Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Long Live the New Bike (RIP old bike...)

Update on the New Bicycle - it is rideable! Not DONE, but you know how that goes.
The photo essay is here.

I was wondering how I could do the assembly with a minimum of downtime for my commuting bicycle, Sekai. As it turned out, that was taken care of for me. I was on a ride on Saturday, Feb 25 on Sekai that ended rather abruptly with a crash. I thought I hit a bump, but the reaction of the bicycle itself was all out of proportion to that. The frame buckled and failed big time. So there were paramedics and ambulances and the emergency room and all that. The actual falling happened on grass, so no road rash. Just probable broken ribs and some amazing bruises. I'm very, very lucky.

That said, Sekai was going nowhere fast, and I knew my frame would be back from its S&S coupler installation this previous Friday (March 2). So once I could move things around without major discomfort, I set up a work area in our living room, and started stripping off the parts I was planning to install on the Bleriot.

I arrived home on Friday to find a small box outside my door - Bleriot, all in pieces, nicely wrapped up in frame protectors. So Saturday am found me at Bike Gallery, tin of homemade cookies, frame, fork, and headset in hand. Mark installed the headset for me, and I subsequently had a nice visit with the president of our cycling club, who was out "buying some milk". Uh huh. The "milk" will show up later this week. :-)

Then home, to finish taking parts off Sekai - I had to break the chain to remove the front derailleur, and just didn't have the oomph to do it. So I cleaned up the kitchen and did laundry, waiting for someone stronger to show up. Fitz came home from his bike ride and broke the chain, then I pulled off the derailleur. Jason showed up with his chain tool and cable cutter. He installed the bottom bracket while I cleaned up the front derailleur (just because it is a USED part doesn't mean it needs to be a DIRTY part). Looked really nice, too.

Then I put on the crank, and Jason said I really needed a newer seatpost. So Fitz, Jason and I decamped to Bike Gallery to get a seatpost. I also showed them the "milk" Carlo was looking at.
Back home. No, that seatpost didn't work either. Got the spec off the internet, went back, exchanged the seatpost. Jason had to take off at that point.

Installed the brakes, derailleurs, stem, handlebars, brake levers, shift levers (bar ends). Seatpost still wasn't right, so set that aside. Put in all the brake and shifter cables, including installing the cable splitters (these are SO COOL - the bike comes apart, so most of the cables need to split as well). Adjusted the brakes. Went out for dinner somewhere in there.

Next morning, after a leisurely breakfast and newspaper read, figured out the proper chain length and installed the chain. Installed the pedals. Cut the shifter cables to a reasonable length, then put the seatpost and seat in a bag, pulled on my cycling shoes and went back to Bike Gallery.

Mark determined that the seatpost wanted to be yet another diameter, and produced one of the appropriate size. He adjusted the derailleurs (someday I'll learn how to do that, really), tightened up the headset, and lots of other things, then we made sure that I didn't need to cut off the steerer tube or seatpost.

On the way out of the store, a couple on a Co-Motion tandem pulled in, and the guy was all over my bicycle ("wow! Is it French? Look, you've got the 650b wheels!", etc, etc). His stoker said "enough bike talk, let's go inside". :-) Funny.

Home again, where I taped the handlebars. Then I went for a short ride around the neighborhood, stopping at my parents, then a big loop, then to my brother's. I can ride it no-hands, too. :-) Cool :-) This is a beautiful bike :-)

No comments: