Still packing, but now on vacation.

5I’ve got everything back on the table in the living room. Actually, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how small a pile the stuff that is actually going makes. The list is so long, it’s easy to forget that a lot of the items are very tiny. I’m still having trouble grouping stuff and figuring out how to get in packed so that it

  1. Doesn’t rattle
  2. Is balanced side to side
  3. Has most of the weight in the back

And still allows me to get at stuff that I need easily when I need it.

Meanwhile, I washed and waxed the bike, and in the process discovered that the spoke lengths are printed on the side of the rims.  Naturally, the ones that I got yesterday were the wrong lengths, and I’ll be heading back to Cape Bike again tomorrow.  I also realized that the mini-chain tool that I’ve had for years (Park CT-5) doesn’t have a “shelf” for loosening tight links, although the new version of the same model does.  I’m going to get a new one, what the hell.

I fueled up the backpacking stove and tried it out.  Surprisingly, considering how long it’s been since I used it, it’s working fine, so I packed it away.

Yesterday I highlighted my route on three copies of my set of county maps and gave one set to Binnielula.  One goes deep in the packed stuff as a backup, the other goes into the handlebar bag, to take one page at a time out and put in the map holder.

Oh, yeah, and this morning I graded the last set of assignments from my online course — my buddy Walt takes over for the second half of the semester, so I’m officially on vacation now.

12 Responses to “Still packing, but now on vacation.”

  1. kicking_k says:

    Happy officially being on vacation!

    Since you mention chain tools… I wonder if you could advise on a problem we’re having with my husband’s bike? To wit: the chain falls off almost exactly every five miles, when he changes into first gear (out of 8).

    It runs smoothly the rest of the time… The bike is about a year old and the chain might just have loosened with time, I suppose. We’re a little unwilling to take it to the bike shop in case they don’t see anything wrong, but we don’t know how to fix it ourselves.

    You may well have better things to think about right now…

  2. kicking_k says:

    That smiley should be a figure eight, by the way!

  3. Erin says:

    poor walt — getting your sloppy seconds.

  4. Allen says:

    So it falls off going into the lowest gear? It sounds like one of the stops needs adjusting. Each derailleur, front and rear, has a couple of screws that adjust to limit how far the derailleur can move. Those should be set so that even if the cable is trying to pull the derailleur too far, it won’t go any further, and the chain won’t come off. I’m not sure exactly what sort of setup you have. What kind of bike is it?

  5. Erin says:

    i like the new header picture! :)

  6. kicking_k says:

    Thanks for the help! I will show J what you said.

    What kind of bike: it’s this one, only last year’s model. I don’t think they’ve changed it much.

  7. Cabell says:

    Nice new header image.

    When do you have to sign up for RAGBRAI? I was thinking that maybe I could start training for it and we could try to do that next summer.

  8. Allen says:

    K –

    Here, I think, is J’s derailleur. The limit screws are marked “stroke adjustment screws” in this figure.

    See this page for information about adjusting them — look for “limit stop screws”.

    Basically, shift the derailleur onto the cog from which the chain usually comes off (smallest? I wasn’t certain from what you said). Then tighten the appropriate limit screw until the derailleur moves in a bit. Adjust so that the gear wheel in the derailleur is lined up with the cog, or just a bit outside it. If you can’t tell which screw is which, try each of them, being sure to return the wrong one to its original position.

    Cabell –

    Registration for RAGBRAI is at the RAGBRAI web site. Registration for 2008 opens November 15. Robin and I are going to Machu Picchu next summer, but in the early part, so I’ll probably be able to do RAGBRAI. Let me look into it. I should know by November anyway.

  9. Allen says:

    Oh, and I’m glad people like the new header pic, which BTW is a photoshop composite. The pic of me was taken by Pat Koetting’s wife Robin during Pat’s birthday ride; the background is pasture on highway C somewhere.

    It’s not just a new header, either — new color scheme throughout, although I had to clear my cache for it to show up on my computer.

  10. Cabell says:

    Yeah, I like the new colors, too. Sort of cornflower.

    Would Gerry and Ralph have any interest in RAGBRAI, do you think? I went and looked at the site and saw that they’re doing a lottery for slots in the ride now, so we’d have to register as a group if we were doing it.

  11. kicking_k says:

    Problem fixed! Thank you very much!

    That is indeed the right derailleur, and we found the screws without any trouble. J has now gone for a little ride and changed gear a lot, and the chain has failed to fall off.

  12. Allen says:

    Hooray! Maybe I could have a call-in bike fixing radio show. I need a sidekick, though.

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