Motivated by the approaching deadline

Camping cookware
Camping cookware

I’m flying in five days, and there are still a number of things to do to get ready. The forecast was for rain all day (although it’s just been overcast since an early morning rain tapered off), so I set my sights on finishing up a lot of prep work rather than riding. First I went to the bike shop to get some chain degreaser, and then met the Halfakid for lunch. On the way home, I stopped at a camping goods store for some dishes, which I’d neglected to get when I bought the tent and sleeping bag.

Shrink wrapping the dynamo contacts
Shrink wrapping the dynamo contacts

The first order of business was to finish installing the dynamo lights. The electrical wire was so fine that it slipped right out of the spade connectors no matter how hard I crimped. So I took them to the office and soldered the lot together. Today I added the heat-shrink wrap and then installed the cables on Kuroko. I’d also bought some velcro tape and I used that the secure the cable to the taillight.

Taillight shining
Let your taillight shine

With those installed and the front wheel swapped out for the dynamo hub (which has been sitting on the balcony since I put the tire on months ago) I gave it a few spins. Nothing. I checked the light to see if there was a power switch I was missing. More nothing. I watched the wheel spin around and realized the best I could do by spinning it with my hand was the equivalent of a few kilometers per hour.

So I took Kuroko off the stand and down the elevator for a test spin. Just a quick ride around the block. And I was pleased to see the light shining brightly the moment I got some speed up. It has a regulator built in, so it remained lit through an entire cycle of traffic lights. I dismounted to check the taillight and it was lit up, too. In fact, after I got home and brought the bike back up the elevator and out on the balcony again, the taillight was still shining.

Cleaning

The next order of business was cleaning the chain — hence the visit to the bike shop this morning. I got a gear brush also, so I spent a few minutes degreasing the chain and then cleaning up the pulleys and the rear cogs.

A clean chain

After letting the chain dry I put the back wheel on once again and oiled the chain and sprockets. Finally, I readjusted the rear derailleur and cable tension to get it shifting smoothly. Nearly ready to go.

Garmin external battery
Garmin external battery

The final order of business (before taking Kuroko all apart and stuffing her in the airport bag) was to mount the new external battery for the Garmin GPS. It just took a minute to remove the existing mounting adapter and insert the new one. It changes the way the Garmin goes on, though. Without the external battery, the unit mounts with a simple twist. Now there’s one lever to lock the Garmin into place and another for the second battery. On the upside, I’m supposed to get up to 40 hours of use this way. That will come in handy if we’re bunking down in tents overnight with no access to electricity.

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