The bike has seen better days. It spent much of last winter our in the rain, tucked in the corner of my backyard in some mulch.

I spent some time this weekend cleaning the hubs and repacking the front bearings. I also picked up some nice new tires at REI. I got a pair of Michelin City 26×1.85 tires with reflective sidewalls. Better rolling resistance than the old ones, less mold stained, and have reflective sidewalls. I did not want to tempt a blowout after adding 50+ pounds more of crap to the bike.

I also switched the rear derailleur to use a friction shifter since the new powertrain is going to have a 6 speed freewheel instead of the 8 speed casette that is on there now.

I decided to take the human powered bike out and test the stopping power and handlebar position. On the first stoppie I noticed the front suspension was a little stiff. So I did it again, harder. I burst into laughter as I watched the water squirt out of the forks. These suckers are cheap elastomer forks and should have no liquid of any sort inside of them. I kept repeating: stoppie; laugh; stoppie; laugh; until the water was mostly gone.

Alas, much like my bike, I too have seen better days.

A couple of hours later and my thoracic spine was killing me, the skin on both arms was hypersensitive, the area under both pec minors hurt, and my right pinky had a dull ache. Still hurts today and I’ll need to take it easy the rest of the week while everything settles back down.

I had briefly forgotten about my thoracic outlet syndrome as it doesn’t bother me too much anymore. Unless I tease the dragon, then I’m reminded of it.

I went through a brief moment of worrying that I won’t even be able to ride the bike after I build it.

Nonsense I say! If this one hurts me, out comes the TIG welder and I’ll fab me one that works.

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