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Monthly Archives: January 2021

Raises, a Promotion, a Remodeled Kitchen, and the Thinking of New Bikes

My wife had her kitchen remodeled over the last week. I helped as, being a carpenter by trade, even if I’m just a “suit”, I still know how to put some things together. The new floor was installed, mainly, by my wife and a friend I ride with (he’s the local carpenter of all trades, retired, who works for fun and friends). I wired and installed a new hood and stainless steel backsplash and my wife touched up all the paint.

We are very pleased.

My promotion is going well at work but I’ve found it a little difficult to get into the swing of things… as a project manager, I hadn’t dealt with a new blueprint in years. I often know a job 3-D before ever digging into a print. Now I have go back to visualize the job built with my mind’s eye. There’s a trick and learning curve to that. I’m putting my usual above average effort into it, though, so it’s coming around nicely. It’s not quite as enjoyable as what I’d been doing, but the raise is very much worth it.

And that leaves bikes. Pay attention, Brent. I’ve wondered, sometimes aloud, whether I should upgrade my Venge. My weekday riding buddy has a brand spanking new Specialized Tarmac due in next month that is going to be super nice… Ultegra Di2 drivetrain, hydraulic disc brakes, 50 mm Roval wheels, and a bangin’ paint job. I won’t lie, I’d been salivating. A bit like Pavlov’s dog I am with the smell of new carbon fiber…

I can’t do it, though. After all that Venge and I have been through, after building it from the ground up from just a little entry-level race bike to its current 2-1/2 pound lighter gloriousness… I simply can’t get there in my head to blow another $6,000 for a heavier, likely less aero bike. That’d be… nuts.

On the other hand, with all of my fatty friends posting photos of their outdoor adventures while I’m stuck on the trainer… it’s starting to look fun now that I’ve finally, after near a decade of cycling in cold weather, got a jacket (technically, two, I bought a second) that keeps me warm down into the mud-teens (-10 C)… a no-sus fatty for my wife and I might not be so bad…

I’ll have to ruminate on that for a bit. Let it marinate. Hmmm “Fit Fatty Recovery”… well, it’s got a ring to it – and it’d certainly piss off the intellectual racists… which I love…

What Happened with GameStop Stock Explained in One Sentence…

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, there’s been a kerfuffle in the stock market around GameStop stock. Here’s what happened: GameStop stock surged under WuFlu lockdowns. It went from $4 a share all the way up to $40. Hedge fund managers positioned themselves to short the stock, to “ride it” all the way back down, profiting on the decline of the stock. A few important people figured this out and started buying up the company’s stock. Lots of it. In short order, it became a “thing” over the internet and, as more people jumped on that bandwagon using day-trading apps, the price of the stock shot up, topping $400 a share.

I should know. Mine was sold just north of $400. Heh.

In short order, Wall Street, sensing way too much Wall Street blood in the water, shut down trading for GameStop stock on certain day-trading apps. Now, here’s the important part – all you need to know about this whole beautiful mess: normal everyday people figured out how to game the market better than the fat cats on Wall Street, doing the exact same thing, out in the open, the fat cats do behind closed doors all day long on Wall Street. There’s no difference, there were no scruples or morays or laws twisted or broken that hedge fund managers don’t do all day long, every day of the working week when they play board games with the stock market. That won’t stop politicians and the big wigs from trying to convince you otherwise, but it isn’t so. The fun part, and the only important sentence everyone needs to know about this is and why Wall Street freaked out and shut it down is this:

The wrong people made the money.

Normal, average, everyday Americans who normally have to hit the lotto to win, rode the stock from nothing all the way up to the stratosphere and sold their stock, paying off student loans, car loans, even mortgages. It won’t be portrayed that way by most; there are stories coming out about rogue day-traders who are unfairly gaming the system and so forth, but in the end, GameStop was all about the wrong people making money with the help of a few billionaires. And for once, you’ll find out who the real bad guys are here… this is one of those things people on the left and right can finally agree on.

Except Bernie and his mittens. Bernie’s going to be pissed. Elon Musk and a few app makers did more for the little guy in 79 hours than Bernie did in 79 years. If this is the new normal for the Harris-Biden administration, it might not be all bad.

Finding Jeans for the Discerning Cyclist: Urban Pipeline Athletic Taper UltraFlex Jeans – The Most Comfortable Jeans I’ve Every Owned

Anyone who has spent much time on a bicycle or running will eventually find themselves in the pickle of having trouble picking a pair of pants that fit over their spectacularly formed legs whilst still fitting in the waist/hip area. This is something I’ve struggle with for years – though it’s a happy struggle.

I’ve always been partial to less expensive jeans. My last two pair were Wranglers… I split the upper thigh of one pair at work running four flights of stairs – my big legs simply split the material. It was rather embarrassing, though thankfully I had on a long reflective winter jacket for jobsite walking. I ended up at a Kohl’s (the nearest department store I knew to carry a decent selection of jeans).

I happened on the Urban Pipeline rack and saw “UltraFlex” and “Athletic Taper” Three, technically four, beautiful words to a cyclist with big, muscular legs. The Wranglers I mentioned earlier are unbelievably tight in the thighs and I’ve got about an inch and a half extra room in the waist. Let’s just say they feel odd wearing them (my legs have grown an inch since the jeans were purchased). I need a belt to keep them from feeling like they’re going to fall off… but they can’t because my quads hold them up. It used to be, before cycling, I could simply pick a pair of 32/34’s off the rack and head for the register. Anymore, I’ve got to try them on first because of the aforementioned leg issue.

The Urban Pipeline athletic taper jeans are a bit on the pricier side, between $44 and $52 a pair but the “athletic taper” combined with the UltraFlex material is nothing short of miraculous. The jeans are so comfortable, they’re almost as good as my fleece PJ pants. In fact, more than once I didn’t even bother changing after dinner.

Fortunately, Kohl’s has an online store so you can order them and have them shipped straight to your door (this is especially awesome if you need a hard-to-get size… like a 32/34). I can’t recommend them highly enough.

And so, after having received my first big paycheck after my raise, I pulled the trigger on two more pair last night (and a badass Star Wars T-shirt to get me over the free shipping threshold).

A Pair of Ducks in Recovery: How Not To Kick Your Own Butt

Last night’s topic at our local meeting (in person) was fantastic and something, in all of my years, I’d rarely talked about since my first years; the notion that assuming everything that happens to us is our fault is not only counterproductive and counterintuitive, it can be classified as arrogant. This is the so-called ass kicking machine most new to recovery are so familiar with. I learned how to shut that down in my first couple of years and I never looked back so imagine my surprise when I read, “Where other people were concerned, we had to drop the word “blame” from our speech and thought”… then, …”I begin to realize that blaming myself for all the trouble in my life can be an ego trip back into hopelessness. Asking for help and listening deeply to the messages inherent in the Steps and Traditions of the program make it possible to change those attitudes which delay my recovery.”

The meeting that sprung from the Daily Reflections was one of the most dynamic and impressive I’ve ever been a part of. First, with just 28-years in recovery, I was one of the middle-agers. There were a couple of newer guys there, but for the most part there was some heavy hitting recovery in the room. I talked about my experience with the incorrect thinking that everything was my fault (there’s a very big difference between looking at our part in something and everything being the result of our mistakes) and the so-called ass kicking machine and how surprising the reading was to me because I always try to look at my specific part in something while leaving others to do their own inventory (it’s not easy and I tend to make missteps when I get into HALT situations – Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired). Here’s a passage that says we can take this too far, a point I hadn’t thought about in decades….

The others shared their experience and their difficulty with grappling with the subject because looking at our own part in any given situation, AKA keeping our side of the street clean, is what all of the winners in recovery do. We’re not used to looking at how that rule is abused.

If you knew what to look for, each and every person in the meeting with more than two years worked the third through eleventh at what the passage meant to them. It was something to behold – you don’t see that too often, where everyone in a meeting contributes real experience in literally walking through how they work the Steps in their daily lives, naturally when something confounds them, in a meeting.

For the guy I sponsor, I didn’t expect him to see it for the miracle it was as he’s too new, so I unfolded the origami for him.

Anyway, I hope I did what happened some justice (without breaking any Traditions). I can tell you, there’s nothing better than being able to really get into the nuts and bolts of recovery with a diverse bunch of friends.

A Great Start to the New Year: An Overview

While I may be down in miles from last January, I’m not going to cry over it. My outdoor miles are considerably higher (only one outdoor ride last January against five this year) and I’ve stepped the quality up considerably. I’ve also started working my upper body a bit as well so I can reverse the process that had my pecs turning into man-boobs… and that’s going very well.

I’m on the trainer most days, now and the CycleOps trainer tire I bought a few weeks ago has vastly exceeded my expectations. It’s still as silent as the day I put it on my trainer wheel. The Garmin speed sensor I bought still has me fairly pissed off because it’s killing my weekly mileage, but I’m not unlike one of Pavlov’s dogs in that the low speed has me working harder than I ever have on my trainer in previous years. Ever. I’m doing interval sets, tempo rides, moderate and easy jaunts and mixing them all together. I’m hoping a couple months of spring headwind will have me better off than last year. One thing will be certain, I’ll be ready.

I also cleaned and brightened a bike for a friend of my wife’s so it can be sold this spring. It’s a ’74 Raleigh Professional with a full, beautiful set of Campagnolo Nuovo Record components. It’s surprisingly light for a steel bike and the detail in the components is super cool.

We’re also in the middle of remodeling the kitchen. Oh, what a mess. Last night one of the cats managed to open a cabinet door to walk on a freshly painted shelf (don’t ask me why my wife wants the shelves painted, my job is to advise and consent… emphasis on consent). The hilarity that ensued was priceless. As the cat exited the cabinet, tracking cream-colored paint in her wake, she reflexively shook each foot as she lifted it… the tracks extended through the kitchen into the living room (thankfully, no carpet – we have laminate floors). Watching my wife try to clean the feet of her pissed off cat was comedy gold.

And so here we are, two-thirds of the way through winter and I’m excited for spring, but thankfully not quite tired of the convenience of the trainer. In fact, I’m still quite thankful for the time savings… I get home between 4 & 4:30 and can be done with my ride and showered by 6 if I try. Riding outdoors, I’m lucky if I’m out of the shower by 7. This will change in the coming weeks as I start longing for Venge Day. In the meantime, there’s plenty to do around the house before spring gets here. That kitchen won’t remodel itself.

Work is challenging but going well. The home life is… erm… challenging at the moment, but it’ll get ironed out sooner or later. The kids are fantastic and recovery is cooking right along as it should. So that’s where things sit for the time being.

Remembering One of the Main Tenets of Cycling and Why the Sport Is Unquestionably Awesome: There Are No Politics On Bike Rides

Have you tired of hearing the phrase(s), “in these trying times” or “these difficult times” yet? I’ve resorted to yelling at the radio every now and again. I must look awesome driving down the road.

It seems everything has to be preceded or followed by one of those two phrases. They don’t have much to do with politics, really, because the times are difficult and trying – especially when everything is so “in your face” lately with raw nerves aplenty. I simply ask, in these trying and difficult times; don’t participate.

Remember, as winter comes to a close in the next month and a few days in the northern hemisphere, riding bikes with friends is as good as it gets, whether they did or didn’t like Trump. If it matters to you, if you simply can’t ride a bike with someone who voted for Trump or someone who voted for Biden, folks, that says more about you than anyone else and none of it is good. If I’m an idiot, fine. Enjoy all of those solo miles.

For the rest of us normal folk, maybe practice a little forgiveness now and again. It does a soul good. Forgive your right-wing friend for their ignorance. Forgive your left-wing friend for their smug way of being wrong about virtually everything. And remember this phrase if someone brings up anything about politics on a bike ride: “Hey, no politics on bike rides.” It works.

In these trying and troubled times, let us not be shocked and chagrined… let’s argue about something really important… like why red on black is the best bicycle color scheme in the history of bicycles.

Remembering My Dad

I miss my dad every now and again. When something good happened, my recent promotion and raise is a good example, I’d take him golfing or out to dinner. When my girls accomplished something new we’d all go out… Then there are the hard times. It used to be when I had a rough go I could call him up and bounce things off him to get a sense of direction.

A blogger I follow was lamenting the fact he’d gotten a flat on a ride the other day and had to have his dad pick him up. He wondered how sad it was the task fell on his dad after all these years.

All I could think of was how much I wished I could call my pop and ask him to pick me up… for anything.

Folks, hug your mom and/or dad if you can. When they’re gone, they’re really gone and all you’ll wish for is one more hug. Well, maybe wait for the vaccine, first. That way your mom doesn’t try to karate chop you as you go in for that hug. I did call my father-in-law a couple of times yesterday over Duo to talk football and his 38-year anniversary, and that was just about good enough. I’m in-law lucky that way. I won the lotto, actually.

Just a thought.

Enjoying Cycling As Safely As Is Possible, Without Looking Like A Doofus In the Process; Think Peacock, Not Possum.

Cycling on the roads is inherently dangerous.  You’re out there with cars and trucks and in a collision with either, you’ll always lose, so sticking out is always advisable. You want to stick out – to be visible on the road.

Sticking out like a sore thumb? Not so much.

We’ve got a guy who used to show up every now and again to ride with us who was so dangerous, we had to be aggressively mean to him to get him to either, A) think about the others in the group or B) leave. He chose the latter. To be very clear, the guy had no business in a group. He was a danger to himself and others every time he rode with a group bigger than one. He was also a disheveled mess – I believe he actually wore his helmet backwards. More than once. He also rode in cotton T-shirts tucked into his shorts. On a triathlon bike. In a group. He stuck out, alright.

That’s the bad kind of “sticking out”. There is a saying in golf that works in cycling, to an extent: If you can’t play good, look good. Never mind the improper English, there’s something to the saying. For cycling, if you can’t ride fast, look fast” (or perhaps, look good slow) is a little closer.

It’s fairly obvious what will stick out and what won’t as colors go. Think “bright”. Black isn’t great, gray is worse, but if you’re riding in a group that’s fairly large, you won’t have much to worry about. Reds, whites, pinks, oranges, bright blue, the neons… these are all winners in the “Hey, look at me” colors for cycling. Also, and this is my favorite, people who like to fancy themselves “intelligent” love to tell you not to wear red because “science” says it blends in too well. Don’t wear black because it “matches the road”… First, don’t fall for “studies showed”. Studies may have shown that red blends, but who are you going to trust, studies or your lying eyes? Red sticks out better than neon yellow in many settings, for God’s sake. Blue and white are also fantastic.

So what if you absolutely, positively have to wear black? Black does stick out a little bit in the sunshine but it’s not great in the shadows or on a cloudy day. Gray, is even worse. The equalizer is a taillight. A taillight can make a big difference if you have to dress all Johnny Cash on the bike.

Some things to look out for – things we seasoned cyclists notice in an instant that’ll show a noob’s noobishness:

  • T-shirts. Cotton is for the couch after the ride. Cotton is the third worst fabric to wear on a bicycle behind only rubber/neoprene and plastic. Who would wear a wetsuit on a ride? Exactly. Nobody…. except the guy would would wear a T-shirt. Tucked into his cycling shorts. Shorts and T-shirts are great for puttering around in town to head to a restaurant. They are not for a pace-line. And you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to look good. The Black Bibs are phenomenal at just $40. Jersey deals abound online if you look closely. Enter “Cycling Jersey Sale” into a search engine and go to town. Just look out for the junk… stuff that has a really weird name is usually a dead giveaway. Specialized, Trek/Bontrager, Pactimo, Castelli, Gore, Primal, Funkier, Giant, Cannondale, Pearl Izumi, Louis Garneau, Bellweather, Giro all have decent cycling clothes. Jerseys have three back pockets to carry essentials (onboard fuel – gels & bars), spare tube and tire levers, etc.. Cotton is horribly uncomfortable when wet or sweaty.
  • Underwear. Especially ladies. You DO NOT wear underwear unless you want to feel like you’re riding on barbed wire… or just wait till you step into the shower after the ride! WOOO! That’s pain, baby!
  • Plastic rain jackets. We all have to learn this once on our own. You can wear a plastic rain jacket in Canada in the middle of January with just a light layer underneath and you’ll sweat to death inside of 30 miles. A plastic rain jacket won’t keep you warm in the rain. It’ll cause you to melt.
  • Dirty clothes. Second-day cycling stuff doesn’t work. You sweat too much and once you remove the garments, bacteria grow. You want to know the meaning of the word pain? Wear the same shorts three or four days in a row without washing them. Just be prepared financially for a long stay in a small hospital room. If you make it to the hospital. You have been warned (and this isn’t hyperbole).
  • Choose your colors wisely. “Peacock” doesn’t apply to bibs/shorts. Unless the bibs match a kit, stick with black. Maybe a colored band at the bottoms of the legs, but otherwise just black. Socks, however, are your chance to show some flash. There aren’t many rules on socks except this: don’t wear those silly compression socks that ride up to the knee till after the ride.
  • Be yourself! Wisely.

UPDATE: For a further “how it’s done” scroll down to Brent’s comment. There are a few great tips in it.

Lifeproof Fre with the iPhone 12 Mini Review: There’s Some Really Good… and One Really Bad Issue with Facial Recognition (But with a Fix)

First, it should be known, I have a profound respect for the Lifeproof phone protection case. I’ve had one on every phone I’ve had since 2012. My phones have survived an underwater jab against a rock (though the case did start leaking, the screen and phone were fine – didn’t even crack the screen), a 20-22-mph fall from atop my bike whilst taking photos of the Tunnel of Trees up north of Harbor Springs, and several snorkeling excursions. I won’t buy a new phone without a Lifeproof case – even though my phones are insured – because I can do this:

With the iPhone 12, they’re “oops” proof. Supposedly they can stand being submerged for a short time but in my normal, casual use, I’ll never fully test that feature out (we’ll see what happens when I get caught in a rainstorm this spring/summer out on my bike)… anyway, this takes away much of the worry for needing a Lifeproof case in the first place. Except for the snorkeling excursions because we’ve got another cruise coming up in 2022 and I’ll absolutely need the case for that. When I upgraded my phone this year, because our office has an Apple setup I finally bit the bullet and went back to an iPhone (I traded in my 6 way back when because of a Wi-Fi connectivity issue that was supposedly in my head. That is, until the entire Verizon tech department couldn’t get my iPhone to connect to their Wi-Fi service while I was in the store. I’d been using a Samsung Galaxy since. They gave me an in-store credit of $400 and a new Galaxy 5 with their apologies.

So my 12 mini arrived and I didn’t even unbox it until my special-order Fre case showed up almost a week later. I got a third of my valuable info transferred over (the rest was lost to compatibility issues, of course – oh how I missed Apple). Fortunately, it was the unnecessary two-thirds that wouldn’t transfer. All of the important contact stuff went. I tested my Lifeproof case as we always do with a submerge test, they put the phone in and set up everything, including facial recognition.

And there is the one problem I have with the combination. When you place the phone to your ear to talk, oil from your skin will transfer to the protective face and cloud it. Unless the forward facing camera is perfectly clean, your face will be distorted to the camera and it won’t read. On top of that, with the way the protective face sits away from the screen and is glued to the frame, there’s a distortion of image that happens with the forward facing camera so unless the camera is perfectly positioned, your face won’t be recognized. It does help to do the FR setup with the case on. This means the facial recognition features don’t work most of the time. Anything that’s really important and relies on that will have to be manually unlocked most of the time. Simply put, that’s unacceptable. The only other answer is to use the speaker phone and keep the phone away from one’s face… but I vehemently refuse to be one of those knuckleheads. I have more respect for myself, the person on the other end of the line, and others around me than to be that guy. There’s a trick to it. There are two dots glued to the case face to keep the clear face away from the glass. Those two dots have to be wiped off and the FR will work as it should.

That said, there are also some really nice features to the case. The toggle for the sound/vibrate switch is nothing short of genius and the button operation is vastly superior to anything else I’ve seen.

The case will still be necessary for snorkeling photos and for road trips but I’ve since mothballed it to await my next cycling road trip or snorkeling trip. I opted for a amFilm Glass Screen Protector and a Raptic Air Case with a 13′ drop rating because I wanted something sleeker and a little more, you know, mini.

So, the question is, would I buy the Lifeproof case again? At around $80, that’s a lot of money for a phone case, especially for an insured phone, but my active lifestyle makes a reasonable argument for one. I’ve put my phones through a lot of abuse and I’ve never busted one. Not even a chipped or cracked screen.

With the iPhone Pro, Max and Mini, the only flaw with the case, the problem with facial recognition, can be fixed in a matter of seconds with a fingernail and soap and water, so the simple answer to the question is “yes”, I will continue to rely on lifeproof cases because they’re the cat’s pajamas.

The Noob’s Guide to Cycling: Fixing a Shifter Cable in Minutes and Reasons to Take Up the Task In the First Place

There are few things that will affect a bicycle’s mechanical shifting as much as the cables. Get one little thing wrong and your bike can shift horribly until that tiny mistake is fixed. In many cases, the affect may be worse; it’ll be minor. Not enough to bother with changing the cable, but the bike just doesn’t quite shift as well as it should. Even something as simple as a frayed cable end can pooch your shifting. Relax, though, even the vaunted internally routed shifting cable is fixable in minutes with the right tools, equipment and knowhow.

A front derailleur’s main cable problems that will require a new cable are:

  • The cable was installed/looped incorrectly at the derailleur bolt which can cause the cable to fray when it’s tightened down, among other problems. If the cable is frayed at the bolt this can/will cause the pull to be slightly off when the shifter is engaged and this will cause problems in shifting and adjusting the derailleur. A frayed cable can even affect the trim feature in your shift levers, meaning you’ll get chain rub on the derailleur cage at the big and/or little cogs of the cassette (you’ll likely think this is a set screw problem… check for a frayed cable where the cable is clamped to the derailleur, first).
  • A kinked cable… if your shift cable is kinked, shift quality will be affected – and the cable can also kink inside the shift lever if cables aren’t changed every couple of years or so (the end can also break off inside the shifter which is not good).
  • The cable/housing is old, rusted, dirty, grimy, etc. etc. Dirt, grim or rust will cause the cable to develop friction in the housing which will ruin shift quality.
  • As a bonus, if the housings are too long or too short, this can adversely affect shift quality, but this gets a little tricky in that the shifting problems aren’t glaring. A bit slow going up the cassette, or maybe down… often just enough to make you wonder what’s going on.

A rear derailleur’s cable issues are a little more diverse. They are:

  • See 1 through 4 above.
  • The housing loop at the rear of the bike is too big or too small.
  • The cable guide(s) are gummed up underneath the bottom bracket (sports drink leakage and sweat are the main culprits here).
  • Item 1 is particularly daunting with the rear derailleur. The cable must be on the correct side of the screw for the derailleur to work properly. Typically, look for a little groove for the cable to rest in on the derailleur nub where the bolt goes into. Look up your derailleur type and download the setup instructions if you’re not sure. I searched “Shimano 105 10sp Rear Derailleur installation instructions”:

Now all that’s left is to complete the switch of an offending cable. First, if you can afford a few extra bucks for better cables, I recommend the stainless steel cables. They’re the cat’s pajamas and improve shifting immensely. To me, they’re well worth the money. Second, for interior cable routing I like to use cable liner (not cable housing, cable liner) to make the process painless and simple (amazingly so). I’ve got a 10 meter roll of the stuff and use it often.

First, we’re going to undo the bar tape down to just under the hood. There’s no need to unwrap any further – all you’re looking for is access to the bottom of the hood, where the cable housing enters the hood lever body. This is easier if you’ve got access and can see what you’re doing. Next, undo the cable from the derailleur and if there’s a frayed end, snip it off far enough up that you hit good cable. Then, slide the cable liner over the cable and keep feeding it till the liner comes out the other hole in the frame. If the liner won’t easily feed over the cable, you can fasten the liner to the cable with a piece of electrical tape and pull the cable and liner through that way. Tape the liner to both holes where it enters and exits the frame to secure it. Next, with your hood rolled up from the bottom, feed the cable out paying attention to the hole where the cable will go back in. This step will vary between shifters – if you run into questions, search online for the owner’s manual for your shifters.

With the old cable out, take some light lube on your fingers and wipe down the new cable (this step can be skipped if using stainless cables – most manufacturers actually recommend not using a light lube on the cable with new housing – this might need its own post and a pro interview it’s so controversial). Feed the end into the lever hole until it pops up by the cable housing end. This can be a touch on the tricky side getting the angle right. Then, carefully guide the cable end into the housing – I like to use an ultra-thin pair of needle-nosed pliers, they guide the end of the cable perfectly into the housing so I don’t have to mess with pulling the housing from the hood to guide the cable in by hand (a 2 mm hex key works well, also). Once your cable is through the first section of housing, you simply run the cable through the liner you ran through the frame earlier. You don’t have to worry about fishing for the wire or using magnets (and good luck with a magnet and stainless steel btw). Properly connect your cable to the derailleur and adjust the barrel or in-line adjuster. Wrap your bar back up, clean up, and Bob shall be your uncle.

Changing a cable is a daunting task when you’re new to bike repair. It’s a scary undertaking. You will improve with practice, though. New cables used to take me hours – it was a task reserved for a rainy weekend day when I had a clear stretch of time. After years of practice, I can change a shifter cable after work and before my regular evening ride.