, there were both of those inside its housing. Unfortunately, even after their removal, it still clicked when I turned the pedals. My next thought was to check for Legos or other very small toys, like Peppa Pig and her friends, as my great niece likes to place her miniature figures on the pedals and pretend they're on a carnival ride. Nope. No missing figures inside the chamber housing the flywheel and belts. It was a long shot anyway. She would have had to stuff them in there from underneath. If she had, and had been unable to extricate them, then she would have signaled, not with a clicking noise but with a high shrill scream and crocodile tears while explaining how they got in there and were now unable to escape. She's four. Stuff like that happens.

I added a bit of WD-40 before I finally put the bike back together. In fact, I oiled whatever parts inside appeared to move. I  didn't have any any spare parts left over after it was reassembled, so I must have done it correctly. I flipped the bike back over and started to pedal. Darn! What's that click'n noise? My only guess is that the flywheel or one of the other pieces may be out of balance. That's beyond my limited mechanical ability.

I was able to resume the ride a couple of hours after this adventure started, still clicking occasionally. I finished by adding 12.5 miles to the original three. I'll add another 14.5 later today, clicking happily away. Since I wasn't able to fix the problem, and since there is no maintenance garage for exercise bicycles nearby, I found another workaround. I plugged the earbuds into the laptop on which the cycling video was playing, and cranked the volume as high as I could. No more click'n noise.

A short time later, once comfortably seated in my office chair during the 'cool down' phase, I took another look at the Exerpeutic and wondered, "What can it become when it can no longer be an exercise bike?" That's what I'm supposed to do, right, recycle, reuse, and repurpose? It has already spent too much time as a clothes rack and tote-bag hanger. I'm thinking all those metal pieces might just find their way into the design for the bicycle trailer for the road bike. Hmm. Maybe the Exerpeutic is signaling to let me know to get the plans ready. That's what that click'n noise is for!

Note: I am not an affiliate of the linked products or retailers above. Just sharing their info in case you have a clicking noise you need to track down.

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