Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Watch this space or no not this space but another space - oh just read below!

So I have it on good authority that the Trailer Park Cyclist may do some "Ghost Posting"  on the currently dormant site

Said posting may include updates on little miss Dangerous aka a Schwinn Letour and also a new acquisition by the TPC that looks a bit like this
You heard it here first folks check in over the next few weeks to see what happens

Sunday, August 16, 2015

A confession and some Miscellaneous stuff

I have been afraid to ride my bike... there I said it.  In mid April I had what I found out later was a very very minor stroke- emphasis on the very minor.  At the time my right hand and part of my right leg were tingly like I had slept on them wrong.  Initially I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to adequately squeeze the brake levers and that maybe I wouldn't be able to ride at all.  Although I identify as a cyclist, I haven't been riding much lately but the thought of not being able to ride at all or ever again was scary.
the bike is ready but is the rider?
After a few weeks I was pretty much back to normal with just a bit of tingling in my right palm, blood pressure meds, a better diet and daily therapy with an Xbox 360 controller for my hand (medicinal purposes only) all helping but still I couldn't seem to get on or work on a bike.  It might have been sloth or the now irrational fear that I wouldn't be able to control a bike, but as it was months passed with nary a ride.

Today I decided to finally visit my neighborhoods expanded farmers market.  It used to occupy part of a public parking lot but this summer it expanded to take up a city block that they close from 9 am to 2 pm on Sunday for the market.  I had been meaning to check it out and also see if I might find some deals on organic produce so I decided I would finally get off my duff and go.  Since the market is only about 5 blocks away it seemed like a good first ride, so I put some air in my tires, slapped on the panniers, blew the dust off my helmet and wheeled the bike out.  And lo and behold I had not forgotten how to ride, it was actually fun to turn over the pedals and generate my own power.  The bonus was pedaling again put a smile on my face.
my haul and a soft bike rack
The local yarn vandals has thoughtfully knitted a bike rack cozy so I didn't even need to think about my paint getting scratched while my bike was locked up.  And I did indeed find an abundance of reasonably priced organic produce including some yummy raspberries.
reflecting on a successful ride 
Back in July, while on a visit to Portland, I was inspired to actually work on a bike when I noticed my friend Karen's bike had very sad, droopy looking bar tape.
blue duct tape! C'mon
I built this bike and could not abide the falling apart bar tape held on by duct tape of all things so I made a special trip to the local bike shop and took care of it.

new and blue and not saggy

I also took care of some rear brake pads that had been bugging my friend.

the old -dusty and worn
So I removed the old ones and swapped them out with some spares she had laying around 
new pads in place

Finally my nephew, who is about to start his Junior year of college, messaged me recently about looking at his front tire.  As it turns out he has a low end - Motiv- mountain bike, perfect for campus use, but not great as far as the parts go.  When I got my hands on the beastie I was able to diagnose that it A) had a front wheel in need of truing and B) the return spring on one front brake arm was shot, those two things conspired for some pretty serious brake rub hence his issue.
give me a brake

I thought I would need to make a trip to the used bike parts store but as luck would have it rummaging in my parts bin I was able to come up with a nice set of Shimano Deore canti's.  After truing the front wheel and a host of other items like; cleaning and lubing the chain, adjusting the front derailleur so all 3 chainrings worked, wiping down the frame , lubing the seat post and stem and putting air in the tires the bike was ready for pick up.

campus bike ready to go
The nice thing about a Motiv is that it is serviceable and if it does get stolen its not a huge loss.

Dude seriously put me back together already!
Now that the Torpado is back in the bike stand I should probably get to work on it as well as continuing to ride my bike.  

Until next time ride, smile and repeat.