07 August 2009


So, I head to Elliott Bay Bikes. It's Friday. Reed always works on Friday. This pleases me. Reed looks at it. He's in the middle of a full driveline overhaul for a guy with a sleek ti Davidson. The guy is waiting, and Reed's about an hour away from done. This doesn't please me so much. Do I want to leave it and come back? Well, not really, since I'm supposed to leave early for Eastern Washington. Taking pity on me (not to mention I have spent a lot of money over the past three years in their shop) he says, ok (without even grumbling too much) and slaps it up into the stand. Looks it over. So there's a slight chance it'll break in the straightening. Slight? I'll take my chances. If it breaks, we'll have to order a new one. Don't have one in stock. OK, so I'm still willing to take that chance. It might break while you're riding, even if we're successful. OK. I can live with that risk.

Bill (Davidson) comes in. Reed gives the hanger to Bill, who ambles off to the back, saying this is easy. No problem.

Bill comes back a couple minutes later. Straight as an arrow.

Reed installs. Then he gets a long handled thingamajig with a spike hanging out the end. I assume he's gonna bash me over the head for being such a bonehead. Nope. He puts it to the hanger, adjusts the pin and does some arcane incantations over it at the top of the rim. then he spins it to the bottom. Gives me some explanation about how it has to be exactly straight to shift properly. Looks over some of the frame parts (used to work for Raleigh and likes to check known places for frame failure) and declares the frame to be in good shape. Then he uses those massive arm muscles of a bicyclist and just barely puts pressure on the hanger. SNAP.

This is a family friendly post. What's said in the bike shop, stays in the bike shop.

Reed heads over to the shelf. Just in case. Pulls out a couple of boxes with little baggies of mysteriously shaped doo-dads and lots of loose parts. Paws through them. Nope. Nope. Naw, that one won't work. Yep. It's a winner. Found one. Installed it.

Less than 30 minutes start to finish. $30.65 (plus a little tip for my mechanic without the boss in the room) and I'm down the road. Reed returns to the "other" job.

Life is good.

Life is better on a bike.

Life is even better on a bike that works.

And life is REALLY good when you work close to a bike shop!


DON'T FALL DOWN. Isn't that rule #1?

This week, they are doing a re-paving of the Duwamish Trail. In order to do this, they've had to close the trail and divert commute traffic out onto a very busy West Marginal Way. None of us wants to get turned into cream of wheat by a cement truck, garbage truck or tour bus, so SDOT has very generously provided a full northbound lane with a barrel divider line for the entire length of the repairs. About 2/3 of the way through, there is a place where there is an entry driveway to a shipping container/chassis yard. If you use the driveway entrance and then cross over a gravel area and some RR tracks, you can get back onto the trail at that point - though there is really NO REASON to do so, unless you want to check out the "tent city" set up by Port of Seattle for some of the homeless folks here. Which is what I wanted to do. When I was by there last week, they'd set up this tent city but with absolutely no bathroom facilities and I wanted to see if they'd ever added some sanitation to this place or if people were still just expected to go in the woods (like in the downtown Seattle parks).

So at the last minute, I made my turn, thought I had a good enuf angle to get over the curb cut, but didn't factor in the fact there was a big batch of oily greasy mess and my front wheel slid down off the curb cut, sending me to the ground. Hit on my right side, getting a slight scrape on the knee, a little brusing on my right hip and sore shoulder. Never hit my head.

After getting up and dusting myself off, assuring myself the bike was okay, I took off. When I went to shift down to the middle chain ring though, the rear derailleur started rubbing lightly on the spokes. Seems I've bent the detachable aluminum derailleur hanger on my Raleigh Competition. Outta here in a few minutes to take it to EBB and see if they can straighten it for me.

So, remind me, what was that number one rule?

oh yeah. DON'T FALL DOWN!!!!

Ride Safe
Have Fun
Finish With A Smile