Friday, September 30, 2005

Prepping for Alumni Band weekend

Plan for the weekend called for meeting my brother Frick in Madison (he'd be flying in from Sacramento) for the annual UW Alumni Marching Band weekend, the one weekend that old band members get together to drink, catch up, and perform half-assed pregame and half-time routines during the Badger game.

My sis and her boyfriend were coincidently planning to be in the Madison area too, since they wanted to hike around at Devil's Lake State Park. So we planned to rendevous in Madison on Saturday, and we'd show them around Madison by foot and bike.

So I need to get bikes to Madison for Frick and I. Most straightforward option would be to throw them on my hitch-mounted rack. But bikes tend to wobble around (and bump into each other) on that rack at highway speeds. Kind of annoying, and I suspect it hurts my gas mileage as well, although I've never measured it. So anyway, I wanted to find another way to get the bikes to Madison.

Took both wheels off my mtn bike, and found that the frame just *barely* fit in the trunk. Sweet. One bike taken care of.

Took the front wheel off the fixie, tried to fit it in the front seat. No go. And my car (Honda Del Sol - fun, great gas mileage) has no back seat. Now what? Don't want to remove the rear wheel, because getting the chain tension right can be a bit of a pain, and I won't have time to deal with that when I get to Madison (I want to ride Madison Critical Mass, and I'll be cutting it *very* close as it is.)

Flash of insight. Front seat is attached simply w/four bolts, removing front seat from car took about 2 minutes. Bike fits in space normally occupied by front seat almost perfectly. Looks like the front seat will be staying in my living room while I head to Madison!

Seat has to go when there's a bike to be hauled:

Also finally took the time to investigate why my mtn bike bottom bracket was making noise. Borrowed a crank puller, and removed the cranks and bottom bracket. I think the bottom bracket was a little loose in the frame - at least I hope that's what the creaking was. Also noticed that there was a bunch of paint that was never faced off the bottom bracket shell when the bike was originally built up, so I took a few minutes removing the paint w/a razor blade so the BB will have a nice metal surface to snug up against. Hopefully that'll do it.

The BB is a tapered-square shimano sealed unit. It's eight years old, and I now realize that most if not all of the grease is gone from the inside. Sounds like bearings rolling on metal.

No toolbox is complete without one of these:

I know these things are to be treated as disposable. Wonder if there's any way to service sealed bottom brackets? I'm sure someone has tried to tear one down at one point, but I'd have no idea how to do it. If anyone has a method, I'd love to hear it. Or maybe a way to inject more grease into it?

Anyway, I just cleaned up the outside of the BB and reinstalled it. Didn't have time to clean the drivetrain - it really needs it (hasn't been cleaned in several years) but no time tonight.