Monday, April 22, 2019

Oiling The Road Bike and Stripping Canvas

It was, to me, perfect cycling weather. Sunny and 66°. So, with the help of four little hands, the road bike was wheeled out of the shed and dusted off. The bike racks were affixed to the bumper basket so it could carry my bike and my nephew's youth bike. My niece's smaller bike fits inside the van with room to spare.

I'm not sure how I feel about the hitch basket as a bike carrier, however. It's a bit wobbly. I'm sure there's a workaround. It held the two bikes okay, but we weren't traveling far for our first trip. I previously had a hitch-mounted carrier, but it wobbled too, no matter how much I tightened the bolt. The nice thing about that one was that it could drop down to allow access to the rear hatch and double doors on the van. The bad thing about it? It was very heavy to raise and lower when loaded. I gave it to a stronger friend. We have fewer bikes to carry now, anyway, and with the basket we can, at least, access the hatch on the van.

My nine-year-old nephew had a great time taking the scissors and stripping the weathered nylon and canvas wrap on the old child-carrier trailer. It was a Rhodes. I bought it used a couple of years ago when my niece was still small enough to fit inside. It isn't often my nephew is given the opportunity to be deliberately destructive. What fun he had snipping and ripping away at all that covering material.

When I returned home this afternoon from our first short ride, I went to work on the trailer tires, which would never retain air for very long. Maybe that's a thing with these types of trailers. I don't know. But, I took them off the trailer and added a bit of green slime inside the tubes and aired them up again. We'll see if they're still holding air in the morning. (Update: Yup! The slime worked.) I'm seriously considering changing the smaller tires out for 24" or 26" tires anyway, since it's going to become a cargo trailer only. The information I found about the Rhodes trailers online suggests that the framework can support about a hundred pounds. Now that the kids can pedal their own bikes, hauling them about isn't necessary. Oh, they may want me to, but that's not happening.

I need to adjust the height of the seat on my bike. It's distracting having my knees popping up and threatening to smack me in the jaw when I pedal. Despite having ridden longer distances years before, I was a little shaky trying to ride at first today. I've been away from it for a couple of years trying to regain a healthy life balance. Pedaling the road bike is vastly different than pedaling the recumbent stationary bike. Nevertheless, I made it through the first short ride. By the end of it, my sense of balance was back to where it used to be when I cycled more often. I think I shall raise the handle bars, as well. That will allow me to sit more upright.

The bike chain and derailleurs needed a good oiling, so that was done this afternoon. It was shifting a bit hard. The next task will be to add panniers, and obtain a digital speedometer/odometer and a cell-phone holder for the handlebars.

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