Bicycle maintenance — a beginning

Oh yeah, remember how a couple of months ago I said I was taking my bike out of storage? Ha!

It finally happened on Sunday. I figured out the code on my lock was not what I initially remembered, and promptly freaked right out. Then I thought carefully, and figured it out.

After this, I found a rag and wiped down my bike. It was filthy! Normally it is bright blue and gorgeous, but it was pretty dull and grey. I almost couldn’t tell that it had once been blue! Also, my building stores all of the bikes for the winter in one storage room, which is very nice of them. However, instead of using painters tape or tying tags to the bikes, they used duct tape to write down the units and then placed the tape on the seats for the last six months! I am kind of upset about this as I don’t know how to get the adhesive residue off without ruining the seat. (Sidenote: if you know an excellent way to get rid of this, my ass thanks you profusely!) In the meantime, I’ve been riding around with a sticky seat, and trying not to ruin my clothes too badly.

Also, I finally learned how to pump my tires, which is truly pathetic. My brother helped me out with this, as he is the one who has the pump. Initially he just showed me hypothetically how to use it, and then he thought I was going to break the tool, so he came down to the garage to help me out. He’s a pretty patient guy, and a good teacher, even if he had a lot of disdain for my lack of knowledge. I have had a bike for most of my life (I learned when I was around 7 years old), and biked around until I got my drivers’ license (age 19). I never consistently had access to a car, and it was my only method of transportation for about six months while I lived in Holland (age 21). So the fact that I didn’t know how to pump my own freakin’ tires is kind of pathetic.

But now I know how! And I will learn more!

Yesterday, my bike was making a funny sound so I only biked to the closest metro, as opposed to biking a halfway to work. On my way back it was still making that noise and I realized: crap! I have a flat! Good thing it was locked near a sports shop where they do repairs. I went in and the guy had it sorted out in no time. I was feeling like a sucker ($10 for parts and labour to repair it), so the bike shop guy has offered to show me how to fix a flat myself.

I suppose I’ll need to update my purse essentials soon!

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