If you’re a loyal reader of A Dude Abikes, this may seem like a little deja vu. On October 24, 2019, I wrote Sophie Gets a New Drive Train, and She Rides Like Buttah. Many thousands of miles later (6,666.66 in 2020 alone), she was past due for another replacement of some very worn and pretty filthy parts. You could say that Sophie has been a dirty girl. Grit and grime attach themselves to the oil on the chain, chain ring and cassette. The teeth or cogs wear down, the chain stretches, and tends to slip off when changing gears — especially on hills or high pressure. So I took her to the friendly neighborhood shop that’s been serving the University of Texas for about 20 years, and let the pros at Clown Dog Bikes take care of bidness.Continue reading
The sale, transfer, rebranding and re-opening of Bicycle Sports Shops to Trek Bicycle Austin is complete. (Although as I cycled by the Lamar Main Store yesterday, and Guadalupe the other day, the old signage is still there.) They sent a message saying:
The beginning of a beautiful friendship. Hey, Austin! We’re Trek Bicycle, and we’re so excited to join your community. Your local Bicycle Sport Shops are now Trek Bicycle stores, and we’re dedicated to carrying on their legacy of incredible customer service, community involvement, and—of course—awesome bikes and gear. We welcome you to drop by one of our five locations to see what’s new. We can’t wait to ride with you!
Here are some more details about the cha-cha-changes.Continue reading
In the last week or so, I’ve had a bunch of things go wrong with Sophie the Fairdale. Several flats required professional intervention. Now I’m having to get more puncture-resistant tires and they’er not cheap. Ka-ching. My trusty Garmin watch has finally begun to give out because I basically broke the walk and bike functions by using it so much. I’m able to upgrade it even though the warranty is out. More ka-ching. The bike also needed adjustment to the gearing and brakes needed new pads. The Sun & Ski Sports bike shop mechanics say I ride a lot. Apparently I’m in the 90th percentile of people biking. I suppose I do, but I always thought they were being nice, since I know there are plenty of people doing more. One of my mantras is “Comparison is the death of joy,” said the Buddha, but sometimes that’s hard to follow. Anyway, if you ride your bike, repairs and replacement of parts are inevitable.Continue reading
During my ongoing spins around town, at least my neck of the woods, I’ve passed by a few local bike shops (LBS). Given the government shut-down of all non-essential business, it seemed most of the LBS’s were forced to close. Many operate on thin margins, so it’s not good news. But I began thinking: If auto dealers, car repair and auto parts shops are open, isn’t it discriminatory against the car-less and poor to close down the LBS’s?
However, bicycling is an exempt activity from the health department order to stay home. And if you ride a bike, you know you will eventually need new tubes or a professional repair. A reputable source told me that LBS’s are now being considered as important enough to be allowed to stay open, thanks to some advocacy. So I was curious who was open. This is not an exhaustive or authoritative list, and it’s subject to frequent changes. Your mileage may vary — quite literally. Check their websites, social media or call first before biking there.Continue reading
After pedaling 6,860 miles on Sophie, my Fairdale Weekender Archer, she was due for an overhaul. Shifting gears wasn’t hard, but the teeth on the cog were beginning to look like shark teeth — a key indicator they were wearing out. So I took her by Sun and Ski Sports and got a new chain ring, cassette and chain. (A new derailleur is probably next.) This is that story.Continue reading
This evening I headed over to the Austin Yellow Bike Project again. After all the pucking functures of innertubes on my bikes lately, and needing to be frugal, I decided to save money on buying new ones when the ones I had were perfectly good, except for the holes. Finally the weather has turned and we got back into the 60’s, which is really refreshing to we Texans used to 90 degree days and more. It was a delicious temperature to bike in, although only about 4 miles. And since the shop is a big warehouse, it’s good wrenchin’ weathah, to borrow a turn of phrase from my Vermonter friends. Continue reading
Lately I’ve had a string of bad luck with holes in my tires. It’s like Jack Alehurst of Life Behind Bars said, if he were Jerry Seinfeld: “Doncha hate it when you’ve been off your bike for a while and finally decide to go for a ride, only to find it has a flat tire?” Or maybe Robin would say to the caped crusader: “Holy holes, Batman!” Well that’s been a factor for me this last week. Some mysterious, one my fault, and well, it gets frustrating and expensive. So here’s a little recap and then a little advice.
For some time now, my left crank has not matched my right crank. It was making me a little cranky! So tonight I took a spin again to see my friends at the Austin Yellow Bike Project, www.AustinYellowBike.org. The free shop has evening hours and is staffed by helpful volunteers called Coordinators. Pete, Zack and Conti were there to offer pointers. But it’s very much a Do It Yourself affair. Come peek under the hood! Continue reading
Tonight I took my old Fuji bicycle to the free community shop, Austin Yellow Bike Project. The brakes were very worn, which I consider a point of pride, because it means I’ve ridden my bike a shit ton of miles. That’s right, I used a curse word. So sue me! I’m just trying to spice things up a bit. Actually, please don’t sue me. Normally A Dude Abikes is a family friendly blog. We still have free speech here in ‘Merrikuh, don’t we? But biking 10,000 miles in two years was so much work, one swear word doesn’t even begin to do that justice. Anyway, YBP is cool, so let me tell you about it. Continue reading