during the winter i usually wake up no later than 10am (and go to bed around 2-3am), but due to daylight savings i didn't wake up until 11am. i left for belmont soon afterwards. temperature was in the 40's but felt much cold due to the winds. the weather was weird too; i was expecting it to be a sunny day but it was actually cloudy, and midway on my ride it started to flurry a little bit.

i had a bowl of nongshim instant udon noodles for lunch. it was okay, but it had a seafood flavor that i didn't like.

while examining the orchids in my parents' bedroom, i noticed some more tiny mealybugs. i thought it was strange since i sprayed neem oil just yesterday. after a more careful inspection, i discovered mealybugs were nesting inside the orchid flower buds themselves. i did some more spraying then dabbed what mealybugs i saw with some alcohol.

i spent most of the day in the backyard working on my bike, replacing the rear wheel. it's not complicated but there are many steps: remove the old wheel from bike, swap solid axle on new wheel with quick release axle from old wheel, remove freewheel from old wheel, remove tire from old wheel, install tire on new wheel, install freewheel on new wheel, install new wheel onto bike. it was cold outside, i was still "jetlag" from the daylight savings time change, and every so often there'd be a snow flurry. the sky was also grey, but like the flurries, there would be brief moments where the sun would come out.

i'd forgotten that when you remove the axle from a wheel, there's a good chance the ball bearings will fall out. i ended up working inside, so i could see any loose ball bearings. replacing the axle wasn't so easy when i realized the new bike wheel had custom dust caps attached to the cones. so i had to remove these dust cap cones and put them on the hollow quick release axle. unfortunately some of the nuts were rusted shut, and my father had to help me by clamping the axle in a vise (thankfully it's not threaded in the center) while i turned the nuts with a wrench. then i discovered that the threads on the solid axle and the quick release axle were different; that meant the dust cap cones wouldn't thread onto the quick release axle (but hardware from the quick release could thread on the solid axle, just a little loose). so all that work taking the axles apart and chasing after loose ball bearings and getting grease all over the grease was for nothing, as i ended up going with the solid axle that came with the new wheel. i did swap up one of the spacers for a smaller one, but that was a mistake, because the way it was set up originally was perfect. quick release axles (rear wheel) are 145mm, while the solid axles are 175mm to accomodate the locking nuts.

at some point while i was on the kitchen floor with my gloved hands covered in grease, trying to figure out the correct combination of cones and washers and nuts on the axle, it started to flurry heavily outside. i had to go out and bring in my tools otherwise they'd get all wet. pellets of snow was falling, i wasn't expecting this forecast. i would've been cool to get some photos, but by the time i took a break, the snow had stopped.

i put the newly axled rear wheel onto the bike to see if it'll actually mount correctly. everything seemed good, i just needed to even out the axle so there's about an equal distance of axle thread on either end. when i first mounted it, most of the axle was still out one side of the bike.

next i tried to remove the freewheel. this can be a challenge and requires brute force as the freewheel automatically gets tighter when you ride it. i had a socket wrench that fit the freewheel remover adapter but i couldn't get enough leverage to unscrew the freewheel. i then tried putting the adapter in a vise and turning the rear wheel like a steering wheel to loosen the freewheel but still no luck. finally my father had to help me, and he said i could try stepping on the handle of the socket wrench to get more force, and sure enough, it loosened right up. freewheel removed, i wiped it clean with a paper towel before spraying the front and back with WD40.

then came time to remove the tire from the old wheel. i brought my tire levers today, got the tire and inner tube removed, there was a little struggle, but i didn't even need to swear. now the tire had to go onto the new wheel. i first applied some rim tape to the new wheel, so the spoke ends won't accidentally puncture the inner tube. i was a little worried because this new wheel is 26x1.75" while the tire and inner tubes are for 26x1.5". fortunately there was negligible diference and the old tire and tube installed just fine, almsot effortlessly, didn't even need to use the tire levers. i went to the garage and used the air compressor to pump up the tire. it was taking too long, i filled it up to around 60-80psi, good enough.

i greased the freewheel threads on the new wheel and attached the old freewheel. i also made sure to install the freewheel guard this time, to prevent water and gunk from getting to the back of the freewheel.

with that i mounted the rear wheel onto the bike. i tried to reattached the rear brakes as well, but the new wheel is slightly thicker, so the rear brakes have to be realigned, something i'll do at a later night. and not that i need the rear brakes anyway, i've been riding all this week with just the front brakes. i grabbed my face mask and took the bike for a spin, to see how the new wheel was working. it seemed to be riding fine. by that point it was already 6pm and my mother had to come out of the house and ask me to come back in for dinner.

my parents made chinese dumplings for dinner. afterwards we had some mango ice cream mochi.

the temperature had dropped to 32 degrees by the time i returned home, but it was much colder because the winds had picked up. it wasn't too bad, i was bundled up, as i slowly made my way back to cambridge. i did a load of laundry, washed my pants that had some bike grease stains. i applied some shout advanced stain removing gel beforehand, i was surprised that i actually managed to scrub the stains off, i was certain the pants were ruined. i also washed some sweaters but hung them out to dry on a drying rack instead of throwing them in the dryer.