Life Without Wheels: Chronicle of a Car-Free Lifestyle
Here's an update on the progress of GoFast. 

First: spent an evening cleaning handlebars bought at Bikerowave swapmeet. Attached integrated shift and brake levers and PINK bar tape. 

bicycle chain installation, bike build, bicycle repair and maintenance
Then I spent an evening screwing in the rear derailleur (it just screws into the frame, ain't that easy!), screwing on the front derailleur, and not installing the chain. (From previous post you know I spent a couple of nights on the chain.) I also attempted to install the brakes I picked up at the Bikerowave swapmeet, but discovered they were recessed and not nutted. So that was a set back. 

Oh derailleurs and shifters...

After a few days off (mostly due to work schedule) I dove back into the bike assembly by tackling the last major assembly: cables. I picked up the appropriate cable housing for both shift cables and brake cables, and the cables too. I easily attached the cable to the rear brake, but since I hadn't found a front brake yet, left that one off. I thought about pilfering the front brake off the Death Machine, but took the advice of a friend and waited to see if I could get the derailleurs working. 

Well, it turns out that not all shift levers and derailleurs are the same. There is this thing called indexing. Of course I understood the principle of friction shifters, but this indexing thing was new to me. With some guidance from the online cycling community, I discovered that (after many hours trying to adjust the tension on the front derailleur) that I needed a cable stop with tension adjuster and the clamp from downtube shifters to attach it to. I haven't finished this component yet, but hope to tomorrow. However, I moved onto the rear derailleur, and after some adjustments, clicked through the gears while turning the crank arm and will wonders never ceased! It shifted through all the gears. Woohoo!

Following are just some random pics, including the state of my living room. 



Red Star
05/27/2010 11:19

These adventures are always interesting. Hope you torque to spec...

boy on a bike
05/28/2010 04:44

hey, great project. you should check out the bicycle kitchen! they're the best at helping people with projects like these.

Alice Strong
05/30/2010 10:37

boy on a bike for Pete's

When are you going to visit the Oven?


06/03/2010 08:36

Hey there!

I found out about your blog during the whole Bike Kitchen fiasco - for the Bike Kitchen's angle, too! :)

I think you were somewhere between a little and more than a little unfair to the organization and it's spirit, but I sympathize with you, too. Who ever said Koreatown isn't dangerous hasn't fended off a date offer or two, or a sexual favor offer, or a weird drunk/homeless/mentally ill/drug-user type that won't stop talking provocatively to you across the bus no matter what you do basically EVERY SINGLE TIME they ride a bus. And that's just from passing through. I know all of koreatown probably isn't the same, and that stereotypes sometimes are just that, but I've heard lots of cautionary tales from other women who have lived in parts of that area. And yeah, I'm pretty bubbly and non-hipstery, and I've felt less than super-welcome there all the time. They're all so "chiiiiiiill". But I've kept going because I have one friend that works there, and now, I've noticed that I'm starting to slowly, gradually feel like people who recognize me are warming up. Maybe it's kind of cool that it's like that, actually... like, in an anti-corporate-customer-service way, maybe?... Maybe we're so conditioned to being greeted as instant bff's by staff in most businesses - that we forget that the reason they're so damn friendly is all marketing and corporate strategy.... but that's not actually how "real" friendships and real communities function, right? (ha... that is in no way meant to suggest that you or anyone else said they did... just something I'm thinking about! :)

Anyway... the reason I started writing the post in the first place was because I hadn't noticed any new posts since I've started checking in, and I wanted to tell you I enjoy them and started to look forward to them, whether or not I always agree with everything single thought you write or not... :)

go biking! go you (for blogging about it)!

06/04/2010 20:05

Hi Libby,

Actually, I'm about 3 posts behind. One about finishing the bike build, one about LACM, and something else I can't remember off the top of my head. I haven't been able to get to writing because I was involved in the whole Los Angeles Critical Mass/LAPD incident last Friday, so I've been really busy dealing with blog post by Monday, I promise!

06/05/2010 08:49

Shaping up nicely. Your seat's pretty far forward, need a shorter stem? Brakes are always a bitch, esp when you're working with older parts. Also, Panaracer Tourguard tires are the shit and come in white. I know it's not pink, but I'd bet the novelty will wear off of those pretty quick. Looks great though.

06/06/2010 19:37

BIKEROWAVE POST! That's the one you're forgetting

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