Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Bicycle Update and Commute VII

I went out and bought a used bike on the very same day I discovered that my beloved Devinci had been stolen. My new bike is a 1980s 12-speed Kuwahara (labelled Apollo). It's a fine bicycle, I suppose. Rust-free (let's hope) steel frame, new wheels (which could use a true-ing now...). It has a 6 speed freewheel cassette on the back wheel. I'm not sure what the width of the rear dropout is so who knows how easy it will be to replace it with a freehub 7 speed when that time inevitably comes (are those still available?). Oh yeah: friction shifting on the downtube, baby.

Things I've changed since purchase:

  • Added toe-clips (naturally)
  • Replaced both front and rear brake cables. The housing of the existing cables was cracked in places and the front brake cable was brutally frayed. I bought a fourth hand tool at MEC which makes brake cable replacement so easy I wanna do it every day.
  • The spring bit of the rear caliper brake looked rusty so I took that mother apart and sanded the rust off, greased it, and re-assembled it. Excessive? Maybe. But I'm quite pleased that I got it back together correctly and even properly centred.
  • I'd like to get fenders but I'm not sure if there's enough clearance.

Commute Notes VII

  • Friday December 22 seemed like a great day for a bike commute. 6 or 7 degrees, partly cloudy (no rain!). Holy sh*t, but I wiped out twice (TWICE!) on black ice. The first time at Manitoba/11th turning left at the traffic calming circle. The second time at Ontario/37th -- I knew that one was going to happen; I was being reeaally careful, but then WHAM my front tire goes out from under me and I'm on the road cursing up a storm etc. Scraped knee plus somewhat scraped elbow and sore hip. Fun.
  • Today is my first bike commute since that Friday. It is p*ssing down rain out there. I went through a massive puddle at Main/37th. Just massive. I swear it was 1/3rd up my wheels. My feet were submerged. But those foot covers (from MEC) are wicked -- my shoes are hardly wet at all. But the stuff inside my panniers got kind of wet.