I just finished my first bicycle maintenance job in years. My goal was to replace my handlebar tape, shift cables and housing as well as brake cables and housing.
The end result was awesome and I am super stoked I was able to do it. I figure I prolly save $120 or so in labor doing it myself. #hooray.
The biggest challenge was ultimately not having the right tools and accidentally cutting the brake housing too short. But for the most part I just looked as how it was done before, and copied it. Nevertheless, once I got some proper cable cutters, it was a lot easier.
I replaced the cables one at a time left side then right so I always had a reference to how they were supposed to run around the handlebars and the front of the bike.
Front Brake cable: cut it too short the first time, had to get another cable. Learned that I should measure the length of the housing with the brake calipers closed, not open.
Front Shift cable: no issues here, cut housing to match the length of the ones I removed.
Rear Brake cable: again no issues, by now I was getting the hang of it and my cable cutter was making the job easy.
Read Shift cable: like butter.
Re wrapped the handle bars. I watched a couple you tube video on how to do this since I forgot how they were wrapped then i remove the old tape.
I watched youtube videos on how to wrap the handlebar tape as well as how to get the shift and break cable out of the shifters. Turns out its not hard and the design of the shifters is pretty cool. Proof anyone can do some routine bike maintenance… if they really want to.
Those of you who know me, know that I am a passionate software engineer who loves all the things web related. One of the things I enjoy is reading Medium articles on software engineering. There are any number of articles that get delivered to my inbox each day that I get sucked into.
The article is about how this person got a full-stack engineering job with no tech degree or work experience. In addition to that, it was this persons second career.
It goes into depth on the process of making this happen. I wont bore you with a recap in the event its not your thing… But I will share some insights I pulled from the article that apply to more than just software engineering.
You don’t need a college degree. You can learn what you need to know to get you foot in the door at a decent company for the price of attending a code school. (Get them 529 accounts setup for your kids)
It only works if you have a passion to learn about code. Like many other things in life, if you don’t have passion for what you’re doing, you are far more likely to half-ass it. Don’t half ass it. Hole-ass it. Hard.
Being a fast learner is probably the best skill you can have. Fine tune that skill.
Managers are getting better at sniffing out bullshitters. They want you to prove you can do what you say you can do. So whether that is in software engineer or not, backup your claims with proof. In my case it is code.
I realized a couple weeks ago, I have had my bicycle for a few years now and have not done any maintenance on it… at all.
So I decided to take on the task of replacing my brake and shifter cable and housing. I changed it up and bought white cable housing instead of the old boring black I have before.
It turns out, its a bit harder than I thought. The kits come with EXACTLY enough cable housing… so don’t mis-measure. Well, I did. I cut the front brake housing too short. Nevertheless, I had to order another kit. Thankfully they are not real expensive.
Another interesting note. I thought a sharp pair of dikes would cut the housing easy enough. I was wrong. It did cut through it but its not pretty at all.
I will update as soon as I get farther along in the project… but so far off to a humbling start.
Today, I got out for 90 minutes and explored West Linn and Stafford County. Both areas are beautiful. I saw beautiful farm house mansions and gorgeous river-front homes. Pipe dreams…
We have been in Oregon now for a couple months. We are starting to get settled in and used to the new pace of life.
My focus is shifting now from getting my feet planted and life setup to focusing on health, both physical and mental. Physically, my blood pressure, cholesterol and liver hate me. Mentally, I take medication for anxiety and panic attacks that I do not like taking.
I do believe that with more balanced approach to life the medication are not needed. An overall focus on health should negate the need. (Yes, I know I am not a doctor.)
That being said, this weekend I rode 16.7 miles at a brisk relative pace, fast enough to get the heart rate up but slow enough to be able to enjoy some of the beauty around me. (Here is the link to the ride.)
The latter part of the day we went with our great friends to Oswego Hills Winery and enjoyed some of the local wine and QT with friends.
In terms of diet, I ate a great breakfast. Kale, broccoli, bacon and egg/egg white scramble for breakfast. For lunch a salad that had chicken, spinach, kale, red onion, and bruschetta sauce as the dressing. For dinner we had cauliflower pizza crust pizza with chicken, bacon, kale, onion, and a buffalo drizzle.
I used to blog a lot back in my early twenties. It was a time in my life when work was easy, and life had very few commitments. No kids, no family, nothing but work and free time.
I spent the better part of my twenties deeply submerged in the southern California endurance sports culture. I have done over 50 endurance events including triathlons, half-marathons & century rides. But as I got older priorities changed and endurance sports took a back seat to career and family.
My family and I recently left southern California to pursue a new adventure up in Oregon. One of the unforeseen changes resulting from the life changes was that I got a little of the endurance sports bug back.
We moved to the PNW in the best time of year. Warm temps and no rain. I have been taking advantage the past two months by riding my bike to work when I could. Doing this has definitely made the bug bigger. I am enjoying riding my bike around the Portland suburbs and exploring on my commute.
So this blog is about my return to endurance sports and a healthier lifestyle. My hope for you is that you read this blog and get inspired in some way. I plan to post workouts, experiences, food ideas, and much more.