We had some amazingly summer like weather here in the Greater Toronto Area this weekend, and though I was stuck working on Saturday, on Sunday the great makeover of my old Kona Hahanna mountain bike happened at my friend Duncan's (who I still call by his university nickname of "Smut") house.
I've had the Hahanna since 2001, and have replaced the drivetrain once already. The cassette and derailleurs etc being worn out again, I decided it'd be nice to change it into a single speed (freewheel, not fixed). Smut has built up at least three singlespeeds, plus he has all the various tools, so I took the bike up to his house a few weeks ago, spent some time buying various parts, and we spent yesterday in the sunshine in his driveway doing the rebuild.
Smut didn't have "all" the tools needed though. He'd lost his chainbreaker someplace. This picture below is us trying to convince ourselves we didn't need to run to the bikeshop to buy a new chainbreaker because - our thinking went - we could just hammer the peg out of the chain link. We did end up making the run to the bikeshop.
This is Smut and me at some point during the middle part of the changeover.
And this is the finished product! With a new seat, the rack and fenders off, and new handgrips as well. It is such a sleeker look as a singlespeed. We decided to go with a 44 tooth ring up front, and a 16 tooth cog at the back. The chain tension isn't perfect but I rode home down the Don Valley trail with no problems after the makeover, so all seems to be good.
After leaving Smut's I had a nice "late summer afternoon" ride down the Don Valley trail (for those of you who don't know, the trail goes down a river valley and is bike/pedestrain/roller blader only). I came up Pottery Road (had to walk the bike up the hill) and then down Broadview. Just south of Danforth I stopped and took this photo over the playing field, Don Valley Parkway and the Don Valley River towards downtown. This is actually one of my favourite stretches for nighttime rides. You look out at all the city lights in the office towers in the city core.
And, just for the hell of it, here's the Don Valley Parkway, River, and bike trail (the thin path you see to the left of the river), taken from the Gerrard Street bridge. When the Becel Ride for the Heart happens every June, this is the road which gets entirely closed down to highway traffic and opened up to thousands of cyclists instead.