Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Spring checkup!

I have been working on a few other posts, which are varying levels of grumpy, but I'm less grumpy right now, because it's a sunny warm day and I took a long lunch break from work, grabbed my bike, and rode up to City Hall to have it tuned up for free, courtesy of Right Bike and Cycle Salvation.

The tune up station will be outside City Hall from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm every day till the 23rd. You might have to wait a while: bring a magazine or something. But I could do worse this afternoon than soak up some sunshine, watch the mechanics work, and lean on my bike.

Long John, the summer commuter bike, really doesn't show his age or the miles logged in Europe on him by my friend David. But when I got him this spring I discovered that the brakes were a little off, the front tire wobbled a bit, and I could only coax about three gears out of the 21-speed shifter system. I meant to get around to figuring out the trigger shifters but what with everything this spring I hadn't gotten around to it. I had enough gears that I didn't grind to a panting halt on the Billings climb. And I was getting thighs of steel out of it. So I muddled through.

But I wasn't going to pass up a chance to have someone more competent than me take a toolkit to it.

I arrived to find about five people standing around waiting, while two mechanics worked on bikes. Leaned on the bike and read a magazine in the sunshine. The lineup was on the honour system - we just kept track of who arrived after who and waited our turns. A couple of people decided to try again later and headed off. I don't know how long it took - 45 minutes? it was a while, but I didn't mind - before they got to me. And the tuneup itself was maybe 10 or 15 minutes, plus a pump up on the tires (needed: I tried to top them up this morning but my Presta adapter is inefficient), and then I was on my way. With a bike that now has a full set of gears available to me, hurrah! 

Get on down there if you can (and if your bike could use it). The tuneups are free but I think they take donations for Cycle Salvation if you feel you want to give something back for the mechanics' time and talents. 


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