Sunday, 10 February 2008

The story of a bicycle: part 1 (disassembling)

As reported before, I will not be the first one to go by bike in Kiruna.
However, I may very well be the first one to send a 20kg+ Dutch bike by mail.
As a bicycle is too big to be sent by mail, it would need to be shipped. Initial investigations showed that this would cost at least 200 euro.
The biggest box one can send internationally via DHL is 120cm x 60cm x 60cm (except for Sperrgut, but then the total Gurtmaß can still not be more than for this one, and it costs 20 euro more).
My bicycle is bigger than that.
However, my frame should fit.

So I ordered a box.
Last weekend, I started by looking at my bike. A friendly old sock on IRC gave me some advice and I started disassembling the rear-wheel and reattaching the rear wheel. The reattachment seemed fine. Until I returned from university; a steep descent. No, there was nothing wrong with my coaster brake. I'm smart enough to test that, and even then I have a drum brake in front. However, I was unable to change gear. Arriving at home, I checked, and indeed; the connector was not properly secured and the vibrations had loosened it considerably. I went to town, no problem, but when I went back the first gear wasn't working. Consulting the same old sock: most probably my chain was too long because my wheel was put too far to the front. Indeed it was. I loosened my rear wheel, then the nut bolt broke. Oops. I went to Velo Momber for a new one. Very friendly people. I put my wheel in further backwards and all was fine.
Yesterday I started truely disassembling. First removing my bicycle bag. Then my luggage rack.
How naked my bicycle had become!
But now the true disassembling would come.
It feels like shutting down HAL.
Or killing a mouse.
But bike, I promise. When you will be reassembled you will have the hottest tires there are. And the tires with the most unpronounceable name. Nokian Hakkapeliitta. Named after a group of Finnish cavalry in the 17th century.

Detaching the coaster brake.
Removing the mudguards. Rear and front.
Detaching the light. A small accident. I hope I didn't break it.
Detaching the rear wheel. Detaching the front wheel. I have a big bag from San Diego in which I can carry at least one of you. Maybe two.
Removing the seat.
Removing the handlebar. Help from neighbour.
Removing the front fork.
It is difficult to do all this.
But, bike, I won't leave you.

Henceforth, you will be called HAL II. Shortly, Hal. In honour of the saddest shutdown in the history of cinema. I will put you in the box tomorrow or Tuesday. For a proper goodbye, more pictures here. See you in Kiruna.

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