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19 Apr 2011

Special customers

Every customer is unique, especially in the world of 'bents.  Every bike brought in gets full attention, some a bit more. Things get interesting when friends bring in their bike. The situation than get's perfect for everything to go wrong. Last Friday however, it all went well.

A 2002 Pioneer and a 2006 Fuego. I did the work on the Pioneer. This one was made a month or so after mine was made. Several things needed replacing. I already knew that. This was the same Pioneer whose handlebars where replaced with the help of a manual I'd written. Quite an achievement for the writer and the reader!

I'd seen this 'bent before on the Easter and Autumn meeting. The owner watched the whole operation, she was good at doing that. You see, often customers want to see how their bikes get repaired. Some get in the way than, talk to much, and so on. I did my wrenching, explaining and talking about this and that, and nothing really went wrong. I might be getting better at it actually. Most important thing I did was change the headset. A vital part to make the handling of the bike easy. This one had been badly adjusted and worn out as a result of that. Replacing it requires force, special tools, knowledge and experience. If something didn't turn out the way it should have, I'll hear that Friday evening at the campsite of the Easter meeting. There will be some small tools in my luggage anyway. There's always something to repair or adjust at the 'bent Easter meeting.

The ride home from work went a little slower than expected. The bike, Yivalté, was fine. It was the engine having problems. The past days I had some small problems breathing. It took me a few days to figure out what the problem was. I remembered that I'm asthmatic. Now most of the time, that's not really a problem. Just take the medication once a day and stay away from: perfume, paint smell, deodorant spray, 2 stroke engines, crowded rooms (I don't like crowded places anyway), dust, cigarette smoke (outdoors too) and badly ventilated buildings. (which means almost every new building) No big deal... But sometimes, it get's a little worse, like your lungs suddenly are half their original size. No worries needed, it's normal again after a week or so.

So, after 18km at 38kph I did feel like slowing down. My speed dropped to just below 30. Not for long though, a quarter of an hour later I was cruising again at 33. Taking it easy with this set of lungs meant an average of 32kph.

Sunday, more wrenching. Now for a Huneligger's bike. But surely not before I'd watched the F1 Grand Prix of China. What an utterly fantastic race that was! After lunch then, a  full check-up, another headset and some tidying up. I don't do this often, fixing someone else's Nazca, in private time. But some just have privileges most others don't have. This Paseo now was ready for many trouble free rides. Special bikes need a specialist's eye.

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