Monday, May 22, 2006

Bike repair continued

I left work a little bit early on Friday, around 5:30, thinking it was appropriate because of the long weekend ahead. It turns out I was the last person to leave work in Richmond Hill. Traffic was very light on the way home.

Ten minutes into my ride, I squeezed my rear brake and I felt a snap as my brake lever nearly pressed up against my handlebar. The cable was still somewhat intact, but my braking strength was very low. I decided I could manage to get home, but would have to look for a new cable on the weekend.

A few minutes later, I arrived at a four way stop. I stopped at the same time as a minivan across from me that I needed to turn left in front of. It looked like he was waiting for me, so I went first, then he went first. I slammed on my brakes snapping what was left of my rear cable. I steered right and missed the van.

Luckily I was just down the street from the only bike shop I know of anywhere near my work. Also luckily, they were still open. They often close at 6 PM. They were very helpful and took care of the repair right away.

The mechanic pointed out that my cable was severely corroded. When I told him that I just replaced the cable last year, he told me that I probably need to replace the cable housing. Apparently my housing might be so old it doesn’t have Teflon lining. I have a feeling that if Teflon existed when my bike was made, it was only used in applications like the Space Shuttle.

This all meant that I had to spend 30 torturous minutes inside a bike shop, looking at bikes and bike accessories. The horror! Lately, every bike shop I go to seems to have more and more space taken up with various models from DeVinci. I like the look of the DeVinci Performance Hybrids (with names like Oslo, Copenhagen, Amsterdam). They look practical (with mounts for racks and fenders) and fast. They seem to be reasonably priced. I better shut up or else DeVinci will never pay me for writing stuff like this.

I’ve been thinking about buying a new bike for a long time, but, as my wife points out, I would no longer get to spend time fixing my bike.

The stupid part was that this was the second thing to break on my bike on Friday. On the way to work, my downtube shifter for my front derailleur got damaged. It looks like over the years I’ve been pushing the lever too far forward and slowly breaking it. I made a temporary repair today, but in the long run I need a replacement for this virtually antique part. It can be ordered by bike shops for $50 to $60 (for a pair). The only place I’ve seen them online is at Rivendell.

So the story of me trying to keep my bike on the road (and somewhat safe to ride) continues.

Darren J 5/22/2006 12:11:00 a.m.


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