Thursday, May 15, 2008

She's back - better than ever

So poor Swifty has been laid up for a few days while I figured out how to change a tire. It was a little more complicated than I thought. But I did it and today was her first day back on the road! I had to get the back wheel off, with the drive belt complications. I followed the instructions painstakingly, though, and after a lot of fumbling around, got the tube out, finally found out that the valve stem was cracked, replaced the tube and tire - much heavier than an average ten-speed's tire - and wrangled the wheel back on and the belt back around the pulley. There were moments - I blush to relate - when I thought I wasn't going to be able to do it, that it was all over between Swifty and me. But I carried on.

And I discovered that the rear brakes had been misadjusted. They were too tight to the rims, causing rubbing and perhaps contributing to the flat. So I adjusted them right and found that Swifty was swifter and free-er than ever! She runs almost noiselessly and, I could swear, faster. Piu velocemente, I should say.

I had thought the flat happened because I went too fast over too many bumps, so I took it real easy coming home. And me and my bike are more in tune than ever. Not that I don't like my 1994 Mazda pickup. Without that, Swifty would never have got home from my workplace. But let's face it, with gas the way it is - over 3.70/gallon in Tallahassee - I'm going to be doing a lot of commuting on good old Swifty! And by the time I retire my truck should still be in good shape. Life goes on and so does my electric scooter.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Swifty lets me down - or does she?

So I come out of work and Swifty has a flat tire. Oh, heck. I've been riding her pretty hard, I guess, and she's picked up a nail or some glass or something. So I walked home (I needed the exercise) and got Ned to help me pick her up with my truck. And on the weekend I took the back wheel off - not an easy task. Getting the tire off was even harder - the heck with those new plastic tire irons, I wound up using good old reliable screwdrivers. And there was no hole in the tube! Did someone take the air out of my tire? And why? Well, jealousy no doubt. Who would not envy me my sweet little bike? But now I'm going to be paranoid all the time I'm in work. No matter. Must get Swifty going again. Need a pump and repair kit. I'm expecting her to be back on the road Tuesday. And it will be 53 that morning! Lovely.