Mick Jagger and I have had quite a week together. Here is the scoop on how Mick's makeover went down.
When I first got Mick, my friend (and bike mechanic) Heath fixed him up and told me that I would need to replace my cables soon. The first few months it was fine, just needed the occasional tightening and adjusting. Since then I have gotten a new chain, new pedals, new tires and new bar tape. Just the beginning...
Then I started commuting an extra 4 miles and over a mountain (photos to come, for those of you who have asked!). That was the straw that broke the cables back...literally. A week ago, I was having problems shifting gears. It got to where I couldn't change to the largest ring, so I tried to adjust it myself. Oops, I messed that up! I ended up adjusting the hi-low screws on the derailleur...much too much. Then I couldn't shift up OR down. Nothing like riding a Singlespeed over Red Mountain each day!
So, I called Heath again for some help, and brought Mick over for some TLC. Up in the stand he went and we tried to change gears...POP...the cable housing popped and the cable was a bent mess. He taught me how to check for the problem and I learned a TON. It was the best part of the entire situation, learning how to identify the issue and fix it. I learned how to tell if my problem was in the derailleur or the shifters and how to fix both.
The next day I learned how to change my cables and housing, but not without some drama...including realizing my wire cutters were shit. A trip to the store to cut some wires later, and we were good to go. I learned how to adjust the cables to make sure everything runs correctly. I can't believe the difference! My bike has never ridden as well as it does now. We also installed the new rear rack I bought and adjusted the headset so it was tighter.
It is so empowering to learn how to fix my own bike. At this point, I feel like I could change cables and housing myself and adjusting them, along with changing a tire, cleaning, checking brakes...the list goes on and on. Which is good, since I am trying to open a community bike shop!! We hope to do this exact thing, teach people how to fix their own bike and empower them. No more simply paying someone to fix Mick anymore. I sort of feel like a child "I do it myself!".
Oh, and I got a new saddle and I have one happy ass! My old seat was so uncomfortable and I tried shorts, tilting the seat, chamois butter (too much info?), and I am riding happy these days. I got a Bontrager inForm. I think it deserves it's own post, so stay tuned for that. I won't even tell you what my old seat was called at the bike shop, but it was not good...
This is a really long post to say that I HEART MY BIKE. I can't believe how awesome it is.
In other news, I rode to church tonight and discovered another bike in my usual parking spot (inside the doors)! We have nowhere to lock our bikes, so I think it is time to ask for a bike rack. I have been waiting for this day. Oh, and I had someone come up to me and tell me my legs looked great! Woot woot, it is working!!