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We are having an oddly warm weekend.

I bought Josie a new (to her) bike yesterday. It was a bit of a random splurge but her bike that we bought her for her fourth birthday is CLEARLY too small, even towards the end of last summer she looked funny riding it. This weekend I wanted to ride, so on a whim we just went to bicycle exchange and got a used trek. privileged kid.

The guy at the bike shop was chatty so it took a while but it was a good trip. Her new bike has a kickstand, she'd never encountered it before! He said "Let me guess... her other bike had training wheels? Some big box store brand?" He was right on both counts! He said "Those cheap bikes never come with kickstands because they don't think you'll take the training wheels off, just figure you'll throw it away. I hate disposable culture."

She tried a 24" and it was comically big and she almost fell off and killed herself so I settled on the 20" that has a little growing room, I had wanted to get the biggest one possible because the kid seems to grow REALLY fast but this size should last a little while, and she can easily ride it now, and it still has a coaster brake that she's used to.

My bike has been spiffed up lately. A nice fellow makerspace member helped me fix my shifter. It had been shifting rough and finally just quit. I thought it was cable tension so I was watching all kinds of youtube videos about fixing derailleurs, but I failed at everything and asked for help. It was not the derailleur, or the cables, it was the shift assembly on the handlebar that was all gummed up. He took it apart, cleaned and greased it up, and now I can shift! I don't need to shift much riding around on roads in Wichita Kansas, but certain gears need to work, and now I can get there. Taking apart a shifter is not something I should have tackled myself, he was really in the zone about it, he also said people frequently just replace them because they're not that expensive.

I also got new tires. I told the bike shop "I have a mountain bike, but I never ride on mountains. I've heard there's better tires for that." There are! I am enjoying a much smoother easier ride.

Josie was so happy on her new bike she was singing. We went on a ride, then met Marc and Olive at a neighbor friend's house for dinner, then biked back home.

Josie's old bike needs new tires now too, it's crap, and I'm going to put training wheels on it for Olive. I'm not sure she's ready, she has a tricycle that she manages to fall off of. I KNOW. But someday she'll get it, and we will be quite the biker gang.

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 12th, 2017 06:18 pm (UTC)
If Olive is doing okay with the tricycle, probably a small bicycle is the right thing. A lot of kids do better with a stridebike because they can concentrate on balance and not have to worry about mixing pedaling in there, but that's usually for kids who are having issues with sequential pedaling, and she's clearly not.

Also, yeah, shift mechanisms can be really crabby, especially if there are little bits of broken-off cable in there (in many the cable winds around a slightly too tight radius curve so the outside of the cable fatigues and individual strands start snapping and gumming up the works.) Some of the shift mechanisms are sold as unrepairable, because they're robot-assembled and the presumption is that people simply can't do a good enough job of getting all the parts in place and properly torqued to make the shifter work well.
Feb. 12th, 2017 11:50 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a great day. There is something rather special about those milestone days when kids graduate to the next level of whatever. It's nice that your whole family will be riding together. My son was too fast, my daughter too nervous, and my ex couldn't be bothered.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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