Friday, June 10, 2005

Fixed Fixie--Julep New & Improved

Oh. Yes.

Thursday I stopped by Boulevard Bikes to buy new parts for the Mint Julep: chain, bottom bracket, 16 tooth cog, campus pedals.

No one but me thinks the 52 x 16 gear ration is a good idea, but I'm totally digging it.

I asked to borrow my friend, and Hbar partner, Todd's tools to remove the BB and countered with the offer to go to his place and use all of his tools and work stand. Hell Yeah! So we met downtown after work on Friday and pedaled over to his apartment and began the job. After the first crank was removed we (Todd) realized that the BB didn't come with Bolts. Boulevard was technically closed for the night, but Adrian still answered the phone and gave me 15 minutes to do pick them up.

Todd lent me his ex-girlfriends cruiser bike and off I went. Kevin was there and all was good. Then I tried to get back to Todd's place and my horrible spacial ability reared its head. I tried backtracking, but couldn't find the house that should have been easy to recognize (purple, with Todd's bike parked out front). I also didn't know his address, and I had left my keys at his place. Fuckity fuc Fuk Fuck. I rode around on this awkward bicycle as I became more and more distraught. I couldn't even ride back to my house and look up his address, because I didn't have my keys. I felt like a total idiot as I circled around the unfamiliar neighborhood. Then it started to thunder and the sky darkened.

I haven't cried a tear in over 8 months, but I saw it as a definite possibility. Finally I pulled my head out of my ass and tried to deduce his location from the little information that I knew. As I turned onto a street, I realized that I was thinking of a totally wrong street (a different friend lives on it) and soon found Todd's house. He was outside holding his phone and concerned/perplexed why it took so long, and I told my embarrassing story just as fat raindrops fell.

Anyway, back to the fixed gear. I removed the other crank and then Todd showed me how to take out the old bottom bracket and we installed the other one. Woo! Hoo! The cranks spun as smooth and silently as butter! Todd graciously allowed me to stay longer to do the rest of the work, while he cleaned his place. I swapped the 18 tooth cog for the 16, and broke the new chain to the proper length and installed it. My old gear ratio forced me to pull the axle all the way back to the farthest end of the dropout--and the chain was a wee bit loose. Now, the chain feels perfect, but there is still about a 1/4" of space left to pull the wheel back if the chain loosens.

I was filthy and sweaty in the hot third floor apartment and there were streaks of dirty grease on my legs, arms and face from my blackened, oily hands. But there she was--my new and improved Mint Julep. There are only a few things left to do to her: buy and install a longer seat post so I can jack the seat up higher, get new fasteners to hold the chainring to the spider (I stripped them a bit when I first converted the bike) and most importantly--make streamers for her (along with bar-end lights and possibly bar tape)!! She will rock in every way then.

Todd was great because he taught me how to do the pedals and bottom bracket, but he didn't really do any of it for me. I thought that was really cool, because if left to themselves, a lot of t guys just jump and don't really let women do this sort of thing themselves. Instead Todd instructed and explained, but I did all of the work. Sweet!

Tomorrow I will work on the streamers--because she needs to be prettied up for the long-anticipated World Naked Bike Ride.


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