So yesterday was sort of a disaster. Lauren and I had planned to meet up as she got off work, eat the food leftover that would otherwise be tossed at the end of the day, and then head over to the Critical Mass. Well! First off, Lauren's place of employment seems to be one of those mystical groves that only appears to those who have been there before. After three quarters of an hour searching in the bitter cold, I gave up and went to hide out in Union Station until the Mass started. (Lauren's reaction: "Union Station! We were right across the street!") Once the Mass did start, my chain fell off twice in the first few blocks. The first time I realized what was happening, the second... I don't know. Then the third time came. I tried to correct it as I rode, but what ended up happening was the chain slipping outside, rather than inside, and links getting wedged between and even hooked around the outer gear and the guard. I couldn't fix it without tools, and it was really cold out, so I gave up and hopped a train home.
Once I got home, I did just about everything but fix Terrence. I cooked, I cleaned, I rearranged furniture and patched some jeans. But waking up today, I knew it had to be done. I need this bike to get to, and home from, my date tonight -using those comp tickets I snagged from the Harris before being laid off. So a-fixing I did go.
'Fix' is perhaps not the best word. I removed everything that wasn't working right and I didn't use. That is to say, the rear brakes, the rear brake cable, the front brake handlever, the gearguard, the front derailleur, both gear cables, both gear thumbswitches, and the rear reflector (which I do use and will put back on... sometime). I also rerouted the front brake cable to attach to the rear brake handlever at Lauren's suggestion, so I can have one working brake, should I need it. That cable is now the only one on Terrence at all; he is, I suppose, now a one-speed bike. One can still adjust the front gears by hand, but the rear set... Well, I left the rear derailleur on because it wasn't causing problems, it looked complicated, and I was tired of working on it. That last is also the reason the rear reflector has not been reattached nor the bracket for the front brake handlever removed (all other brackets, such as the rear brake bracket which held up the rear reflector, have been removed). I took him out for a short test ride to McGuane and back to make sure my efforts had not crippled him, and was happy with the results. The real test will be the ride to Hyde Park and back, of course.
And whether I get more grease, rust, or tears on the cuffs of my pants with the guard removed, naturally. That's 'tears' like Rip Torn, not 'tears' like Conor Oberst.
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