The more I browse around the almighty internet and read forums, articles and blogs by other cyclists I realize I am still a long way off from being an even decent bike mechanic. That doesn't dissuade me at all, I've been riding a bike for 30 years. Well, not the whole time. I've been riding but not tinkering.
My approach to all things mechanical has always been "if it ain't broke I probably will break it." Bikes, toys, cars, toy cars…I've always left them alone until something went awry. Having grown up believing I was poor I just could never justify the risk that I might make some irreparable repairs.
So I've been slow to gain the confidence to tinker and fidget with my bike. I'm discovering that I can work on it, but I'm a bike shop of one with one customer. And while I don’t believe I'm poor these days I do realize I can't just be throwing money away on junker bikes. And at present I really can’t afford to wreck the Cannonball outright. I need it to get me to and from work.
I also realize you can't just gain the knowledge overnight. No matter how much Sheldon Brown I read I'm not going to gain any kind of real world experience. I need to be tightening and loosening components (ideally without over-tightening and breaking them) and making bikes ride better.
My pipe-wrench dream is to build a bike from the ground up. A touring bike...
So I'm resolved that any minor or major adjustments or repairs that any of our bikes need in 2011 I will do myself. No bike shop bail outs. I'm gonna have to step it up.
Gasp! I just had a revelation! More to come…