(2) Grow A Mustache
I consulted my future brother in law, who has been seen sporting the mustache on more than one occasion, to see how best to go about growing your own. He says "Don't shave at all for a few weeks. A 'guy's only' camping trip is ideal, but a camping trip on which you plan on proposing to your one and only will do in a pinch. You must allow the 'stache to freely extend beyond the corners of your mouth. There is a point when the hairs will start to interfere with food and drink, you will have to deal with that, use a straw or something. Once it is long enough for your purpose, carefully shave off extraneous hair until you are left with a luxurious mouth mane." He concludes: "Admittedly, most women don't like it. But those that do really do."
Just moments before our legions of loyal fans stop visiting our very boring, rarely updated blog entirely, I thought I would attempt a revival by dispensing bits of home-spun wisdom and dangerous advice in a couple of how-to columns. Think of it as a graduate course in adventure, fitness, gear, sex, sports and anything else you wish you were good at. It’s a big scary world - and you need to be prepared.
(1) Tune your derailleur
It looks hairy: springs, cables, chains, gears, grease – who wants to mess with that? But your friendly guide has brought along the Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair, and the majority of your shifting issues (clacking, rough shifts, jumping chains) can be fixed fast, even by a theology major.
Step 1: You first need to determine if you need to tighten or loosen the cable. Shift up until your chain is on the smallest cog in the rear. Now downshift one gear. If the chain doesn’t climb right up onto the next gear, you need to increase tension. If it overshifts, you need to reduce it.*
Step 2: Find the barrel adjuster. This is where the cable enters the derailleur (most) or possibly on the handle bars.
Step 3: To increase tension, turn the barrel adjuster counterclockwise. To reduce tension, do the opposite. The adjuster will click, turn it one or two clicks an recheck the shifting.
*This is true for most derailleurs. Some, known as “low normal” work in the opposite direction, but the principle is the same. If cable tension pulls the chain away from the wheel, you have a low normal. If you have a LN, start on the largest cog and reverse the process.
I'm here in Kansas City with my sister. She amazes me how incredibly on-top of everything she is... for just twenty years old! I remember where I was at at twenty. Anyway... just wanted to say hi to all you fellow bloggers out there. Love you all!