i took the motorcycle down to the arsenal mall this morning. a new sports authority had opened up a few weeks ago (taking over the space that was formerly filene's basement). i was searching for a bike cable kit which i found, and managed to use a 20%-off-one-item coupon i printed online.

since marshalls was right downstairs, i decided to go and have a look at the kitchenware. the EPA is working to phase out traditional non-stick (e.g. teflon) coated cookware since studies have shown the non-stick chemical might lead to cancer and other unhealthy side effects. the latest technology hoping to fill the niche is the ceramic-coated cookware. since my one good frying pan was scratched up by my previous roommate, i've been searching for a replacement. i ended up getting an italian-designed (though china made) white frying pan ($10). i can't wait to try it out.

my final stop was the watertown home depot, where i was searching for spacers. i got a pair of 1" long aluminum spacers. i also bought some small l-brackets (aka corner braces) which i was going to use for an alternative rear baskets attachment solution. they came in stainless steel but that package included wood screws which i didn't need. i ended up getting a package of zinc plated brackets and a package of short (1/2") zinc screws and nuts.

i stopped in belmont briefly to water the garden and to let the dog outside to go to the bathroom.

it was nearly 1:00 when i finally returned home. i immediately went to fixing my bike. the first solution was to attach 2 L-brackets so they form a small bridge to gap the distance between the rear rack attachment arm and the seat tube eyelet. the idea seemed promising at first until i realized the connected brackets were too long. i could fit it onto one side, but there'd be no more space on the other side.

my other solution was to use the spacers. it was a promising alternative but unfortunately the spacers were too long and i couldn't attach them onto both sides.

i quickly made some oatmeal for lunch before deciding what i should do next. i also wanted to visit haymarket today, but i needed the bike to be fixed in order to do so. i decided to go back to home depot, return the usable parts, and then buy the correct parts. instead of 1" spacers, i went with a pair of 3/4" and 1/2" spacers. i got both just in case one size doesn't fit so i wouldn't have to come back again. likewise with the L-brackets, i picked 2 different sizes. these brackets were different from the ones i had before in that they only had a single hole per side. this might be a problem because the 2 brackets might pivot where i screw them to each other, but it seemed unavoidable if i wanted a shorter bridge distance.

once more back at home, i tried the bracket solution first. the shorter pieces fit the gap well, but i ran into a problem: the holes on the brackets were too small to fit my 10-32 zinc screws! next i tried the spacers. i didn't have a lot of confidence that they'd work. the 3/4" size fit the gaps perfectly, including washer and lock ring. after i installed both of them i shook the baskets; the spacer combination seemed pretty solid.

the ultimate test for the rear baskets fix would come when i ride the bike into boston and back. it was already 3:00 by the time i left. i was a little nervous and kept on feeling the rear of the baskets to make sure they were still attached. i brought a small screwdriver just in case. i made it all the way to haymarket with everything still securely fastened. today's haul: 2 bundles of kale ($3), 4 asian pears ($3), 2 lbs. of cherries ($6), a string of garlic cloves ($1), and 2 bunches of cilantro ($1).

i was surprised and relieved to make it home without anything falling apart. i kept hearing horrible rattling but that was just my bike lock bouncing around in one of the metal baskets. the spacers seem to be working. i'm not sure if the split lock washers are doing anything, or i have them in the correct order. i think the screws are still coming loose, but since the spacers and washers have the rear baskets attachments so tightly packed, there just isn't enough space for the screws to come loose like it did before. only time will tell, but so far so good.

i continued with the schwinn restoration project: i removed the front fender. since i already took off the front basket and the wheel, it wasn't very hard to detach the fender. i brought it into the kitchen and scrubbed it down with a brillo pad. a fender has a difficult shape and it was hard to clean it in the sink. the brillo pad made some progress but the inside of the fender is so rusted it's beyond saving. even with a rust remover it would never be shiny again.

i tried removing the rear fender by first attempting to remove the rear wheel, but i couldn't get it off. then i thought maybe i had to take off the fender first before the wheel but disassembling the rear fender seemed like too much work. feeling that i might be getting overboard with the restoration when all i really want is to get the bike working so i can ride it, i decided to put everything back together again.

the rear derailleur definitely seems broken. i snipped the shift cable hoping it might release the tension but the derailleur just doesn't have any slack. i guess i could ride the bike for the time being in single gear, keeping my fingers crossed and hoping the chain won't jump because i'd have to then put back the chain manually. i may try to remove the rear derailleur altogether, makes it easier to clean and to see what the problem is (and whether or not it can be fixed).

for dinner i stewed the leftover rotisserie chicken from yesterday. i left it simmering on the stove for about an hour to create a broth for a noodle soup. normally i'd eat this with rice noodles but i only had vietnamese pho noodles.

maybe the referees were making up for their lop-sided called in game 2; or maybe it's an NBA conspiracy to extend the series in order to make more money; whatever it is, the referees were much more lenient on the celtics (at the expense of the heat) in game 3 tonight. even then, the heat made a final surge in the last few minutes that closed the 20+ point differential into single digits. there may be hope yet for the celtics. if they can win sunday night, the series will be tied and it'll be brand new best out of 3 series.