Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Mountain Bike Thief Alert! and Kids and Bikes

Henry has developed a sudden interest in all things bicycle this summer. Not sure where that came from. Anyway, earlier this week, we headed to the beginner loop at Alum. He knocked off two easy laps there (4 miles), so we continued on to the main trail and rode parts of that, maybe 7 miles all in. He did great! He even rode a small ramp, which had me a bit nervous as I trailed behind him. He's really building his confidence, and was able to laugh off a brief off trail excursion. Go Henry!

Yesterday, we braved the advanced trail of P2, and Henry did fine again, only struggling a bit on some of the hills and log overs.

As a side note, I was riding my Rat Trap Pass-shod Rockhopper. That combo of a springy steel frame and supple tires has a really nice feel on the dry hardpack. No problems at all with traction.

Henry has also been riding around the 'hood with all his buddies. He asked to try one of my bikes. "Too big!" I said, but then relented and set up my size Large Niner (a bit small for me), for Henry. Now Henry says, "Dad, I'm riding MY Niner."

It's a good thing I have that Rockhopper as a backup.

The kids built a ramp on the trail that has materialized around the pond, so Henry gave that a go as well:

We're working on proper weight distribution for launching from ramps... He might do better with a shorter stem to put his weight naturally farther back, but I'm not ready to give up that much of my Niner. Yet.

Not to be left out, Sam and I spent the day on Friday riding to the library. We stopped for this snake:

I was riding my new Clem Smith Jr, more about this bike at some point:

After the library, I let Sam pick the lunch spot.  McDonalds? Chipotle? Bob Evans was the answer.

He likes those piggy pancakes.

Our neighbor kid also got a new bike to replace his 20", 40 pound dual suspension thing. Dodging my recommendation of the Raleigh corporate discount plan, his parents bought him a 24" Diamondback at our local Performance store. In the first hour, we found that:

- the stem wasn't tightened
- or the handlebar (luckily his dad found these before he started riding)
- the rear derailer cable came out of the derailer
- the rear brake was very sticky. I spent some time lubing pivots and cables and optimizing housing and replacing cables before Assistant Mechanic Henry found the the brake lever pivot was sticking against the shifter. Rotating the shifter solved the problem.
- I then spent some time lubing and checking bolt tightness

Chief Tester Kate pronounced it ready to roll for the summer:

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