So the bike in question is a Fuji BLVD XC which was bought as a commuter bike when I was in graduate school. You know, 5 or 6 years ago (cough cough). It had a fine layer of dust and cat hair coating it, the chain was hanging at an unnatural angle and the tires were flat. What to tackle first? Baby steps.
So I've been reading posts here with much joy. Many of you include fun stories about riding your bike. Enjoying pain (does not compute). Taking pictures of the beautiful scenery. Catching fun shots of people in a far higher state of fitness than I'll ever achieve. Doing things like "hills" or "climbs". <insert delicate shiver here> It got me thinking, maybe I should take down that old bike hanging down in the basement and put it back in service.
I'm not entirely without mechanical ability and considered just bringing it in to a shop. But no, I could do this myself and save some money (not likely). Let's tackle getting that chain back in the proper position. I carefully looked at diagrams of how the chain was supposed to run and spent a goodly amount of time trying to figure out why the heck mine didn't look like that. Finally the light bulb moment occurred when I pulled back the derailer arm thingy. Please pardon the technical terms. Slowly I turned the pedal, nothing exploded and the chain fell into place. Woohoo, success!
Next I thought I'd try to clean that chain which, as evidenced by my filthy fingers, needed some TLC. A short google search later and I determined cleaning wasn't enough. I'd also need to lube the chain afterward. So off to buy some bike lubricant and $10 later I was ready to give it a go. Most likely I took a little too much joy in successfully finding the master link on my chain and then liberally using WD40 to get all that gunk off. Even took an old toothbrush to get into the little cracks and crevasses as best I could. Finally decided I'd done as much damage as I could, gave it one last wipe down and broke out the lubricant, carefully applying one drop to each link. Then I decided heck with it. Any moving part probably could use a drop. Wiped off the frame of remaining dust and cat hair, leaned it against the wall to let that soak in.
So, off to Wally world to buy a pump to inflate those tires. Fingers crossed that they will stay inflated. There were a few other errands to take care of, so it was a couple hours later by the time I got back. Had to fight a wee bit to get the air to actually pump into the tires, but I defeated that little monster. Oh heck, what pressure should I pump these babies to?? Isn't that on the side of the tires?? Ah yes, there it is. Let's see.. yes they appear to be remaining inflated, that's a good sign. And it was time to take the bad boy for a test drive. Around the block we go.
OMG, somewhere along the way, I have become an old woman. I found myself being quite wobbly and grabbing the brakes way too much. In hindsight, I shouldn't have been so anxious to get out to ride it around the block and should have put on some shoes, d'oh! I do believe my next purchase shall be a helmet. Yes, that might be an excellent idea. Oh, and maybe a bike stand.
Thank you for inspiring me to get off my bum and maybe start riding again. I blame it entirely upon all of you. And thanks for allowing me to ramble on with my proud little moment of getting my bike working again. Here's hoping it will stay that way.