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Carless -Day Twenty Five -Side Effects

I’ve gotten better at taking apart mechanical things. Partly because Amy bought me some wrenches I thought at the time were completely unnecessary because I already owned a needle-nosed vice grip, a crescent wrench, and both a phillips and a flathead screw driver. I appreciate now that some mechanicals disassemble better when using specialized tools, though I’ll never understand torque wrenches.

My new bearings arrived, brand new fifty year-old parts. Now comes the greater challenge: reassembly. Yes, I stopped frequently to snap pictures when tearing that braking hub apart. Yep, also kept the parts in sequence as I washed them in solvent and set them aside to dry. Of course I did have to take the mangled bearing and one of the unmangled ones to the bike shop to find replacements, which pulled them out of the sequence. Now I can’t for the life of me remember how Humpty fits back together again.

Same thing happens whenever I tear something apart. The original’s smeared with thick layers of ancient grease and I’m discovering while disassembling, with little idea what each piece does and why; exploratory surgery hoping to identify where the cat keeps her purr. Of course the purr’s not there because it doesn’t exist as anything besides a resonate side effect. Like my bike, which was once capable of braking but which doesn’t actually have a brake, per se, but a complicated stack of parts which, properly related, assembled, and greased proves capable of slowing me down.

Having the parts isn’t enough. Not even the proper wrenches will help without some mysterious seventh sense, which a single experience seems unlikely to impart. Fortunately, there’s a fine bike shop within easy walking distance, and the proprietor has thousands of bikes-worth of experience. Guess I’ll be taking my bike for a little walk today.

©2012 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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