Tool Time with Toga

One of the nagging little voices in my head has been having a red-hot go lately at making me feel like I’m going to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with a broken Precious and no idea what to do about it.

“Shut up, nagging voice!” I say. Of course I can say that now, since last night I underwent a little one-on-one bike monkeying session with Will at Toga NYC.

Will and I go way back. At least to, um, November last year. That’s far back in dog time. We originally met when I got my BG fit. Highly recommended, both the fit and getting Will to do it. My knees have never looked back (they couldn’t look back before the fit either, but they’re certainly not looking in any new directions since then.)

Will actually plays an even bigger role in this little dog-and-pony show. He introduced me to Precious. He’s like the match.com of the bike world.

He was also very gracious about letting me film great swathes of mechanical shenanigans last night when he walked me through some basic fixes for common bike problems. I half-know a lot of things, and completely don’t know about a lot of other bike related matters. Now I feel quite confident that I can get myself to the next bike shop while out on the road, even if that bike shop is a good distance away.

While I haven’t bought any spares yet (tubes, brake pads etc), I’m happy with the basic tool setup I have. The Alien II is pretty nimble and is what MacGuyver would carry if he’d had enough of his coke can and piece of string malarkey. The titanium Leatherman is pretty light and has pliers. If you don’t know, pliers are the all-rounders of the hand tool world. Everything else in the kit is pretty standard, although I did get a real patch kit (I only had the peel and stick patches before – new box has glue).

Gonna take Precious in one more time for a full road-worthy service at Toga, then we’re off kids! (I may even clean his chain before we go next time teehee). Countdown has us in the teens. I can’t stop now (although I could fix that now, since I know how to adjust brakes).

Ride on!

6 comments

  1. A suggestion on tubes…use the ones with a solid valve stem (not threaded). I run into some that have the threads cut so deep that a sneeze would snap it off.
    A pump with a foot hold-down and a hose to connect to the stem also helps to avoid snapping off valve stems.
    I sure Precious uses presta (Ino duh huh)
    Ah…happiness is a clean chain.

  2. Hey, all the best as you near your departure date. Keep the positive affirmations going and everything will be great.
    Very nice and informative video….thanks for providing it.

    I’m looking forward to reading your updates from the road.

    Darryl

  3. Another idea/tip…if you know anyone working in a hospital /research lab, see if you can get a small piece of “parafilm”.Say about 4×5 inches(this is much more than you need). Cut the “parafilm” into 1/2 inch strips and put them in the patch kit plastic box.
    When you open the glue tube when you get a flat use the “parafilm” to seal the cap back onto the tube…Stops the glue from drying out.
    Sure beats getting a flat later and your glue tube is toast !

  4. Jeez-your chain was filthy. Take care of you equipment and it’ll take care of you, especially with the trip you are planning.

  5. Yeah, I know. A week or so of rainy rides in NYC will do that to a chain. I was suitably embarrassed and apologized multiple times for it.

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