Print Story biking is like free physical therapy
with childcare built in.

Plus, push bike help needed, drug free and living it up, easy wrenching and kick start success, danger Will Robinson, War of Nerves, mod points, extremely tedious health update and less.

Poll Rationing in effect

Once again I have a "reliable" pedal bike, after replacing the tube in the front tire of my $5 USD Huffy mountain bike, the girls and I can now go on rides without having to pump up tires.

About five years ago I bought an Instep Hitchhiker, which looks somewhat like the one pictured, except it has a sissy bar, and the pedals are non-functional (and I locked them down so I don't drag them when I turn), and most of the chrome is rusty. So, ten year old rides behind on one of her two wheelers (the 20 inch Schwinn is her current fave) and five year old rides on the trailer, while I pedal my Huffy.

I tell you, the combo rides like a drunken three legged arthritic pig. It wobbles and bobbles, and I'm not sure if that's just a characteristic of all trailers like that, or my $5 Huffy. Forget no handed riding, it's nerve-wracking enough to ride one handed so I can signal (like a good example). The gearing grudgingly works, and getting through town takes me up and down the lowest ten gears.

Question for push bike mechanics, my front deraiiulluer only wants to stay on the lowest gear, when I move it to the middle sprocket, it slowly goes back to the lowest. Is there a tension adjustment I can make? My thumb is getting tired.

So, it's a nice family outing, we've rode by Porsche-family's house, over the expressway, through the park and to and from the school. Ten year old is still a little nervous in traffic, but she's learning. Five year old loves it, she says it;s just like riding a horse. Who knows, maybe the girls will turn into some of the spandex clad weirdos. It is a lot like physical therapy (for free) and it has helped my right knee a lot.

Mrs. Ha has yet to join us, maybe tonight.

Mrs Ha had a shower for Irish_girl yesterday, so I was able to get some easy wrenching in. I changed the oil in the Tercel, and now that I know where the oil pan bolt is, I won't have to use my redneck ramps for that. I was also able to kick start the Kz, I reckon all the pedaling I did got my legs in shape for that. Anyhow, I now need to get my bike inspected so I can start riding!

Props to the Toyota engineers, it was an easy oil change, the filter is just sticking out of the block, and easily accessible. Why can't domestic designers consider routine maintenance?

I had to celebrate by having a beer, and then having another one later that evening. I tell you, this drug free ( of OTC acetimenophen) life is great, I can have two beers at night without worrying too much about my liver.

In other drug and health news, the Plaquonil seems to be really helping with my arthritis, so much so that my energy is back and I'm tapering off on the Mobic. I should run that by my primary, but I would like to get off it, that's $45 a month I wouldn't have to spend.

Now that I have more energy, I want to something about our study, it's overflowing with Lego (including a nice batch my parents bought at a garage sale). I need to clean it up, sort more Lego, move more Lego downstairs, and maybe put up a gaming table.

Danger Will Robinson, lust!

In other biking news, I was chatting with a comely redhaired lass Friday about her ride (she was wearing a riding jacket and carrying a helmet, I deduced she had a motorcycle). She has a Ninjette, the Kawasaki Ninja 250, about the only highway capable 250 sold in the US, it tops 90 mph and gets 70 mpg. I want one (the bike).

I have mod points at /.

I just finished War of Nerves, a history of poison gas in warfare. Most of the book is dry, talking about how the Nazi's discovered nerve gas in WWII, and the troubles with making it in useful quantities, storing it and disposing of it. It does mention that Iraqi chemical engineers couldn't make very pure Sarin, which meant it degraded quickly, and had to be used well within a year of manufacturing. Unless they vastly increased their manufacturing skill, most of those weapons of mass destruction made in the early 90's were useless by the mid 90's.

< Instant Apple Pies | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
biking is like free physical therapy | 14 comments (14 topical, 0 hidden)
Huh by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #1 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 07:08:34 AM EST
And here I set with two /. comments still at three.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
Don't make me read the whole site by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #2 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 07:57:48 AM EST
what stories?

[ Parent ]
Just try by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #10 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 09:15:51 AM EST

Or just use them on someone more deserving.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
there should be two screws by 256 (2.00 / 0) #3 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 08:01:21 AM EST
on the top of the derailleur. one adjusts the top of the range, one adjusts the bottom.

they are really for fine tuning though. if the problem is bigger then that, just look for where the shift cable attaches to the derailleur, loosen the lock nut until the cable slides freely and then pull the cable through to a slightly higher tension and retighten.

you may need three hands to do this the first couple of times.

as for the trail-a-bike, i've never ridden with one, but i have ridden with a cargo trailer and it never feels good. taking a step up from the huffy certainly wouldn't hurt, but i doubt you will ever have a truly enjoyable ride while pulling a trailer.
I don't think anyone's ever really died from smoking. --ni

I keep looking for a $10 mountain bike by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #4 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 08:07:30 AM EST
but I have yet to find one at a garage sale. I'll have to mess with those cables, I've never, ever been happy with the sprockets and chains on a bike, why can't they use gear boxes like motorcycles.

[ Parent ]
some do by 256 (2.00 / 0) #5 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 08:15:20 AM EST
most 3 to 7 speed bikes on the market now use a gear box in the rear hub.

but they are more expensive and are hell to maintain when they eventually need it.

which is why i recommend just finding a single gear ratio you like and do away with shifting altogether.
I don't think anyone's ever really died from smoking. --ni

[ Parent ]
We do have an ancient, English 3 speed by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #6 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 08:22:00 AM EST
Raleigh in the garage we garbage picked, I'm going to paint it all cool like for Mrs. Ha.

I don't think a single speed will work well for me, with my heavy cast iron Huffy frame, steel Hitchhiker, 40 pound five year old and such, I need gearing like a semi.

[ Parent ]
Bike advice by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #7 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 08:30:07 AM EST
The answer, as it is to everything else, is "it depends".

If you have friction shifters, you can tighten the shifter a bit (up until the bolt strips, anyway). It will usually have a thumbscrew on the shifter which can be tightened. It might be worth taking the shifter handle off and cleaning it out a bit. These types of shifters are on older bikes and are usually on the down tube or on the ends of the handlebars (in road bikes). Even older bikes, particularly Schwinns, have them on the stem, but that was unsafe, so it hasn't been that way in quite a while.

If you have "index" shifters, the kind that "click" into place, the problem is mostly likely that your shifter cable is stretched and needs to be replaced. Index shifters can look like friction shifters, but they click. They can also be a twist handgrip, or a "trigger" shifter attached to the brake handle assembly (you shift with your index finger and thumb). (Make sure you get shifter cables and not brake cables, they're not the same thing.)

It could be that the shifter itself is broken, but that usually manifests itself as not being able to shift at all.

The limit screws that 256 is talking about limit the travel of the derailleur at either end to keep the chain from being "overshifted" completely off of the chainrings. If your derailleur is slowly moving, it's likely the cable is stretched.

Oh... also check that the pressure bolt holding the cable to the derailleur isn't lose. It's probably not or you wouldn't be able to shift it back up again, but it's worth checking.

As in all things, Sheldon knows all.
Close friendships and a private room can offer most of the things love does.

Your links are way over my budget by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #8 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 08:34:20 AM EST
but fear not, I do have my donor 12 speed Sears Free Spirit I can strip cables off of.

[ Parent ]
For illustration purposes only by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #9 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 08:48:09 AM EST
You should be able to get a new cable at your LBS for about $5.

Nashbar's is about $5, but you have to pay shipping.
Close friendships and a private room can offer most of the things love does.

[ Parent ]
good old sheldon by 256 (2.00 / 0) #11 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 11:56:42 AM EST
i should remember just to redirect all bike maintenance questions there.

as for the limit screws: you are right, i misrepresented what they actually do. still, with the specific problem george is having, it could well be a case of the upper limit having drifted too low.

out of curiosity: why do you say that stretched shifter cables need to be replaced? back when i rode with derailleurs, i would often squeeze quite a lot of extra life out of stretched cables by just tightening them as i described above. and unlike a brake cable, there is very little danger involved in riding a shifter cable till it snaps.
I don't think anyone's ever really died from smoking. --ni

[ Parent ]
Shifter cables by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #12 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 12:26:51 PM EST
Because a lot of cheap bikes use brake cables as shifter cables (or D-I-Ys have replaced them not knowing the difference).

Shifter cables aren't supposed to stretch at all when they're used, but they do when they're worn and cause the sort of "creep" the Mr. Ha is experiencing. It's okay for brake cables to stretch a bit since there's a little play in the pads and lever anyway.

You can squeeze extra life out of them by doing that, and it doesn't hurt anything. You have to start with real derailleur cables, though.
Close friendships and a private room can offer most of the things love does.

[ Parent ]
Ninjettes by wumpus (2.00 / 0) #13 Mon Aug 14, 2006 at 02:11:01 PM EST
are said to be hard to find.   Kawasaki seems to sell them at a break even price and the dealers don't seem to want to carry them (while they sell out quickly, they would rather sell a liter++ to a newbie).  If you are serious, presumably they are easier to find during fall (especially on the tundra).

If I ever buy a bike, it will probably be one of those, they seem to be the favorite at  One catch is that they don't depriciate much (presumably the first owner takes a hit), and the 40k maintence schedule includes "replace engine".  Not to worry, rebuilt 250cc engines aren't that bad, but I'm sure it's a shock to a new owner of high mile ninjette.


If I ever get one, it will be N+1 bikes out by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #14 Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 07:14:34 AM EST
once I get my Kz400 back on the road, I have to start working on my 76 CB550.

[ Parent ]
biking is like free physical therapy | 14 comments (14 topical, 0 hidden)