There are many more ways in which Rosinante is broken. Alas. It is from being stored in Arch house’s garage sideways (she started out on a hook, but when I moved out and went to get her, I found that the hook had fallen down… so she was laying every which way across some other bikes. Scandalous behavior!) Let me enumerate some of her sicknesses:

1. gear cables are fraying. i bought 2 gear cables and 1 brake cable+housing (i’m going to reuse the old housing on the gear cables) today at mike’s bikes across the st from eudemonia. the grand total was less than $7. i bought “bulk cable” from them. i could have bought a set of 2 brake cables (only) from shimano for $30 and i didn’t want to. however, these “bulk cables” may need to be cut or finished or something so i may need tools. do you have tools? lol

2. the back wheel is visibly “out of true”, or whatever you call it when you can see it “wobbling” while you turn it.

3. front derailleur doesn’t actually cause shifting reliably. if i’m already in the smallest wheel, i can sort of shift to the middle wheel, but not the biggest wheel even though i push the gear lever all the way. then when i’m on the middle wheel, i can’t shift down to the smallest wheel, even though i’m moving the gear lever all the way back to its original position. i guess (i hope) this is a matter of replacing the (ridiculously frayed) gear cable (seriously it looks like that picture i took of fireworks) and tightening it up. but the front derailleur cage plates might be kinda bent too.

4. back derailleur is bent, from what i can tell. like, the whole thing is. anyway, shifting to any of the biggest 4 gears causes the chain to hit the spokes of the back wheel, which is a huge tragedy. it makes a really nice tinkling sound that takes me straight back to my first bike. it was white and chrome and had big pink cartoon daisies on its seat, and beads on the spokes. you could hear me coming from a mile away.

5. consumption, because it is the most tragic and glamorous disease. what a horrible thing to say
COOMMME WHAAAT MAAAYYYYYY

6. so… i actually noticed this one a really long time ago, but the handlebars are kind of unevenly bent. in order to ride in a straight line, my arms have to be in a position that makes it look like i’m turning ever-so-slightly right. this is pretty much not fixable because what would you have to do? take a welding fire thing to the bend and bend it more or less? i just figured i’d mention it since i’m detailing all her other faults

in conclusion, i am very sorry =(

I brought her in to Mike’s Bikes and there were soooooooo many bikes that customers brought in all around. They were all spotless and brightly painted and had all their paint and had the curvy handlebars and were all thin and muscular and I was pushing Rosinante through them like a wheelbarrow among ferarris and was like, “she is so happy to be among Real Bikes!” and the guy helping me was like “your bike shows emotion?” and it was all I could do to not say “yes, and her name is Rosinante.” The sad thing is she WAS a real bike. Maybe now she just has arthritis.

I told Dat the other day about how I wanted to replace R’s brake cable, and he said that he saw a bicycle maintenance book at the used bookstore on campus and was like “this looks really useful, but i don’t have a bike.” So he picked it up for me today for $1. This book is really incredible and is the only reason I know what a “derailleur” is.

Anyway so there is work to be done, and I want to learn, and do things with my hands, and find out how mechanical things work. Because then I will wield more power, or something.

Yesterday, I tried to ride down the hill to 24th st bart (instead of glen park, my usual bart stop) because, well, I thought it would be a fun downhill ride. But riding a bicycle on Mission is really fucking terrible. Like, really bad. Road construction and traffic and really deep horrible potholes (more like ditches) and cars weaving and making right turns really suddenly and people parking and doubleparking and trucks and buses (ok buses are terrifying…. really terrifying) and it was horrible. I don’t understand how everybody does it. I don’t want to be a bicycle messenger or anything (there’s probably no faster way to commit suicide), I just want to be a little more mobile. But I think I will never get over my fear of going outside. When I finally got to 24th st, I had given up and was just walking my bike on the sidewalk. I walked my bike across the last street to get to the bart station and ONLY AFTER I got to the other side did I notice this man yelling “YEAH, RUN THEM ALL OVER!” He was mocking us for walking across the street while an ambulance was approaching. And then I registered what that loud noise meant.

I’m so air-headed that I don’t even avoid ambulances. I blame it on living across the street from a fire station. I hear sirens so much that I don’t even hear them anymore, like that waterfall in that jonathan safran foer book. But of course it doesn’t end there. I can’t actually blame it on that because that’s just rationalization. Of course I am a terrible person who isn’t aware of her surroundings and is depressed about it because that’s probably not really something I can learn or practice and I’m just going to go around being accidentally rude to everyone and I don’t mean it. sigh

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  1. Aw, poor Rosinante! She’s like the velveteen rabbit, so loved that she finally became Real… The handlebars thing: actually I think it can be fixed by unbolting them with a special tool that undoes the center bolt thingy, and then twisting them around a bit. Derailleur: hmm, if it’s actually bent (like the metal part) it might have to be replaced, but if it’s just become twisted, you can unscrew it and wiggle it around until it works. This is an annoying process that takes about a million tries. Same for fixing the brake cable. I have some tools but not a cable trimmer. If you go to Missing Link they let you use everything free in their little workshop, so I’d try there first. Wheel out of true: there is a spoke tool you can use to fix that but it’s super hard. I could never do it and always just paid them. It was like $30.

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