Tag Archives: Repairs

My Bicycle vs. Arizona Summer

29 Jun

ROUND ONE… FIGHT!

Meet the Beast. It hasn’t earned its name yet, so for now, let’s call it the Beast. I ride the Beast because some #&#^$&*@ stole my nice red Specialized mountain bike from my own backyard! That beautiful bike that I bought in Connecticut, rode through a fierce New England summer and winter, and lovingly shipped back home to Arizona when my contract was through. Then in the Spring of 2019, some… person of ill repute took it and probably sold it for a dime bag; one-thirtieth of what it was worth.

So I bought a cheap black Roadmaster at a nearby liquidation store. It was $50; it wasn’t great, but it was new, and it worked! All was fine until one day in June 2019 I was riding home and I went down a ramp. The front brakes didn’t work. I drove shoulder-first into the pavement, broke my clavicle, and because I didn’t have insurance, let it heal on its own.

Arizona Summer wins!

ROUND TWO… FIGHT!

Four months later, my clavicle is healed without complications and I decide that it’s time to get back on the bike. The only problem is that I thought only the front tire was broken. So I get a new tire, put it on, problem solved, right? WRONG – front deraileur is bent so it only works in one set of gears, can only shift between two or three gears even without it, and I have to keep adjusting the handlebars.

After a month of trying to live with this, I say to myself, “You gotta get a new bike, man.” However, the wife won’t hear “Let’s pay $150-200 for a decent used bike.”

  • She says, “Why don’t you repair the bike you got?”
  • Problem? Repairs will run $50-70, if lucky, and will be worth more than the bike is.
  • Solution? Hit the Goodwill stores around me and see what they got.

I see a couple good bike, but they need serious repairs before they’ll function like they should. As a Scottish-American Jew, I’m doubly-cheap, and will not accept massive repairs that I can’t do myself. Also, I can’t do more repairs than change the tire. So I’m cheap AND mechanically inept. 🙂 So I happen to go around the back of a Goodwill and find a whole pile of stuff the Goodwill guy hasn’t brought into the store, including the Beast. So I just got the bike, replaced the tire, changed out the seat, and BOOM! I have a working bicycle again!

You win!

ROUND THREE… FIGHT!

Summer 2020 comes around, and with my kids stuck home doing school from home, they want to exercise. Except, I hadn’t replaced my son’s intertube in a while (reason: see above), so guess who gets to use my bicycle? Wouldn’t you know it? Intertube blows out.

Okay, not a problem, get a new intertube, get one for my son’s bike so that he can use his own bike for a while, and we’re golden, right? Heh. First day we replace my bike’s tube–flat again. Luckily, I had a thorn-resistant spare, but this time figured out the wheel was cutting into the actual tube input (sorry, don’t know the actual term). So we taped that up, no problem. While we’re at it, fixed Asher’s bike tire.

He goes on my bike again–BOOM! Same damn tire goes flat. Goes on his bike–BOOM! Both tires go flat. Thankfully, he wasn’t far from home, but walking it home half a mile in 100 degree heat, not fun.

Arizona Summer WINS!

CONCLUSION

We finally took our bikes to a new repair shop, the folks were very friendly, and we were fix my bike easy. (Tires inflated fine–not sure what happened.) My son’s bike is still in the shop because the supply chains messed up and there are no intertubes in that bike’s size.

So as brutal as Arizona Summers are, it’s not the 100 to 120 degree that’s gonna get you, it’s improper bicycle repair. 🙂

So what’s your worst bicycle disaster story? This is not mine (oh, not by a long shot), but let’s see if you can beat it. Put yours in the comment section below. Keep riding.

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