When you’re down, the world just seems to poop on you even more.

I’ve been maintaining my health and sanity over the last 3+ years by riding my bicycle every day. Back in November, my trick knee decided to blow out for no apparent reason other than the world wanted to poop on me because I’m down. I couldn’t walk for exercise or ride my bike. So, what happens to a fat ass who doesn’t get much exercise? His ass gets fatter, which is exactly what happened to me.

I have a friend who recently went through a health emergency very similar to one I experienced myself back in 2010. I wrote about my experience here, if you care to read about it. Anyway, in the process of nagging (advising) my pal who is dealing with nearly the same afflictions at the moment, I pepped myself up to get back in shape and quit screwing off.

With this in mind, I decided to renew my daily bike riding regimen. My knee hasn’t been giving me hell too much lately. I think it’s gone dormant again. Unfortunately, I had been having some repeat issues with a front tire on my bike that keeps going flat. I changed out the inner tube twice and still developed the same issue (flat tire) within a few days. It was causing me to lose faith in the bike, which had me avoiding longer rides.

I needed to get this fixed. I normally like to ride 10-15 miles a day. I can’t do that with a bike I can’t trust. So, this past Saturday, I went to an old-time bike shop that’s been owned and operated by the same fellow for 40 years or so here in Tampa. It’s Joe Haskins’ Bike Shop on N. Florida Avenue. It’s not far from my house. When we were kids, we’d ride our bikes to Joe’s for parts and other goodies.

My bike is a Specialized Crossroads Sport. It looks like this one here…

The tires for this thing from the local dealer cost $65 each. That’s just the tire… no tube, no rim band, etc. At Joe’s I was able to get two brand new Giant (Kenda Kwest) 700x38c tires, two inner tubes, and two rim bands for $46 bucks and change (tax included). I brought my goodies home Saturday morning and installed them right away. I changed clothes and took my new tires for a nice little spin of about 8 miles or so. Wonderful! Sunday morning I went for an even longer ride of about 12 miles or so. All was fine and dandy.

Then today happened. I woke up itchin’ to take the bike out again for an even longer ride today. I managed to finally get on the road about 1:30PM. It was overcast and hot, but nice… as long as you’re moving. I rode for nearly 15 miles today. It was a really nice ride. I did notice something, though. My chain was skipping every once in a while when I would accelerate. It’s been doing this more and more lately. I know it’s wear/tear on the chain and sprockets. I just haven’t had the money to replace them.

The way my luck is with my automobiles, motorcycles, and bikes is that they nearly always break down at home or very near to home, at least. I’m very lucky that way. My friends hate me for this. 😉 Well, as I crossed over the last street before the one I live on, accelerating to get across the intersection, the rear dérailleur assembly just blew apart and got jammed in the rim, tearing off two or three spokes and stopping me pretty efficiently; better than brakes, actually.

The dérailleur above is the way it’s supposed to look. Mine now looks like some mutant metal pretzel. The cause of all this is just wear. The derailleur gears were worn down to sharp points, as were the cassette (rear sprocket set), and the crank (pedal sprocket set). I’ve tallied up all the parts I’m going to need to rebuild this bike and it looks like I’m going to need about $150 or so. I don’t have the means to purchase these parts at this time, so I guess I’m going to have to start my walking regimen instead of biking. Hope my knee cooperates.

I do have a really nice set of tires and tubes now, though. They only have about 35 miles on ’em.

That’s all for now, folks.



About V. T. Eric Layton

vtel57, Nocturnal Slacker

5 responses »

  1. ebrke says:

    Frankly, that sucks 😦 Sorry, Eric.

    • Yuppers. Poop happens. There are a lot of folks in the world dealing with much more serious pain and misery. I shouldn’t whine. I can always walk for exercise (if the knee cooperates). I like walking, too. I walked to my aunt’s house this morning for coffee, actually. I’ll walk to my uncle’s house tomorrow for the Wednesday afternoon Koffee Klatch there with all my aunts, my uncle, and possibly my brother, too. Yay! 🙂

  2. ChipDoc says:

    Excrement occurs, doesn’t it? I suspect we can get your bike up and running again fairly cheaply. And I don’t believe Joe Haskins has been there only forty years… I think it’s been longer!

    • Unfortunately, the term “fairly cheaply” means nothing to someone with no means to pay at any price. 😦

      He’s been at that particular location since 1979. Prior to that, he had a shop just north of downtown on Franklin Street.

      Nice to see you pop in here. It’s been a while. 🙂

  3. OK, the bike is all back together now. I basically refurbished the damned thing. About the only thing I didn’t replace was the frame, the seat, the handlebars, and the brake pads/cables; everything else is new.

    Tomorrow, I’m planning on a short (4-5 mile) test ride around the neighborhood. I sure have missed riding my bike every day. Now I can look forward to putting another 10K miles on it. 🙂



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