We're thrilled to share the following trip report from Carolin (@bikewithcarolin). From knowing nothing about working on bikes to taking her Bianchi with her to the Dolomites! Read on:
One year ago, if someone said I had to remove the fork off my bike in order to bring it with me on a plane, I'd refuse and just say rent a bike at my destination. Ain't nobody got time for that!
After my trip to Hawaii where I rented a bike to climb Mt. Haleakala, I promised myself that if I were to do long rides in the saddle again, I'm bringing my bike. Nothing compares to the feeling of being on your own bike...
Today, I've overcome one of my fears of more than just removing the wheels. I can confidently remove pedals, derailleur, handlebars, fork, seat-post, front brakes (rim), and chain. I was DETERMINED to travel with MY bike and went through great lengths to make sure I nailed everything I needed to learn. Did it actually bother me as much as I thought? Quite the opposite!
I recall spending countless hours learning how to "fix" what I thought was broken. I thought a gap in this ring was a crack that I've been riding with for who knows how long. Turns out it was a compression ring designed to have that gap.
I thought I was doing something wrong when I was unscrewing my pedals. Turns out they were stuck from not applying any grease in the threads when I installed it. Needless to say, it was pretty time consuming as I expected.
Funny thing was, I loved every second of the process.
If you want and love something bad enough, you'll make time for it. So it turns out, I do gots time 👍.
It was such an emotional journey and I know this fear stemmed from feeling like I was going to break something in the process and there would be a point of no return, no help, parts taking days to replace, riding in anxiety wondering if I screwed a piece tight enough..lots of worse case scenarios thoughts. Of course, none of that happened. Instead, I had to buy more items for my toolset (chain removal pliers, another chain, and grease). Turns out, answers and help are more available than I thought!
Buying the Transfer Case 3 weeks out was the best bike bag purchase decision I made for myself. My goal was to hit under an hour to (dis)assemble. I dedicated full weekends, late nights, browsed the internet, contacted mechanical friends, headed to a community bike shop, and most importantly learned to be patient on this journey. Boy, what a journey it was.
I am a hell of a lot more certain than before about my mechanical skills. Now, I am more empowered than ever when I'm off riding solo - the bike no longer owns me. So thank you, Mt. Haleakala and Postcarry for being that motivating driver.
Bianchi Intrepida 51cm
Transfer Case 135L