I have found the center of hell

For good dreams, scroll down to the movie about Ritter and a sun-drenched velodrome in Mexico City.

For nightmares, come to my garage. Lay under a car with me. There is happy mechanics (buildng bikes) and then there is the torture of tearing apart my pollution pump. I have found the exterior of hell – it is a shiny brand new car; a very expensive, seductive one. I have found the center of hell – it is under the cylinder head of my diesel. (see photo) Hell is a personal power plant that we are literally forced to own. I own three now. Two dead, one running.

I want to get back to owning eight bikes and zero cars. I was there once. I need some help getting back to that…

I once broke a chainring on a fixed gear bike. I was slowing way down on a very steep hill in Johnson (a hill I once walked to school on, and where I had the inspiration for the integrated winter bike concept) and my chainring snapped. My ability to stop went away like *crack*!

So on the attempt to U-turn up the hill I laid that Nishiki down. I had installed a 34 tooth aluminum chainring to a Shimano crank.

The fixed gear I’m builidng this winter will never have this happen, as I find the chainrings to be CHROME PLATED STEEL. The big ring weighs a ton. Off it goes, and on with no thread lube goes the now shiny 42 tooth, with spacers.

The difference in strength between aluminum and steel cannot be understated. In converse, the difference in weight!

Tomorrow, again… back to the rig. Engine mounts, transmission mounts, get a chain around the big block, find out why there are little peices of metal in my oil pan.

The center of hell
The center of hell

The best part of this whole experience was tracking down a special 12 point star socket to remove the head. I had to ride 12 miles in rain and through commercial strip traffic down to a frontage road and found the SNAP ON TRUCK parked idling. I bought three tools: The special socket, a nice new ratchet, and snap ring pliers. Total cost: $150. ***BLING***


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About littlejar

5 - Learned to ride in paved alley behind liquor store in Lowell. 16 - Road bike riding alone while peers do soccer practice. 18 - First new road bike bought with winnings from Project Graduation. 20 - Burlington VT. Nuff said. 22 - Joined the Air Force. 23 - Joined team Fair Wheel in Tucson - rode the Shootout. 24 - Rode El Tour in under five. 26 - Toured to Quebec City 28 - Toured Oklahoma to Vermont 30 - Found my dream bike - a 1989 58cm LaBan (#22) 32 - Experienced Minneapolis and saw BIKE CULTURE. 34 - Building my first bicycle frame, with a self made jig. USA

5 thoughts on “I have found the center of hell

  1. It is (almost) always worth owning the tool. Once purchased they (typically) live a long time at no more cost. Those tools cost a $1 a day for the next 150 daze. After that they save you money. RIght???