Thursday, August 25, 2005

Knew It Would Happen Eventually

I knew Rachel would get too big for the bike seat we have eventually. I don't really know for sure that happened yet, but the seat is rated for 40 lbs, and I assume part of that is to keep the weight on the bike itself from getting too high. Add the fact that I weigh 250, and we're putting a heck of a lot of weight back there. So, I sort of assume that's what happened, or, at least, I'm not sure I want to risk it again. By the time I get the bike back, it'll have been a week since I rode it.

This leads me back to the fact that I want a new mountain bike. Or, at least, I need to have an alternate bike so that I can ride when this bike is in the shop. I'm thinking about taking Dawn's back, putting the old neck back on it, and raising the seat again. She wants a new one, and it's really probably more important for her right now. I don't really see buying myself a new bike this late in the season. Hmmm...

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

You Have to Remember...

At dinner tonight, after being a bit trying (she's sick, so that makes it worse) during the day, Rachel was absolutely delightful, telling Dawn about our day together and what we might do tomorrow. I looked at Dawn and asked why she can't just be like this all the time. Dawn said, "you just have to remember this all the time." How true...

Friday, August 19, 2005

Happiness Is...

I put the new brake pads on the rear brakes last night. Now, if I didn't mention before, the original pads were way too high - I probably need to check the tire to make sure it didn't wear too much because of having the brake pads rubbing against it. Between how high they were and the crap they scrape off brand new wheels, they made a LOT of noise. Happiness is new brake pads that don't make any noise! I need to check on the front ones soon too, though they were never as noisy as the rear.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Tire Repair 101

I went to the bike store yesterday to get new inner tubes, and maybe new tires.

Told the guy about what happened. He nodded, picked up a wheel and said "what most likely happened is that the tube got stuck under the bead and then ripped because of being pumped up." Duh. I did think to pump it up a little bit before putting the tire in, but I didn't pump it up before putting the tube in initially, which is probably why it happened.

He also said that it almost certainly didn't damage the tire, so I didn't spend 30+ each on new kevlar-belted tires, especially since he said that they will help with glass, but not things like the staple that got me this time.

Replaced the tube again today. Still need to do the brake pads, maybe tonight. Also need desperately to clean it!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

No Joy in Riding-ville

I've been riding a lot lately. 112 miles last month. More than that through yesterday this month. 70 miles last week. A combination of riding to work and riding for fun. Actually, riding to work has been fun too. My goal, though possibly a little aggressive, is to do 250 this month.

Went riding with John on Saturday; I did 26.5 miles by the time I got home, which is the most I've done in a long time. He wasn't really riding fast enough for me, even after I tried to encourage him to go faster. Particularly since it was cold and we were near the marina... I started to get cold. I wound up being a little creative to stay warm. First I rode for a few minutes only pulling up on the clipless pedals. That was tough. Then I rode for a while in a high gear, pedalling a lot faster. That helped.

So, this morning Rachel and I went out to get the bike ready for me to ride to work. She didn't want to ride with me today, which I was a little bummed about, but it's OK. Turns out my rear tire's flat. At first I was going to skip and just drive. Then I decided, no, I should just replace the tube; I have another and a nice new floor pump. I get the wheel off (I should buy a bike stand if I'm really going to be doing much maintenance myself), the tire open and the tube out... better check for any thing inside or through it. Oh, look. A staple. Fair enough. Get that out, get the new tube in, pump it up a little, put the tire back on.

Start filling the tube. Oh, wait... if I pump it up too high, it'll be hard to get it past the brakes. Put the wheel back on. Pump it up the rest of the way. Oh, now, as long as I have the pump out, I might as well make sure that the front wheel hasn't lost any pressure.

Now comes the fun part. As I start to pump up the front (you have to pump a little to get the hose up to the pressure of the tire)... wait for it... the back tire blows.

Huhhh. Interesting. Don't have any more tubes. Guess I won't be riding to work today after all!

At this point, I can think of at least a few possibilities:

1- there's still something sharp in there (this seems doubtful, because I wouldn't expect it to blow as much as leak down)
2- I twisted the tube; possible, but I don't think so
3- The tube was defective; again, possible, but seems relatively unlikely
4- I overinflated it. This seems the most likely. I am pretty sure they told me to do 105 PSI, which is what I was trying for, but maybe I misremembered.

I bought Bicycle Magazine's maintenance book today, but I think I'm going to take it back and get Zinn's new one when it comes out in Nov. Have to go look at the 2000 edition today. Or maybe this weekend... more important is to go get new brake pads, tubes, and maybe some kevlar-belted tires!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

That Sounds Very Government-ish of Them

My good friend Chris found out a couple of weeks ago that he's still on IRR. That's Inactive Ready Reserve. Army, I think. It's been 9 years, and NV National Guard already has him completely out. But then he gets a letter from the Feds informing him that they've located some form or other indicating he still has two more months to go.

This could anything from nothing to 18 months covering for someone in Nowhere, Some State, to 24 months on the ground in Iraq. He was thinking about trying to preempt them by signing back up in hopes of having some control over where to go... not sure if he did or not, but he sent me an email yesterday saying we're going to get to see more of him (a fine thing) because he's hooking up with some unit in Mountain View (not necessarily a fine thing). I don't even know what the Army has in Mt. View or why they would...

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

You Could Do THIS, Daddy!

Rachel's been home sick two days now. She has an ear infection; not a bad one, and the augmentin's been making a difference already, but she can't go to school until tomorrow anyway.

Today, we went to the park for a while. I had to be on the phone for part of it with my boss, P. While Rachel was sliding down a pole (something she seems to have just learned recently), I was holding the phone between my head and my shoulder so I could help her with both hands. A bit later, she was jumping off things and wanted me to use both hands to help again, but I was holding the phone with my left hand.

When I told her I was holding the phone with the other hand, she put her head against her shoulder and said "You could do THIS, Daddy!"

OK, I guess, at least in this case, if you can make the connection, I can do it...

She loved sliding down the pole. She's still somewhat afraid to, but she wanted to do it, so she did it. Lots of nervous groaning and grunting, but she did it.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Bye-bye, Baby, Bye-bye

Rachel's been using a lot of baby talk lately. It's actually pretty annoying most of the time. We think she's probably sort of become aware of the change in herself from baby to non-baby, and she may be mourning or acknowledging that. But what's really funny is that she keeps asking about how she said things "when (she) was a baby". I talked about some of the words she used then, but am particularly reminded about it now, since she's been asking so much lately.

I always loved when she said "di-do-daddy" (thank you daddy). It was very musical. We never corrected her pronunciation of yello (lello), and she actually only started saying it correctly a few weeks ago. This morning, she painted a rectangle by drawing the outline around a card. It's actually kinda cool looking, but the best part is that she showed it to me and announced that it is a "reptangle". She even wrote her name on it, so Dawn wrote "Reptangle" and the date.