I’m listing this under The Weight Issue because it had to happen before I could start to ride on a regular basis again.
First off, let me list what needed work.
- Both tires needed inflating.
- The gear shift levers were slightly tough to move.
- The rear brake lever refused to depress.
So, first thing I tackled the rear brake lever. After some research, I learned how the brake is put together and that non moving parts usually indicates a need for lubrication. So, I loosened the cable connector on the brake shoe until I could pull out the cable altogether and remove all the housings (little rubber or plastic tubes). Then I sprayed the cable with WD-40. I also sprayed a fair amount into the housings. Then I replaced the cable in each housing and rubbed the housings up and down on the cable to make certain that the cable moved easily through both housings without trouble. Once that was done, I replaced both cable and housings, threaded the cable into the brake shoe and adjusted it to make sure that the cable was neither too tight or too loose. Now the brake works fine.
Next, I got the new air pump Jak bought for me and re-inflated the tires. I’m uncertain how much pressure the tires need, so I want to do some research first before I ride, just to make sure the tires are properly inflated. For now, though, I just inflated them to the point where they weren’t mushy.
Finally, I lubricated everything that moved. I imagine I will probably need to get a bike repair manual eventually, so I can be well informed and capable of taking care of any further repairs without having to spend money on a bike repair shop.
Anyway, the bike is now working more or less the way that it should. Tomorrow, when the kids are at school, I plan to take my first ride in over a year. I plan to ride a specific route that is approximately 3.4 miles long and do the same route Monday through Saturday. I’m not going to do anything terribly strenuous at first. I just want to build up some endurance and add bicycling into my routine, I’ll probably be sore right at first until my body gets used to it. In February, I’ll expand my route a little or take more laps around my regular route. Google Maps says that my chosen route should take around sixteen minutes on a bicycle.
I’m still trying to figure out the food end of things (I hesitate to use the word “diet”). Thanks to our insurance, Jak and I have access to the Silver Sneakers program. I just spent the better part of twenty minutes or so setting some goals on their website, where they’ll help me figure out how to eat less and move more to get to where I want to be.
I hope to be publishing progress pictures here before too long. Until then.
UPDATE: Today, I took my first official ride on my bike. After about a quarter of a mile, though, I was puffing like I’d been running all out. I’ve been advised not to overdo it, but to build up slowly, so I only just biked around the nearest neighborhood block, a distance of 1.2 miles. Not too shabby, for the first day. I’ll keep doing that for a week and then build up from there. I don’t want my next entry to this blog to come from the hospital. Do you?