For those that haven’t heard already, I’m currently part of an effort by SFPIRG to set up a bicycle workshop coop at SFU. Incidentally, I’ve also recently been implicitely promoted to project leader as the person originally spearheading the project is taking the summer off, vacationing(?) in some relatively far away land.
Of course, being involved in a coop workshop means that I now have a much increased inventory of bike tools at my disposal. Today, I decided to take advantage of these resources, and tried my hand at truing my rear wheel.
Although I was ultimately unsuccessful in actually truing the wheel, as I was afraid of breaking something, I did manage to get a good feel for it after some initial confusion over which way I’m supposed to twist the spoke nipples—yes, nipples: it’s not just for laptops and boobies. I’m fairly confident I am able to at least true my front wheel which is in a much better shape.
Ironically enough, the most difficulty I’ve had during my time in the workshop was actually figuring out the pumps. Yes, the air pump: one of the single most basic bicycle tools that even the most neophyte of riders can figure out. After almost 10 minutes of struggling to figure out why air was escaping from the pump as opposed to entering my tire, I finally came to the realization that the automagical valve-type selector only kicks in when the tube reaches a certain pressure.
Sufficient to say, it was a rather embarassing as I can usually figure these kind of things out fairly quickly, especially since it was a bloody bike pump. Nevertheless, it was a productive hour-and-a-half in the workshop, and I’m sure there will be many more hours to come.