Remember me writing about the Schwinn Collegiate bicycles I got for myself and my daughter here and here? How I was going to try to learn how to tune up a bike? Well, last weekend I started working on mine. I originally envisioned my daughter working beside me on her's, just us girls, learning how to do something for ourselves while laughing and talking. But she had just woken up (at noon,) had bedhead, and stood there shifting her bare feet back and forth impatiently. She wasn't so enthusiastic. I did make her let my husband show both of us how to take off a wheel and change the innertube. He was our sensei.
I also learned how to true a wheel.
That's a fun kind of monotony, like braiding hair or coloring with a child.
The back fender was a little bent and needed adjustment.
Stomp performance. Every dog in the neighborhood was howling as I rode by. I got home, googled squeaky bikes, and waited for my husband to get home so we could center the rim brakes and one pad wouldn't rub against the wheel.
The next time I rode it was still making a shuffling sound when the chain moved. I feared I'd have to repack something or other and have lots of tiny things strewn around me on the greasy garage floor, but my husband suggested the obvious- the chain was rubbing against the chain guard. Once I bent it back in place, I could ride very discreetly (except for the squeaky, springy seat with a cut in it that bounces up and down.) I guess I need a new one. I'm thinking about ordering one of these, but I'd really like the old "S" saddle.
bicycle my grandparents gave me as a teenager.
Today I took it to my dad's again, down the street I grew up on, past my old elementary school, past the cemetery, under the enormous live oaks that arched over the streets I rode on as a girl. I was listening to Cornershop and thinking about Junior High, when I listened to Bon Jovi (I know) on my walkman when I rode. It was a perfect morning. And no dogs followed me.