Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Story of O

I spent the last several nights changing bike tires. The back tire on Big Nellie was transferred to the back of the Mule. I was shocked at how easy the tire went on. No struggling. No blisters. It just popped right on. The Mule now has two Schwalbe Marathon 700x32 tires.  It looks spiffy.  Then I put a new 700x32 Panaracer Pasella with Tourguard on the back of Big Nellie. Big Nellie has been neglected lately so I planned on riding her to work today. 

Last night I put a 406x1.5 Schwalbe Marathon on the front of Little Nellie. (Note to readers: bicycle tire sizes make absolutely no sense whatsoever.  And even the same numbered sizes vary from one manufacturer to the next. It's a bit like clothing sizes.)  Now Little Nellie has matching front and rear tires, too.  I wore my cotton gardening gloves to get the tire on and it was still a bitch to do. At the end I learned a little trick.  Instead of trying to push the wire bead over the edge of the rim, push the sidewall up and over the rim. For some reason this makes the bead glide right over the rim.  I also got a bonus from this tire installation.  I had used a dollar bill to boot the old tire after a flat.  A boot forms a barrier between the hole in the tire and the new tube.  Dollar bills make good boots but they disintegrate over time.  This particular dollar bill no longer resembled legal tender. I probably got much more than $1 worth of tire wear out of this bill so it was a dollar well spent.

I have one more new tire, another 406x1.5 Schwalbe Marathon for the front of Big Nellie, I was going to put it on, but the old tire that's already on looks to be in good shape.

This morning I went to ride Big Nellie and her bike computer fell into my lap.  The computer mount is held on to the handlebar using a rubber O-ring.  Big Nellie's O-ring looked more like a C-ring this morning. I'm thinking of changing Big Nellie's name to Challenger. Or, maybe, Feynman.

I rode Little Nellie to work instead. Bikes ride better on new tires and Little Nellie felt great. I fiddled with the saddle and handlebar height today because I was getting leg cramps earlier this summer. I attribute the leg cramps to having the saddle set to low. When I got home tonight - after picking up a couple of O-rings at a hardware store - I had a sore lower back. Ugh.

Tomorrow Big Nellie gets the call after spending a couple of months alone in the Rootchopper Institute for Bicycle Storage.  I still need to order a new seat and a new fairing for this bike but, for now, it will get me to the office.

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