This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Grooming our pets

   It's the time of year  my cats start to shed.   They love the attention when I set them on the counter and brush out their coats with a Furminator, most of the time it helps prevent malfunctions, like hairballs on the carpet.  They purr and roll around on their backs to beg for it some days.
    After the winter and a tour like the GAP/CO (April showers version),  my Hunqapillar was screaming for a little grooming.  I don't know what a wholly mammoth does to look adorable and make you want to comb him, but he would if he could.  He was in a sorry state when I took him out of the box in Pittsburgh.
I should have gotten a drive side photo of this, but you can see from the tires and the bottom bracket condition that the mammoth was well ridden.  The derailleurs, cog and crank were horribly encrusted.
     As usual I tore him down to nuts, bolts and bearings.  Damn, filthy was not the word.  It can be changed with a little water, citric acid, patience and paint. Surprisingly, after the nasty winter crud from the the roads and the moist springtime journey, I could not find a speck of rust.  I took the bottom bracket apart and scrubbed it out with solvent, inspected it under a light and could not see a speck or suspicious pit to trouble me.  Kaisai Tubing must be the good stuff.
     I cleaned him up, readjusted everything and it makes me feel like a responsible trainer
and much happier rider.
     I thought it was time for a facelift, so I made my first attempt at the "harlequin handlebar wrap" technique.  I made a few mistakes, but for a first try it wasn't a disaster.  I not only felt like giving the Hunq a new 'doo, I wanted more of the bar covered since I use the flats quite frequently.  It extends the color scheme.   Like anything else,  it  becomes automatic if you learn the technique,. I made my mistakes on this attempt.  I learned not to expose too much  adhesive.  Take the liner off a few inches at a time and plan to sweep up the mess.  Basically you are wrapping each roll in opposite direction to overlap the other and exposing too much adhesive turns a simple operation into a tangled nightmare. I'll roll with it this year and plan to do a better job next.  If I get it right, I'll shellac it to keep it new.
     The day finished on another positive note.  A local journalist posted this op ed piece in our local news site.  She has found her 3 millennial children are rejecting the American love affair with the automobile.  It was a nice piece to see.  I can agree, the kids I see in schools seem to think my bike riding is nothing but cool.  They come up lists of reasons to use a bike rather than a car and very few, to choose a car.  My son likes his car, but thinks it's a damned inconvenience in town.  I get overly optimistic about this, but what will the world be like if 50% of the money spent on oil and autos was available for something else? Moving forward one pedal ahead of the other.

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