The Bicycle Repairman

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=54CpPlCnM4I

Unlike the Monty Python video, my first need for a bicycle repairman was a broken green tricycle. It may have become broken after my dad stomped on it after I took a dare and rode it down a very steep hill toward the village when I was only a few years old. Or perhaps I broke it. I don’t remember how it became broken but it would make sense he might not like me doing that again even though I had almost reached the bottom of the hill when it tipped over. Tricycles are like that when there is too much weight on the front wheel going down a steep hill.

Mom couldn’t understand how I managed getting that far but it may have had something to do with the neighbour’s terrifying dog at the first half mile of the trip which kept me from heading back home after my brother dared me. My butt still hurts from the wallop I got. Maybe that’s why I still rebel against popular opinion of bicycles being toys and had to do a few hundred mile rides as an adult?

For a long time I wished dad would fix it but it never happened. There were bent spokes on the front wheel which rendered it useless. Every day I walked past it I was reminded how much I wanted it fixed, but it never happened.

So when I found this in the park… the regular super hero in the laundromat turned into the bicycle repairman (not as glamorous as Monty Python’s repairman though.)

The chain was rusted solidly in place. I had kept old chains in the house for making fatbike tire chains but I could put a slightly worn one on the bike! Ta dah!

It took a little longer than expected. I had to hammer the crank straight and remove the bend that was causing it to hit the frame. Same thing happened to the family’s first bicycle from all us kids dropping it on the same side all the time until the pedal arm cut halfway into the frame.

My wife wondered what the hell I was up to. I couldn’t tell her I had a secret identity as the bicycle repairman. Could I?

All those years of dad showing me how to maintain my own first bicycle kicked in. I wished that the parent of this kid’s bike had shown him how to fix the chain easily with a chain breaker. I rode my old childhood cast iron cruiser from Tappen BC into Salmon Arm after rebuilding a wheel with scavenged spokes from my sister’s bike. It was a miracle that I managed to get the wheel straight and round again from following directions in a library book. If you’ve ever driven over that steep hill you will be impressed that I could even cycle it as a teenager.

After a few days the BMX vanished. I hoped the owner had taken it home, finding it rideable once more.

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Ice Spiker tires are the best

Took the Revel out for a ride in deep snow. The tires had great traction. Snowfall depth was about 9″. There were deeper sections of drifts. I was surprised to be climbing hills at maximum traction. Occasionally the rear tire would slip and then regain traction. Felt very comfortable ride because at no time did the tire totally lose traction. It was more effort going through deep snow. Even had to cross over frozen piles plowed against curbs.

Big Tires

Revel upgraded to Maxxis Hookworm 2.5″ tires. Took the bike out for a ride in wet grass and dirt. Came home covered in dirt. I’ll need fenders.

Found a front fender which didn’t fit a 2″ tire but which fit the 2.5″ tire just fine. Now I need to buy a fender set to add a rear fender for the winter. I will be running Ice Spikers 2.35″ tires. They throw up a lot of debris onto the front derailleur shifter which is installed right beside the rear tire. Without fenders the shifter will quickly get plugged up with dirt and ice. This year I bought a second set of wheels to permanently mount winter tires on.

The tire on the left is a 2.1″ Ice Spiker with 304 studs. The tire on the right is a 2.35″ Ice Spiker with 361 studs. Last winter I didn’t have a very good front tire to use the ktrak with. Hoping this will help if I put the ktrak on the backwheel. For now I’ll run the two tires and see if they handle deep snow any better.

Spent two hours installing Ice Spikers on my Bicycle Snowplow. This photo shows it with tire chains. Another half hour installing the plow towbar. All ready!

Added dual headlights for night biking. Very bright.

This five foot plow is as long as the bicycle. Tows very nicely.

Smokey says good-bye

Smokey was a grey kitten, the only grey one among Blackie’s  many litters of kittens. So when the family moved, we took Smokey with us.

People said, you’ll lose that cat. Every morning Smokey would climb up the tent and dig his claws in. He was there every morning meowing after wandering around many different campgrounds across the country each night.

One summer day on the new property, I saw Smokey outside and went to pet him. He purred then proceeded to walk through the tall grass. I followed him into our 10 acre field.

He took me on a slow, meandering walk. I would stoop down to pet him when he stopped and looked up. Then he lead me back to the house and after one last petting we went our own separate ways. Smokey had taken me for a walk and in sharing that walk we were also sharing love. He seemed so proud of this accomplishment. I was proud of him too.

Smokey went missing for a week. One night I saw Smokey’s face very clearly in my sleep and knew he was gone.

A week later dad announced Smokey had eaten poisoned food one of the farmers had left to kill off pests in the neighbourhood. Smokey’s death was no shock to me. We had already said our goodbyes.

We may have difficulty talking to animals but our love for them is not something that’s difficult to show.

Turning a mountain bike into a heavy hauler

Add a low rider front rack and panniers.

Add a rear rack and bag with panniers.

Add a Burley Travoy trailer (60lb capacity)

This is the top view of the trailer rear rack adapter and hitch.

Side view of rear rack hitch adapter

Took the rig up some steep hills. About 20 lbs in the front panniers. A few more pounds in the rear rack. Trailer was almost empty. Climbed 15-18% hills. No problem.

Nice view of Confluence Park switchbacks.

How to fix broken waterbottle mount

Eventually water bottle mount threads go. If you’re lucky as me, the whole nut inside the frame will turn and then the flange on the outside of the tube will break off.

Crazy glue the threaded end into the tube. Clamp vise grips on the head of the screw to hold on to it while cutting.

Take a hacksaw and carefully cut off the head off the screw. Find a fibre locknut that will fit and screw it on carefully. Threads may be damaged so gradually turn the nut back and forth lightly with fingers until it screws on.

Find a metal water bottle holder that has a thin base so the nut will screw in far enough.

Use a nut driver and cautiously tighten the nut, careful not to break the crazy glued end loose.

Done! Never remove it again!

🚴<{===

As long as I remember

As long as I remember, waves have been crashing down
Something in the solace, a muse upon the shore
Ripples race upon my feet, amid sounds of hushing waves
Draws the heart to listen to life’s constant surging rhymes

How and why I travel, or frolic in the sun?
Waves seep through rock and sand, like birds that know the wind
Man has neither gills nor wings, for doubt has seized his heart
Something speaks in the breaking waves that draws us up above

A traveller brings the boat ashore, a burly hand upon my back
Your anchors are of no use, for you cannot hold love back
Listen to the sounds within, for love is a living source
The way is the guide and you, foretold by the wailing wind

We rise upon the waves, like freedom rising in the sky
We ride the waves of reverence, the traveller steers the only course
We hear a joyful sound, from very long ago
The song of life is infinite and plays in our waking dreams

As I look upon Soul’s journey, its like I’ve always been
Churning waves of mystery, like a child longing for the sun
All the ages passing, like dreams that rise upon my dreams
Yet now Soul has awakened, in the moment the journey has begun

The Simplest Question

Do we know what lies within the heart?
What makes us weep and thrill with joy?
What lies outside and within all things?
Or how to arrive at love?

Love can humble the hardest man
Like a heart broken child needing love
A musician can write a note
Both are incomplete in time

When love ignites the heart
Sees the journey from start to end
Hears the notes now complete
We are witnessing eternity within ourselves