Tuesday, February 4, 2014

It's Here! (Day -68)

I did not get to the gym today because I had to hang out at home so I could sign for the delivery of my fat bike. It arrived at 2:00--before the coming snowstorm, and early enough that I could unpack and assemble it outdoors.

The initial setup (installing handlebars, seat, front wheel, and pedals) only took about 30 minutes. Thankfully, the bike arrived mostly assembled. The derailleurs and cables were all installed.

The adjustments took awhile. The brakes were clearly dragging and in need of adjustment. I've never had a bike with disc brakes before, so I was mystified about how to proceed. A quick Google search and a few YouTube videos later, and I knew just what to do. It was a bit of a challenge to implement what I'd learned. When I opened up the brakes enough that they didn't drag, they were not tight enough to work effectively. When I tightened up the brakes enough to work effectively, they dragged again. Back and forth, back and forth. They ended up better--at least good enough for a test ride--but I still need to fine-tune them.

I took off for a test ride on my dirt road. It was fun! The whole time I was riding I was making a mental list: raise the seat a bit, turn the handlebars, tighten the brakes, etc. By the time I got back and made some more adjustments, the sun was going down.

Here is my new beauty. Yes, the helmet sitting on the seat is new, too; I figured I should have a full-face helmet if I'm going to do this kind of riding. Given the spectacular wipe-out I almost experienced on a patch of ice on my test ride, I think it's a good thing I have it!

My new bike rack (for carrying my fat bike on the back of my car) arrived today as well. On the way but not yet here: mud flaps, to keep me from getting coated in mud when I ride.

For those of you who may be confused: The fat bike is not the bike I will be using to ride the Underground Railroad route. It is for training for the ride. For the tour, I'll be using my regular Trek road bike.

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