Friday, June 4, 2010

a scene from the bikey lane: rear wheel adventures

recently i was with some friends on our way to see a show after work when i shifted and then my cranks stopped moving. ruhroh. i pulled over and my companions and i struggled to find out what was going on with my rear cassette/wheel.

in fiddling around back there we proceeded to get filthy as my chain hadn't been cleaned in quite some time. ew. and gross.

Muni Tarantula

after several attempts by our little group, including a passerby, to get the back wheel on the bike, we ended up walking to our destination. along the way, two of us who have taken and put on back wheels before were discussing our confusion about why we were unable to get it back on ourselves. and then LMG said, "i think we need to take maintenance classes." agreed!! "what if this had happened on my way to work?" i wondered.

Picture 1

two of us ended up taking muni part of the way home. the driver, who apparently is quite the bike fan (by the way, can more muni drivers be bike friendly please? kthx), decided to show us a picture of his penny farthing. i guess this means he carries these pictures with him in the bus or on his person, because he produced them rather quickly.

Muni Pictures

now, i say we took muni only part of the way home because we had to transfer. as we were walking to the transfer point we ran into these two people i have now renamed my hayes valley angels.

Hayes Valley Angels

the guy on the right fiddled with my rear wheel and was able to put it back so i could get home. he told me i needed to do some cable maintenance before riding a lot more, "because you see this (extremely loose cable)? that's not good."

Picture 2

so i got home, very tentatively, on my bike. with a new resolve to learn how to put on that back wheel that 5 people could not figure out how to do. and also to clean my filthy disgusting chain. which i did the latter recently and also tightened the cables with help from a friend and their awesome bike friendly garage. i have scheduled another time to look at my rear wheel with an another extra careful eye.

do it...yourself. bike maintenance is next on the list.


  1. No better way to learn than taking it apart and putting it back together before it's broke. That will provide skill, therapy and confidence.
    Having a grease rag (an old sock will do) tied to your bike is good. having a few of those little wet packets to clean your hands is good. Having a tube of dry wash is good.
    Dry wash when squeezed on your hands, or any place you are dirty, and rubbed takes off the dirt/oil and with continued rubbing rolls up and falls away taking the dirt with it no water required. You get it at the auto store.

  2. It is very annoying when that happens and you end up with Oil and Muck on your Hands. When you have no Water with you,you end up Spitting on your Hands and wiping it with Tissues because there is no other way of getting it off.It happened to me on ocassions with a previous Bike I had and the Wheel would Jam.

    If you mistakenly back Pedal when changing Gear the Chain can jam in the Sprokets or if you change Gear while Pedaling Hard it can Jam as well. I have seen People stuck with a Chain in the Sprockets and Tugging like Mad to Free it. I once gave one Chap a Metal Tyre Lever to try and prise his Chain off the Sprockets and he was a long shoving it before it was free.

    I have not had it happen to me in a few Years touch Wood. I am more careful of what I am doing now and try and Change Gear Easily.

  3. So happy you were saved...eventually. I've had a few on the road break downs and have been so pleased that 1. my h makes me fix my own bike (sometimes) and 2. i took a class! Totally worthwhile!

  4. My tip is to keep a couple sets of latex gloves in your tool kit. They're cheap and roll up to nothing size-wise :)

  5. I could learn more about fixing my bike but just saying "Jaaaaaaames!" seems to do the trick so nicely : )

  6. LOL, when we were our age - we like boys like these :D

    YAY for the angelitos <3

  7. If you don't come across a basic bike maintenance class, the videos on Bicycle Tutor are pretty easy to understand. That's usually where I go before starting a new project.

  8. I'm thinking about signing up for a class, too. I've tried the DIY route and it seems to work like this:

    1)successfully disassemble part in question
    2)Do something to it
    3)Attempt to reassemble; screw something up
    4)Call for husband; he attempts to reassemble; unable to fix my screw up
    5)Telephone dad (who's a whole state away) because he knows how to fix *everything*
    6)Realize dad knows jack shit about bikes as well
    7)Tail between legs, get in car and drive offending part (or entire bike) to LBS for quick and efficient repair.

    Repeat about twice a week.