Saturday, April 9

Year of the Longtails: Cannonball X

It's 90% done. And it's been a long, stressful day.

Eric, at Pedal Pushers, got the fork lined out this morning in a little over an hour. He was a lifesaver. Until I solved the fork problem I couldn't really do much else.

Once the frame/fork was back home I set up shop in the kitchen. I think I had another ocular migraine going. The relative shade of the kitchen allowed me to work on the build. If I had been outside the sun and wind would have eventually beat me into submission.

It took some time to pull the tires from the OBS and the Cannonball's wheels and put the commuters on the OBS wheels. Once I got the tires on the wheels I got the wheels on the bike and put the derailers and brakes on the frame.

Finally it was down to cables and housings. There were a few setback, and a few close calls. The front brake housing is slightly too short, but it'll work for the time being.

We were almost done, it was almost 6:00, we had been going on the bike...yes, my lovely wife was by my side all day, lending a hand, even running down to the neighborhood bike shop to snag some housing ends...we had been going for about 6 hours straight and all that was left was to adjust the rear derailer.

The brakes were passable. I still need to work on them some, but they're operational. The front derailer is roughly adjusted, but pretty good for the first try.

But after ten minutes or so it was obvious that there is something wrong with the rear derailer or shifter. I finally deduced that the shifter isn't moving the cable. The shifters I'm using are the Shimano Tiagras I took off the Giant (R.I.P) and it was the shifters that took the brunt of the carport impact. The front shifter works fine, but apparently the rear one is whack.

So I've ridden the bike up and down the street. I can't shift the rear derailer at all, but the brakes work and the front derailer works. I'm going to sleep on it, start over on the rear shifter/derailer tomorrow afternoon and if I can't solve whatever is wrong then we are temporarily going to borrow the shifters off of Mandy's Giant. She offered. I really don't want to do it, but at this point I really, really don't want to buy anything else for the bike. A comparable replacement is going to cost $100. Weep.

One way or the other we'll be in business tomorrow afternoon. I'm going to fine tune brakes and derailers and go back and double check everything else. I can foresee my 2011 letter to Santa:

Dear Santa,

Please bring me a Brooks saddle, and a handlebar like on Mandy's Ute, and please bring me new shifters and brake levers to fit the handlebars. And since I've been SUCH a GOOD boy I would also like some wide loaders and new wheels.


Anyway, I'm tired. And I'm tired of thinking about this bike. I'm happy the biggest hurdles are behind me. I'm thankful I have such a supportive wife and such patient kids. I hope I can figure out what's going on, but even if i can't I know I have an option that will get me on the road tomorrow.


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