Drivetrain, Day 2
Everything in the drivetrain came off the bike today.
At times It looks like I’m having a hard time keeping up with the exercises, so I point out that I’m working on 2 bikes for each assignment. One bike is the loaner UBI has at each station, the other is my Brompton fold-up, which is quite different from everything else.
So I’m getting quite an education in this Bicycle Maintenance class. Today was Day 2: Drivetrains. Chains and crank wheels, axles, lots of grease and it all adds up to an almost overwhelming day. Then just as I imagine my spouse would do after a day like this, we go shopping.
My brother in law has a bike shop here, so that’s where my son wants to go at 5 o’clock — he’s got a fixie on his mind. I don’t object. It’s an eyeful to visit bike stores far from home; I see lots of cool stuff that isn’t carried in SoCal, like winter boots for commuters. Not that I’m interested, but some of the apparel, like the fleece lined sweatshirts, you may not see in my neighborhood. I bought a new shirt, my son new sunglasses which look amazingly like our instructor’s glasses. He may have a new role model.
Speaking of making a fashion statement, today at lunch we’re on foot because the bikes are in pieces. We’ve been told we’ll be eating nearby. So we’re checking out the cool NE Portland neighborhood; we decided to eat off this kooky food truck across the street. We order then sit at the picnic table while we wait. That’s when I spot the piano — it’s obviously been left out in the elements for some time, but it still sounds well tuned. It’s next door to a music school, so it kinda makes sense, but it takes a few more minutes for me to see that the piano is also part of a mural, a really big, Jack and the Beanstalk big, tree mural.
We keep walking.
We’re using alcohol for cleaning all the parts we remove. I’ve never used it on a bike so I’m surprised how much we rely on it, like to clean the chain before we remove it, and the crank wheel after.
The classroom is open until 7pm tonight. Time to overhaul any part of your bike. We’re both ready for a break. And after our modest shopping spree we’re back downtown where the restaurants and bars are packed. It’s another gorgeous evening and after a drink I’m back at the apartment and up on the roof to enjoy this view.
Can you see Mt. Hood?
My son is invited to join his cousin and her girlfriends for a movie. This leaves me available for a walk with my sister and brother in law. They have a favorite bar in mind.
The scene is so stimulating! The cocktails are hitting the spot. There’s an ancient looking machine shop right across the street and it makes me think of Fred Kent’s comments about the cement factory on Vancouver’s Granville Island. Humans seem to like this juxtaposition of hip and rust-bucket all blended together. A soccer game has just let out. The streets fill first with the exiting cyclists followed shortly by the festooned pedestrians. The city has a pulse; it’s alive.