Finishing touches

July 14, 2017 at 14:08 | Posted in bicycles | Leave a comment
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Finally, the last few bits for the transformation of the Radish from a 2 x toddler to a 2 x small girl transporter arrived.

Now the rack passenger has a comfy cushion for their bottom, and foot rests for their feet. I had to buy them from the US, and while the prices were OK, the shipping was (as you might imagine) a bit steep. I wish there was an Xtracycle distributor here in Australia. Surely there’s a market for one? Anyway, thanks to Matt at BikeShopHub in Flagstaff, Arizona, for patiently answering my emails and sorting everything for me.

Separately to getting all the rack bits, I also have had the drive train replaced, as the rear derailleur had sort of lost all its springiness – I guess the weight of that long chain takes its toll over seven years, and it was drooping badly and not changing at all well. It’s now all new and snappy, and feels very nice. Oddly the bike shop didn’t change the chainwheel, despite it being worn into sharks teeth. This meant the chain still rattled somewhat, and didn’t feel smooth. I have no idea why they didn’t change this (as they changed everything else), but it did mean I could buy one online and do it myself. It’s not often I get to use my crank-puller. I have most of the tools for bike maintenance, but for the most part am too lazy to do things myself.  Still, this little job was easy enough, and now the drivechain is silky-smooth and silent. I’m sure it makes for a very relaxing ride for the passengers!

Not so whitewall tyres

April 17, 2017 at 14:16 | Posted in bicycles | Leave a comment
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I finally had to put new tyres on the Radish. The old ones were getting extremely worn; to the point they were completely smooth and starting to bulge. Riding it was very peculiar; the tyres were so squishy the bike handling was very odd, especially around corners. They were the ones that came with the bike, so have done a lot of km over the past seven years or so.

I have been thinking about new tyres for this bike for a while, and even asked in a few bike shops when i had to take it in for servicing, but hadn’t really seen anything suitable – I want a really fat, balloon tyre without much tread. Oh, and is cheap.

I was idly looking at things on the Pushy’s website one day, and I happened upon exactly what I needed. Fat, smooth, and cheap. And with a stylish white wall, to boot! I bought a pair, and they duly arrived.

I fitted the back one first. This was a bit of a pain, as getting the back wheel off is trickier than usual, given the weight of the bike and the panniers. But once done, I fitted the tyre, with my daughter commenting that the new tyre was ‘pretty’. So a tick of approval. then I put the wheel back on, which was again a bit of a pain. I had some trouble getting the chain on properly, getting very oily hands in the process.

Then I did the front wheel.

Now, more seasoned bike wrenches than me are probably sensing a schoolboy error about to happen here. And yes, you are correct. I didn’t clean my hands first, meaning the front tyre has a rather dirty white wall, adorned with hi-resolution imprints of my fingerprints.

 

Oh well. Perhaps I’ll clean it off one day. Or just wait seven years until they need replacing…

Gigs, mutes and cargo bikes

April 2, 2011 at 01:05 | Posted in bicycles | Leave a comment
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I had a big band gig tonight, and as usual packed up all my stuff onto the Radish to get there. Well, actually I loaded it up this morning, then rode to work, and then rode from work to the gig, which meant I did about fifteen kilometres further than necessary with twenty kilos of stuff on the back of the bike. Good for the legs, I suppose.

I had to go to the gig straight from work as we had a sound check at 5.30pm, prior to the guests arriving for pre-dinner drinks. We were due to play after dinner at around 8.30pm, but the speeches ran on and on. We didn’t actually start playing until about ten minutes to ten, and consequently played only about  third of the charts before the venue management told us we had to stop.

We did get given beers though, even thought they were explicitly excluded from the contract, so that was nice (although we did wonder if we would get a bill at the end of the night, Blues Brothers style…).

At the end of the gig I packed up my stuff back onto the bike and rode home (much to the amusement / admiration / disbelief of my fellow musicians). However, I must have been tired as I didn’t pack it very well, and as I got close to home my Harmon mute escaped from the panniers. It bounced along the road, thankfully not going under any car wheels. It does now have a nice scrape and a few dents, which is a pity. The frustrating part is, of course, that we didn’t play any numbers which actually called for the damn thing, so I could have left it at home!

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