As stated in my previous post, I’ve decided to take on the #LearningProject as part of my exploration through the course. I’m going to take the opportunity to learn something I’ve been super keen to focus on for a very long time but I’ve always bailed on and taken the easy road instead of doing the hard work and giving the time to get it done.
I spend a lot of my free time on a bike (a pedal bike as opposed to the motorized variety). I ride 5-7 times a week for 10-16 hours per week. I race in several disciplines (road, mountain, cross) and am a member of my cycling club’s executive. I spend my fair share of cash on this hobby (read: addiction) and I’m always selling bikes, cycling gear, and related swag just so I can keep my bike stock on the edge of innovative razor of the cycling industry.
One area that I’ve always been interested in is bike maintenance and repair. Over the years I’ve become more in tune with the finer functions of bike components and parts. I understand gear ratio and how I can customize my bike according to the terrain and elevation I will ride or race. I have my head wrapped around tire pressure and how it affects rolling resistance on the road and traction/bite on the trails and in the mud. And I get how important a bike fit is when it comes to power transfer, efficiency, and comfort. If you were able to keep up with that cycling jargon drop me a pm and we can go for a ride. If not perhaps you should prepare yourself because it’s going to get worse. But when it comes to getting my bike working in tip top shape I have always just headed to my LBS and checked it in to the pros to get me going fast again.
I can do some things when it comes to repairs.
I can change a flat. Although I usually fein ignorance or anger or tired hands and hope someone else I’m riding with wants to get pedalling again quickly and will relent and do it for me.
I can fix a broken chain. But this happens super rarely and is about as useful as knowing how to cook a soufflé. Sure it’s pretty tasty and rad, but how often are you making a soufflé?
I can even swap cassettes. This was my coolest addition to my maintenance and repair repertoire in recent memory. #winning
But I’d like to do more. I’d like to have the knowledge to be able to recognize what is wrong with my bike and then how to fix it. I’d like to save the money I’m spending on repairs that I could do on my own at home. And I’d like to even be able to build my own bike from the rubber up.
Over the coming months I’m going to do just that. I’m going to explore online resources to help me learn how to work on my bikes. I’m going to reflect on the process here on my blog. And eventually I’m going to build my race bike for the 2015 race season.
Check back here to witness all of the glory mess that is my learning process unfold upon your LED screen.