Bicycle tip, October 31

Kickstands are ubiquitous… and are the mechanic’s friend.

Bicycles never seem to tip towards the kickstand. They tend to tip away, towards the drivetrain… bent derailleur, which screws up shifting.

Worse yet, cheap bicycle parts on the handlebars contact the earth or pavement when a bike tips… broken grip shifter or brake handle.

I’m of the opinion that kickstands are not necessary. I regularly council their removal. You’re better off finding a secure post, tree or wall on which to lean the bike. Or, if you’re in an area where there are no klutzes, set the bike on its side, drivetrain up.

If you must have a kickstand, prop your bike so the wind doesn’t blow it over. Make sure its secure when you leave it.

I have plenty of replacement parts, but I tell folks a little care can forego a $20-$40 repair.

Bicycle tip, October 29

Believe it or not, your bike-tire tubes will leak slightly, so tire pressure should be checked weekly. Too low a pressure, and you risk a flat from a pinch when you bang into something. I’ve had a few folks stop in, too, after literally blowing up their tire tubes with too much pressure from a gas station airing (high-pressure air, there). Tubes aren’t air tight.

There are those who are much more obsessive and check before every ride. Whatever floats your boat, I guess.

Bicycle tires hold higher pressures than car tires, so it makes sense, molecularly speaking, that bike tubes will leak more quickly. I’ve heard it said that car tires should be checked monthly. So, check your bike tires weekly.

I ride on 100-pound-pressure, narrow tires. I’ve aired them up on Saturday and notice already on Thursday that they aren’t carrying enough pressure.

Excuse me. I gotta check my tires.

Great morning!

Unusual Saturday for this guy.

Lovely pumpkin-themed breakfast at The Old Factory Coffee Shop here in Orange City.

Bicycling through falling leaves while other leaves turn colors on town trees.

Unusually small number of fallen apples from our tree to clean up.

One bike repair that went practically without a hitch, save a bloody pinch on the inside of the thumb, nothing a scrounged bandage can’t sop up.

A quick read of an adventurous sailer in a vintage boat, sent by a cantankerous (a little bit of an overstatement) friend.

Gearing up for numerous photographs of the annual marching band field festival here in OC, the Pride of the Dutchmen Field Championships — 30 bands (including the Pride of the Dutchmen Marching Band, which won’t compete, since it’s the host).

Also, preparing for photographing a big NAIA volleyball match between Northwestern College and Midland University this afternoon and two futbol matches hosted by the Northwestern College women’s and men’s teams.

Hope my camera batteries hold out.

Never a dull moment.