Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Bad Bike and Other Odds and Ends

I got a used bike awhile back.  I fell in love with it.  I had gone to see a different bike, a Diamondback, but it was far too small.  The guy buys bikes at garage sales and estate sales, then resells them.  He doesn't fix them up though.  Not like the guy who in Eugene, who contacted me after I posted about wanting a used bike, and has been giving me pointers.  He says he is not a bike flipper but there are lots of flippers out there, who buy them, then resell them as is, but do not fix them first, as he does.

This bike rode well, I thought, when I test rode it there, after he brought it out when the Diamondback proved too little.  He pointed out the old cracked front tire and its scratched, lightly-damaged rim.  He is an honest guy who points out the faults in a bike.

But when I took it for a several mile ride the next day, the rear brakes began to drag and squeal immediately.  And when I shifted into higher gears, from the lower six, the axle between the pedals began to groan with every pedal.  The bearings are probably dry.

I've been trying to adjust those V brakes.  The rear brake lever on the handlebar also depressed completely, meaning the cable was too loose.  According to youtube videos you need two fingers of space left when the brake is depressed, at the lever.  But I can't get the darn brakes to either not drag or not depress far enough to work.  I don't know why this seemingly simple adjustment escapes my capacity.  You're supposed to adjust V brakes by adjusting cable length or the screws that come out on each side of the brakes. You adjust the cable length at the top of the V brakes or at the handlebars, with the screw mount thingy.

Hardly matters with the axle problem.

I sure learned a lot about bikes in the search. I should have test ridden it in all gears.  Now I know.  I suppose now I will learn how to remove the bearings and either change them or repack them.  The Eugene man will fix it for me, if I can get it down there, after he gets back from vacation, he says.  What a nice guy.

So in the bike resell world there are flippers and fixers too, just like in the cat rescue world, where flippers get free breed pets off sites like craigslist, then try to turn them for a profit.  They don't fix them, vaccinate them or even check out potential adopters.  They're looking to make a quick buck.  The fixers take pride in helping unwanted kitties, and do all that is possible to give them a chance--fixing them, vaccinating them, treating their parasites and screening new homes.  

I'd rather deal with a fixer any day, in the cat world, as well as the bike resell world.

For now, no bike riding for me.  Hopefully I can fix this bike's axle issues without breaking the bank.

I also got a cheap rhododendron.  Plant sales abound, many put on by nonprofits trying to make some needed funds.  I'm getting addicted to these plant sales.  It's going out front.  I had apple tree given me.  It too went out front, but if it grows, and its my favorite kind of apple-golden delicious, I will try my best to keep it pruned and small.  It needs to remain small, so as not to overshadow the yard.

I'm on the look out for cheap plants that bear food I can eat but also are not bad looking and are low maintenance.  I want a kiwi now.  There are a zillion kinds out there, and since they're currently popular, they're expensive.  You have to get at least one male plant, along with a female or two.  Some varieties produce hairless tiny fruit.

Yard stray number 40 was fixed at Heartland Thursday.  He'd been in and out of my yard for some time and fighting with the old man's cats.  He's not that old and I had hoped he would have a home nearby.  So I confined him in my garage and put ads on craigslist, contacted Safehaven and put up fliers.

All this brought me only one response.  I don't know if it was a joke or not, because, when I replied to the person, named Brooke, about coming to see if it is their cat Jazz, I got no reply or call back.   She claimed they lived in this area, moved with their cat, but he got out at their new place and probably came back to his old hood.   If it's their cat, with them not calling, he's abandoned now.  I couldn't keep him in the garage after I finally got him neutered, with no place for him to go, so I let him back out.

He'd been trying to fight with my cats through the cat yard fence.  Spray marking, even inside my garage, when it was open and causing Sam to go nuts, with his insecurity, so he was pee marking inside.  People who let their cats free roam unfixed and cause such damage to neighbors should be ticketed and fined.  Seems like a no brainer to me.

He's been back, laying out in the driveway and still fighting.  It'll be a couple three weeks before he starts behaving himself, as the hormones leave his system that cause his aggressive behavior.

Yard stray number 40, Jake, fixed Thursday at Heartland.

Also fixed Thursday, another Albany male, Pooder.

A few photos of kitties here:
Buffy on the plastic litter box hider bench.

Cross-eyed mischievous Shady in her cat bed.

Meesa meditates while Chessie dozes upright behind her.

Calamity reposes in the cat trap  bed while Tugs peeks from above.

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