Friday, September 28, 2007

Friday: The madness continues.

Just wow. I got out about 5 minutes late. The chilly air is giving me a mild case of EIA (Exercise-Induced Asthma), so I'm running a little slow the last few days. I get a little more than 1/3 into my journey, and see a bicyclist doing the hike-of-shame on Merriam Lane near Sonic. I did a quick U-turn and asked if he was alright. A bag he was carrying had gotten tangled in the chain. This ripped his rear derailleur completely off his bike and actually bent one whole chain link nearly perfectly in half, snapping it in the process.

I couldn't re-attach the derailleur. It had actually broken the hanger. The mount point on the dropout is okay, but he'll need a new RD. I asked where he's headed, and he rides daily from KCK to a day-to-day labor place. I'm guessing a trip to the bike shop to get a new RD and a tune-up isn't quite in the budget, so I whipped out the tools and went to work.

First things first, I had to get the RD out of the way. I took the cable and wrapped it around the seatstay and up by the brakes to keep it from dropping into the spokes and further complicating things. Then, I tried to find a good gear ratio that would allow him to get around, but still give the chain a somewhat firm hold on the sprockets. It's possible, but not easy to find a good singlespeed ratio without too much slack on a geary mountain bike. I eventually ended up cross-chaining it a little bit, but after cutting the chain and putting it back together without any derailleurs (the front has been jammed in the outer chainring position for a long time according to him), the end result was a surprisingly usable bicycle. He quickly vanished into the darkness, well on his way to work. I hope my little fix works for as long as it needs to.

Now, nearly 20 minutes behind my typical schedule, I had to fight through the cold. At first, this was easy, but my asthma started kicking in a little bit as I approached Rosedale. I may need my balaclava or a scarf a little earlier this year. I'm pushing a lot harder than I was last year. My lungs are also in better shape. I'm taking deeper breaths, which may be complicating things. I kept pushing, though. I got to the coffee shop about 20 minutes later than usual (no surprise) and saw Lorin and JR there, as well as another bike/bus commuter who I see on occasion. I think his name is John. He had his yard-sale $7.50 Trek 820 Antelope there. Heck of a nice bike, but he had to put some work into it after he bought it, of course. Another 5-bike morning if you count the pink cruiser bike with the handlebar basket that was parked in front of Jason's Deli.

Random Tunage:
Orbital - Halcyon + On + On
Pole Folder - Waxxx

5 comments:

jeff said...

nice work, macgyver!

Noah said...

I was thinking of mentioning MG but decided not to. Haha.

Andrew said...

That's some good karma there.

Sally said...

Awesome jobe Noah, you are a true ambassador.

Frogman said...

You kick ass. Instead of seeing the carnage and giving him your best wishes, you hacked his bike enough to get him to work for the day - probably allowing him to earn the money to get the full repairs done, or even just the parts to do it himself. Nice work!

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