it's convenient that park sales bike shop is just a short 10 minute walk from my house. i went there this morning to pick up a new 26 x 1-3/8" tire ($12.99, sunlite hybrid nimbus although it says kenda on the tire itself) and corresponding inner tube ($4.99, sunlite schrader valve). i then motorcycled to belmont with my bike tools.

after some sausages-potatoes-eggs for lunch, i showed last night's penultimate game of thrones episode to my mother and sister. they were just as shock as i was over the unexpected ending.

in the afternoon i was out in the backyard working on the ross 10-speed. the sun came out for a little bit and it was actually a fairly nice day. my father came out and helped me clean off the rust with some WD-40 and steel wool.

rust was easiest to remove from any chrome finish. but there were areas - like the guts of the crankset - that were either too hard to get inside or rusted so badly (e.g. pitting) that there was no way to completely remove the rust.

when i removed the rear wheel and pried off the old tire and inner tube, i noticed the rubber rim strip needed replacing as well. i took a quick ride to the waverley square wheelworks to pick one up ($5, which i thought was kind of pricey for a glorified rubberband).

we attached a spare giant brand bike seat i bought over to the empty seat post. it's not the best seat but at least it's something to sit on. i was afraid we wouldn't be able to pull out the post, but after we attached the seat, it was just a simple matter of twisting off the post. we greased it and put it back on the bike.

the replacement tube and tire was a breeze to put on the wheel. i didn't even need the tire levers (although i did use one to remove the old tire). we just popped it onto the rim and inflated the tube. afterwards we put back the rear wheel onto the bike frame, snaking the chain around the sprocketed cassette.

the front gear shift and rear brake cables still need to be replaced, but in the meantime the bike is perfectly functional so my father and i took it outside for a test ride. i can't really tell the difference that there's a front flywheel. only the rear shifter works, but at least that gave me 5 speeds. the front of the bike seems misaligned but that's only because the front basket is slightly askew, creating an optical illusion. both wheels aren't 100% true, but the brake pads are far enough apart that it doesn't rub against the rims from the very slight wobble.

my mother came out for a test ride. she could only get on the bike with a running start and hopping on from the side. likewise, when she needed to stop, she'd hop off completely. this was just the way she learned how to ride a bike. my sister came out as well to demonstrate her technique. even though the seat is a little bit tall for her, she still managed to ride it without any problems. my mother was pleased enough with the bike that she wanted to ride it to work tomorrow. i told her that wasn't a good idea, that maybe she should do some more practice runs first, and that i should ride with her at least once so i can teach her all the traffic rules.

the thing about these backyard cucumbers is i don't even know if they're going to produce good cucumbers. these are F2 generation, so if the ones last year were hybrids, not all the cucumbers this year will be like their parents. a few weeks ago i was pinching off the flowers to prevent the plants from producing cucumbers at such an early stage, but i've since stopped that practice, because the cucumbers themselves seem to know it's still too early by ditching immature fruits.

my family has been taking advantage of the bounty of leaf greens we've been growing this season. everyone loves the arugula, but my parents also like to eat the radish leaves when they uproot the radishes. often times there's so much leaf and so little actual radish that it makes sense to eat the leaves. the leaves themselves taste a little bitter (although my parents didn't think so) but cook well steamed. my parents eat the leaves raw, tossed with some salt.

bram wasn't home when i got back, but there was evidence he'd been home earlier since there was a cooking smell from the kitchen. i don't mind his cooking at all, very mild, low-impact cooking. i noticed he used my new pan and quickly inspected for damage, almost as a reflex. the pan was fine, and i think he even oiled it to preserve the non-stick coating (either that or he didn't wash it very well).

i had the bruins game in the background, game 6 of the stanley cup. when i saw the game they were already up by 2 points, and then built it up to 4 points. why does the bruins just dominate at home but can't seem to score when they play in vancouver? so far in the series the hometown team has won every game. it bodes well for the canucks who will play the last game at home on wednesday; it may also give them a false sense of confidence, and boston is in a perfect position to steal a win.