Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Avec Moi, Le Deluge

"This radar view shows some heavier embedded showers moving eastward over the central part of the state, but it should already be starting to break up. The back edge should move through in the mid-morning hours, bringing some partial sunshine, although the chance will remain for scattered showers throughout the rest of the day," said the weather man.

Breaking up. Scattered showers. Despite the heavy rain drumming on the roof, I should look forward to improving conditions. Still, I'd better start out on the fixed gear.

Fat, soaking drops drummed straight down as I left home. The wind flung stinging darts as I reached Wolfe City. I ended up about as wet as I have ever been. Some of my gear was still wet when I set out for home more than eight hours later.

It was a warm wet. Perfect for the fixed gear.

Do all bike shops get weird jobs, or do I attract them? If I think I can fix something, I will take it on without considering the economics. In this way I ended up with a ten-year-old Hugi hub completely ripped apart on the bench. It's just old enough to have dropped off the map for spare parts. The bearings are standard, but the freehub body is no longer made. All that needs is some bearings in it, but I can't coax them out. The body was listed as a complete assembly in all the catalogs, so I don't think it was meant to come apart. It's much simpler and more serviceable than anything from Shimano, but nothing's perfect. It's just a splined tube with some bearings in it. And I think some previous mechanic lost a spacer out of it, which adds to the play in it.

Our supplier sent the wrong bearings, so I couldn't reassemble it anyway.

Sweeping all that aside I moved on to the next project. That was only mildly weird. The customer wanted to replace dried, crusty 700x28 tires with new 700x 23, but insisted on using the old, fat tubes. The bike was also gobbed with ambergris from countless applications of White Lightning. Most of my time went to de-gobbing the frame and drive train.

We stayed busy as we waited to see if anything exciting would happen. Nothing did.

The rain moved out in the later afternoon. I welcomed the pleasant summer evening. The wind seemed mostly to help me on the route home.

At Route 16 I saw another rider headed north. When I got the green to come out of 28 he was gone. But when I turned at Elm Street, there he was. Pushing my higher gear, I quickly caught up.

The other rider said he was on his way to a conservation commission meeting for his town, which borders mine. I told him I was the cyclist on my town's commission. He mentioned that he works with another rider I know, who rides the same commute I do in the opposite direction.

"He just today asked if I'd ever met you," said the other rider. "And now, six hours later, here we are."

We traveled together for about three miles to his next turn. He used to ride a fixed gear. Most of it hangs in his basement or garage. Maybe he'll re-commission it.

And what will happen tomorrow?

3 comments:

Fritz said...

Where'd that post about renting to some Sarkozy's children go? That's incredibly cool.

cafiend said...

Turns out they weren't. Now I look like one of those "they all look alike" people. Watch this space for further clarification.

Fritz said...

*laugh*