Saturday, July 17, 2010

A to the K homeboy!

What up! Laying on the back of the ferry to Alaska in my tent. What a horrific day in beautiful Bellingham. Got up early, went for breakfast and was gonna get all my errands done before departure at 4pm.

Well that's what time they wanted us to board. The ship was due to set sail at 6. I'm just going to Alaska. Don't have a place to stay yet in Juneau Whomever Inkspot is from blogger, text me please. Couldn't figure out who you were.

Let's back up to my nightmare of a day. Started after a great breakfast at the Old Town Cafe in downtown Bellingham. Met a couple from NY/Austin. He just moved to NY for biz. Lives two blox from me. So I got the skinny on the ferry. Little tid bits, like I could do my laundry. One of my chores for the day that I could put off til first thing on board. Which I did.

The nightmare started sometime around 10:30. Went to a bike shop that a girl in Missoula recommended. Her aunt and uncle own it. Broke my chain the other day and wanted to replace it. They measure it and say it needs to be replaced along with my rear cog and front chain rings. Luke is like bullshit. I call Velo in NYC where I bought the bike to run it by them. The mechanic is like with that many miles it could be. Over 4000 miles so far.

They tell me they can't do the work but I can use there outdoor stand and tools. I've never changed a rear cog or front chain rings. The first time I repaired a chain was two days ago. Luke disappears to the PO to pick up a package. So I'm there downloading a YouTube video on how to change a rear Shimano locking cassette. None of these assholes had the time of day. Success, I'm feeling good got that accomplished. Next it was time to loosen the crank bolts. Which way does it turn? I asked one of the guys and he tells me. STRIPPED IT!

Yup I'm the idiot who took them up in the offer to do all the work I've never done before just a few hours before the ferry I'm supposed to catch. As well as relax go food shopping and enjoy Bellingham for a few. Dude comes out with a drill and two bits the diameter of a dime and says, "drill slow and apply pressure.". Luckily Luke shows back up to see me crouched down hidden crank style. Over an hour of grinding away at this little bolt. Every once in a while a gear dick would come out and say, keep going or slow that drill down.

I took the bolt off the other side envision what the result was supposed to look like. Pieces of small Aluminum dust everywhere. Outside in the hot son with every other gearhead there to browse coming up to gander at the sweaty circus freak outside making all the racket trying to get his bike in shape for Alaska.

Prognosis not good! Why couldn't they take 15 mins to help a cross country cyclists who dropped the name of the niece of the owners that used to work there. Oh well, now one of them tries to use the crank arm removal tool. Of course he puts it in at an angle and strips the shit out of it and walks away. He blames me, says I hit the threads while drilling. So I get in there with a flat head and get the screw out by prying. Then another one of the goons comes over and tries the crank removal tool again. He's like that's too tight. Turns out we didn't have the little nub on there that pushes against the bottom bracket. I'm learning as I go. Sure enough I get the tool in there somewhat straight. Finally. 12:30 and I get it off.

We realize that "I" stripped the crank arm and need a new set of cranks. Works out to be cheaper then the front chain rings. Great, just get the F$&@ing thing so I can get out of here. Success, get the cranks on and try shifting. Doesn't work, this set sits out to far for the front derailer to shift properly. The bottom bracket is too wide.

Gearhead says take the cranks off so we can measure that bottom bracket. We tried to put at a narrower bb on. That didn't work either. In the meantime I called surly to see if they could ship something to me in Juneau. No, I'm not a dealer. Called another bike shop in town to see what they could do. Luke also called one.

Fuck these guys, I'm done here. I'd already put the rear cog on. The chain I'd already put on. They hadn't charged me for the other crank arms since that happened mid shit storm. I told the guy give me a refund for the chain rings. $75.

There was two dudes standing in the parking lot by a puck up. Asked one if he would take me too this other shop. He said sure, jump in. So Luke and I were out of the insanity vortex that is Bike Fanatix. Ben the driver of the pick up led us to the better of the two bike shops and escorted us in. Now just before two o'clock. He iterates to the guy I have to catch a ferry.

We discuss the situation. I've got a bottom bracket, an old chain and my stripped cranks in my black greezy hands. He realizes with the play in the bottom bracket I'll need a new one. Says he can rethread my cranks and get them working. Also replaced the back rear tire I just replaced less than a month ago because it was worn already.

Luke and I go grab lunch and tell him to call with the prognosis. If he couldn't rethread my cranks I would have had to but this Diore set for a $130. He doesn't call so I eat fast and head back over. He's pulling the bike off the stand and ready to go.

Oops, one more thing. Are my gears shifting properly. Nope, gearface at the previous shithole totally screwed my front derailer up trying to get it to shift on the other crank arms. So now I had to pay another $15 to for this place to readjust it. $150 bux for a new bottom bracket, Schwalbe tire and all the labor and it was fixed and I could make it to the ferry. Overpriced labor, but they had me bent over.

Dude, two hours earlier I was on bended knee with hurt achilles and aluminum shards trying to stab me in my cornea. Now I'm on the road again. Ok, back to the house for a jammin pack up session and then the food store. Didn't make for a very relaxing day in Bellingham. But I'm really grateful to have gotten it all done and be on this boat.

It really sucked standing outside that shop like an asshole drilling my stripped bolt off my bike. Should have never started that adventure. Got to say I learned quite a bit though.

Other than that life is peachy. Getting ready to clean up my pix and videos from the trip so far. So much fun looking at where I was just a month ago. Seems like no time at all but also an eternity. I love hearing from all you guys. Thanks for cranking through some of my mad ramblings. It's amazing up here. Saw a great sunset and look forward to many more and even some whales tomorrow.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

1 comment:

  1. Nothing sucks more than an incompetent bike shop run by thugs. I feel your pain. But hey, you made it, now part of the adventure. Enjoy the boat ride.