Friday, May 21, 2010

The end of Bike to Work Week.

Well it has been another bike to work week, today is bike to work day. It’s hard to tell if there was much of a change here in Plattsburgh. I am rarely on the roads when commuters would be going or coming home from work, so I can’t tell too much.

However in the short time I was on the roads yesterday, I saw maybe 12 cyclists out, and only 3 of which were on the sidewalk when observed, but only 2 were in normal clothes and not suited up.

Saw one gentleman riding north on 9, he must have been very tall, he had very long legs and the frame of his bike was huge! I seriously thought it might have been a double frame bike from a distance, but nope, it was just a really really big frame, he fit it though so more power to him!

Was at the Co-Op on Wednesday meeting a good friend named Jon to make some butter (Jon bakes bread). I arrive in my usual way, but I do have quite a bit of baggage, and I have loads of bells and whistles (well really only one bell) so I guess I can look kinda impressive...

Anyway a nice older woman outside on her classic 3 speed Raleigh, mistook me for an officer in training... I must say I take that as a compliment. While I have no intention to go into law enforcement at that level, if there are some out there that see me as possibly and officer in training, then good, maybe they will give me a bit more room on the road...

She was having a problem with her bike though, the breaks were not working well on the back and she had already gone over the front trying to stop a day or so earlier. It turns out she was riding it and trying to get it ready for her granddaughter to use at the university in the fall. I commented on how wonderful of a bike it was and that with a bit of love it could be made into an object of desire, and to be sure to get a good lock for it.

I opened up the handy tool case (e.g. the mess of tools in my bike bag) and gave a whirl at tightening the break pads. I quickly came to the understanding that the pads were very hardened and would not be useful in stopping in any form. They seemed like they original and probably should be replaced. I recommended that she head over to Mountain Riders and have then take a look at it, She did not know where they were so I pointed her around the corner, after all they are really close to the Co-Op.

I saw her again a little later, she was so very happy, they had filed down the breaks she had to get to non cracked rubber, and oiled up her shifters.

This is the third person I have directly helped in terms of breaks, gears, or seat fitting. I helped the bicycle of a forth, unknown person earlier in the semester. The chain was un-oiled and was rusting away, I had a few minutes so took the opportunity and oiled it right up.

Never underestimate what a bit of oil, or grease, can do for your bike. I use a corn based biodegradable oil, which works very nicely :)

For god's sake though, don’t oil your bike with WD-40!! It wont work and might make it worse!

Happy bike to work day, enjoy your commute :)

I will be back and active on here in short order, I might also be talking up my own on going projects through the internships I have, providing they agree to that.

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