Thursday, October 8, 2009

Things fall apart

For some reason "The Final Coming" by Yeats has always been one of my favorite poems and the line
"things fall apart, the center cannot hold,  mere anarchy is loosed upon the world" my favorite line.
Something about "mere anarchy" like that was the least of our collective problems somehow resonates with me.

Unfortunately it's been a week of things falling apart on the bike for me- little frustrations adding up. First my rear fender bolt pulled through the fender causing the fender to rub on the wheel,  which I only discovered 30 minutes before going on the Tweed ride.  I could barely push the bike along in lowest gear, the friction was so much, and the annoying high pitched whine was awful.
I'm afraid that the solution wasn't pretty and involved cutting the hole out even bigger so that I could pull the fender free, and somewhat inartfully re-securing the fender with a leftover fender bridge.   I guess I should order new fenders from Velo Orange where I got these,  but I'm disappointed that they failed within a year of my first installing them.

Next, I've been having a problem with Robert tipping over when heavily laden. It must be like seeing your kid fall over- it's really painful to see him starting to tumble and know that I can't do anything about it.  I tried installing a wheel stabilizing spring, but that pulled out of its bracket when I turned too sharply to get the bike off the elevator, and I haven't resinstalled it yet because it's kind of a pain to get to.
Next I decided to add a double leg kickstand.  I bought the Pletscher one with two nesting arms instead of the Y shaped ones, on strength of recommendations and being impressed with how cool the mechanism was.

Unfortunately the kickstand was too much for the rusted out connections on the kickstand attachment plate and it detached from the chainstays. I'd just remove it completely and use the bracket that came with the kickstand, but part of it is the bracket that holds the front edge of the rear fender in place. And since the plate is bent, leaving it in place as a "washer" makes the bike even more likely to fall over.  I need to get some kind of L bracket long enough to slip the kickstand through and still fasten the fender to.  I have a feeling that that will involve a lot of fabrication, sigh.

After admiring all the fantastic old bikes at the tweed ride, I've been wondering if I should have started my bionic bike with a more pedigreed frame, something lugged, with a better paint job and less chance of rusting out.
Sorry,  long and convoluted post,  just feeling lots of doubt and like I have too many fixer-upper projects..

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