Saturday, August 14, 2010

DIY Shock Treatments

Lately, when I stand up to crank on the pedals, my bike has developed a creaking sound. I cannot stand the sound of something loose or rattling. It's always been a pet peeve of mine. This one isn't difficult to diagnose. I know it's one of the bolts that holds the chain ring on. A simple fix but I have to remove the back tire to do it properly.

The work stand I have created for the bike isn't ideal but it does function well enough. One of the downfalls is that you only have easy access to one side of the bike. Sometimes to reach the side of the bike that is against the wall, instead of taking the bike down and turning it around, I will lean and rest the top of my ahead against the wall looking down the side of the bike I'm trying to reach.

You'll notice in the picture just above the rear wheel is an outlet. Last winter at some point one of the prongs in the charger to my headlight disappeared. I searched around for it in my bags and on the floor but never did find it. I ended up stealing one from another charger and making it work. I had forgotten about the one that had been lost and wrote it off to the land of wherever things go when you can't find them. It's a place filled with socks and keys and things of this nature.

I had just returned from my Saturday morning run. Nobody else was home and I decided to spend a little time in the garage tinkering on the bike. Perhaps it was finally time to get rid of the wretched creaking noise. As I began to take off the rear wheel, I was having trouble getting the leverage I needed on the bolt that was closest to the wall. I must have put it on well because it was really giving me a hard time.

As I was leaning over the bike, working on this stubborn bolt, I did as I always do and leaned forward to rest the top of my head on the wall. Apparently, I touched the wall directly on the outlet. Because of the high humidity and the last couple hours I had spent running, my hair was still drenched. As my head touched the outlet, I heard a large POP! I saw a flash of light and then a moment of darkness. I wasn't aware at this moment exactly what was happening but it forced me to stand straight up and take a step backwards and from my mouth came an audible "Bah!" The radio and light that were also plugged into this same wall turned off.

After I gathered my senses I realized that I had just shocked myself directly on the top of my head! I looked to the outlet. My first thought was that I had been so wet headed that I had splashed into the outlet and gotten a spark that way. When I looked closer I saw what had happened:

It's the prong that I had lost off of my headlight charger.

Once I understood what I had done, and then promptly checked to make sure I hadn't burned a patch of hair off the top of my head, I actually felt quite invigorated. For a moment I thought, wouldn't it be cool if I had just gained some sort of super power? Alas, this was not the case. Or at least if I did, it hasn't manifested itself yet but I am patiently optimistic.

I don't know how much of a charge I gave myself but it was enough to pop the breaker and now the outlet doesn't function. I'll replace it next time I get the urge to do some tinkering in the garage. Next time I think I'll shut the power off first.

Week of August 2 - 48 Bike, 26 Foot.

1 comment:

  1. HAHAHAHA. The suspense in the way this was written was killing me.