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Sunday, October 14, 2012


A relative of mine has been discussing me taking their old bike off their hands for most of the year. So I finally agreed to take it after they convinced me that the only way they will ride a bike again is if it is brand new and sparkling clean. That is definitely NOT what this bike is. So that excludes this bike from their future.

This is an almost twenty year old Ross road bike. But the years of garage time have been harsh.

The rims are rusted. Whatever the coating is on the rims is bubbling and flaking. The seat is drying out.

The cables are brittle. The cable shields are marred and brittle.

There is an old combination cable lock all rusty and frozen wrapped around the seat tube. The combination long since forgotten.
There is rust on the forks.
The chainring and chainring guard and crankset and pedals are all weathered to a dull lusterless shine.

The Ross decal seems to be the only thing untouched by weather.
Even the paint job has permanent marks in it.
The translucency of the plastic cassette gives the appearance of looking thru dirty dishwater. 
The handlebars soft protective foam is dry rotted and split.
The handlebars, stem, and gear changing levers are all dull and rusty.
And last but not least, the inner tubes and treads are dry rotted. So I am going to take on the task of fixing or repairing or replacing parts on this bike all winter until I have a nice road bike to ride. I started by using a wet rag to wipe the frame down.
As you can see in the above picture, I have managed to get a bit of a shine on the bike seat again with some leather wipes. Some permanent marks can be seen on the surface. I will try to use this seat until I don't like it anymore or it splits. I have the old seat from my folding bike that will work just fine in that case.
I have removed the front wheel so that I can clean it and remove the old tube and tread.

I went to the local bike shop and picked up some tubes and treads and a few other things.
The other things I bought are brake cables and cable housing. A few crimp ends and stand offs are in the bag.
     By the time I have gotten to the end of this blog posting I have finished cleaning the front rim and installing the new tube and tread. An up close look at the rim has shown flaking and rust. I am not sure if I want new rims. And if so should I get something like those plastic rims or maybe some colored rims? So far the bike has cost me zero and the parts listed above were $125. The treads were $45 apiece. I guess that the rims that came with the bike will have to do for now until I at least can establish the working condition of the rest of the bike. More updates later.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fun at the CCM

Here are a few things I picked up at the CCM ride. Courtesy of all the volunteers and donations of the people. Thank you for making that such a fun event!
Chicago Critical Mass 15th anniversary tshirt. Funny that it says Lake Geneva on the sleeve. Hmm.

Nifty cloth hoody that will come in very handy for some fall bike rides. When I tried it on I thought that maybe next was the chainmale and sword. Hehe.

Friday, September 28, 2012

15th Anniversary of the Chicago Critical Mass

The September 2012 Chicago Critical Mass ride also happens to be the 15th anniversary of the first gathering of CCM.
 We all gathered in Daley Plaza as the starting point of the ride.
 CCM tshirts were handed out to the lucky first 700 or so people.

Shortly after we began we came to a halt. Just enough time to get a picture of this Penny Farthing and its owner.

Here is a video of the whole CCM crossing Clark at Webster.

I took the below picture just before the end of the line of bike came.  At the end of the line was a few Chicago Police on bicycles. And one of them saw me corking the street and told me I didn't have the authority to do that. :)

The end of the ride on Kinzie.
The ride was approximately 17 miles long. My mileage from the car and back to the car after the ride came to 23.17 miles. That was a very enjoyable bike ride.