Thursday, March 24, 2011

Operation Rescue (The Schwinn Varsity)

No, I'm not talking about the fundamentalist anti-abortion/anti-gay group now known as Operation Save America, what I'm talking about is an operation to rescue my Schwinn Varsity from Boston City Hall, where I abandoned it on Monday after an incident involving a broken brake cable, some inclement weather, and me being a wuss-bag.

Wait a second, shouldn't Operation Rescue And Save America support gayness? More gay people mean fewer abortions. It is very hard for gay people to get pregnant, and if they do manage to get pregnant, they've usually thought about it first, and they've usually passed through some kind of screening process which has deemed them fit to raise a child. Gay couples don't really have "accidents." But that's beside the point (and the point is trying as hard as possible to appear as though it is not associated in any way with it.) Just remember what Operation American Rescuing Savers Who Save Things say:

"The opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality, it is holiness!"

That rant is probably not going to help with the not-getting the death threats. 

But, as Results-Rooter (who we will talk more about in a moment) would say: 

"Hey Guys, Bikes!"

My plan was to take the T to Government Center, fix the bike, then ride the bike down to the Roll It Forward out on Seaport Blvd. I had all the tools and fixins I needed...or so I thought. 

I got to work removing the old cable and housing at ninja-pace.

But it wasn't too long before I hit a snag-fu. Snag-fu? It is either a combination of a snag and a snafu or it is the deadly martial art practiced by Snagglepuss. 

"Ki-ya! Even."

And you know what? I am going to go out on a limb and say that Snagglepuss and his partner never had any "accidents." You hear that Operation Save America With The Rescuing? Leave Snagglepuss alone!

Wow, I am good at this. I should really hit up Park Tool and see if they want me to do some how-tos for them. 

The snag-fu was that I had neglected to think about the fact that the ferrule had surely flown off the brake housing when the cable snapped. It is not your common ferrule either; it is a huge, old school ferrule that Sheldon Brown alone knew the name of. But, only slightly daunted, I came up with a solution: remove the adjuster barrel from the brake caliper and use that as my upper ferrule. The standard ferrule on the other end of the cable, at the caliper, would be adequate to provide a stop. 

While I was doing all this, a few people gathered to watch me like I was a street performer, like some kind of totally inept mime, grunting and sighing through my craptacular act. So I put my helmet out to see if anyone would throw change in it. All I got was a crumpled up Dunkin Donuts wrapper and a half-eaten egg salad sandwich. 

The standard ferrule was of a large enough diameter to provide a stop at the caliper. I guarantee that this hack-fix will remain just as it is until my cable snaps and almost causes me to die (again). 

When I got back from Roll It Forward or, as we call it "The R.I.F," my work was not done; I still had to work on Colin "I've Got More Money Than Time (And God)" Reuter's sweet fixie commuter. Lucky for me, another BBMBR client, Robert Hale, had furnished me with a liquid tip for installing a Yokozuna cable kit on his Time road bike. 

The Yokozuna she is nice. She make-ah the SRAM components, even better!

Column Roofer's philosophy on bicycle maintenance? Ride it into a rusty nub and then replace everything at once. Column Reuter's philosophy on parties in his pants?

 Damn, I think I just went from making Calhoun Router like me again, right back to having him want to have me killed. Hey, if he can pay someone to fix his bike, he can also pay someone to kill the person who fixes his bike. 

Oh, and hey, I am at the airport right now on my way to cover the Barry-Roubaix  somewhere in Michigan  for Cyclingdirt. Some other person might have thought that something like that would be worth talking about at more length. But no, I used my time and space here today to talk about hack-bike-fixes, Snagglepuss, and abortion. 


And now! Some good Bad Religion. 


zencycle said...

mmmmmmmm....eeeeggggg ssssaaalllaaaddd sssaaaannndddwwwiiicccchhhh........

dougyfresh said...

That was a better read when I started the video first.

wv: ancheese

Colleen said...

I read it listening to Ladysmith Black Mambazo. It made Snagglepuss look like he was dancing to the sounds of Africa. Very entertaining.