I feel like I am in a constant state of thanks to my dear friend Scott, otherwise know as “The Doctor”. You see, Scott can pretty much fix or make anything…seriously! So as a gal who is always full of ideas, it is pretty terrific when you have an awesome friend, who can help you turn ideas into realities! He has basically been doing that since we met a few years ago…and some of the ideas have been pretty crazy!
The latest “fix it” projects were causing me a lot of anxiety because they simply weren’t things I had a clue how to do. You see, when I plan a project (ya know, like a massive bike trip), I make list upon list. Next to each item, I put the approximate time it will take to accomplish each task. Then I add up all those times, and decide if I have a time to make something happen. My system works pretty good, except when I come across tasks that I don’t know how to do, and thus, how much time to plan for. Those sort of clogs things up, and I get anxious. These two projects were just those sorts of “cloggers”.
Problem 1: Non-working front bicycle shock
Problem 2: Front bicycle rack does not fit on my bike
With less than three weeks before I depart, any project that could involve ordering specialty parts is a HUGE deal! The bike I want to use for my expedition is 15 years old, which makes it even trickier to find parts and fix things.
So about my shock: It turns out that it was not broken! It just needed air. Air? I didn’t even know that I had air shocks. Clearly, I had never put air in them. I’ve probably been riding without functional shocks for a very long time. Well, I’ll be…it turns out that air shocks are easy –you just pump them up with your average bicycle (or gas station) air pump. Still, it was a trickier process than originally anticipated, because the poor thing had never been lubed or loved in a long, long time. Scott brought it back to life!
On to my front bicycle rack: Given the length of my expedition, I really want to be able to put two front bags on my bicycle. However, fitting a front rack onto a mountain bike is a challenge. Touring bikes are set up for such things, not so much with most mountain bikes. The rack that I specifically got to fit my bike, did not fit.
Scott came to the rescue again…and I learned that a dremel tool isn’t just for fixing my mom’s false teeth. A dremel is like a super kick-ass sander in drill form. You can use it to do things like make holes in metal larger, which is what needed to happen with my bike rack fitting. The opening in the metal piece, which attaches it to my bike, was not large enough. Once that was remedied, it was still quite an operation to get that rack on. Front breaks had to come off and back on. Plus, we discovered that they were not working quite right. After lots more lube and love, they function better than ever, and my beloved bicycle has a fine new front rack. A mere four hours later, both projects complete.
Thank you Dr. Scott!