T1DKennedy.com Where plates and Miles Collide

Working things out oN my own


I’m an avid mountain biker, I race often and with rigid competition. So why would I not know how to work on a bike?

Like many middle class children I’ve been sheltered, and protected, and helped continuously throughout my childhood. But this weekend, I didn’t have my dad to help me and I really, really wanted to put a new Shimano XT/SLX 11 speed drivetrain on my bike. So I set the bike on the stand, racked my brain to remember how my dad would do it and set to work.

I knew how to replace a tire and take a cassette off so I started there. I removed my old mavic rear tire, then I took my old cassette off; not an issue. I took care to clean the free hub and grease it. Then I put the new cassette on, it seemed a little tough to slide on and when I began to torque it down it spun out instead of tightening, for some reason. I thought nothing of it and moved on.

I put a Maxxis High Roller tire on my back wheel and filled it with Stans No Tubes, no problem. Then I addressed the issue of the trigger-shifter and rear derailleur. For some reason I decided it would be best to start with removing the shifter, so I slid my grip and brakes off of the handlebar and continued to loosen the shifter cable all the way and removed the shifter. After an eternity of twisting that stupid little knob. Then I went about removing the rear derailleur, I took it off and then realized I forgot something, the chain. No problem because it had a master link, I squeezed that with the special plyers and voila, no chain to hold the derailleur on. At this point I’d pretty much reached the end of my previous knowledge; I was in uncharted waters so I did what any self-respecting millennial would do: I watched a YouTube video.

Turns out all YouTube videos on Shimano parts are made by old Russian guys or people with other various thick accents. So all I learned was that I took the wrong bolt off for the rear derailleur, after quickly fixing that I put the new shifter on and the new rear derailleur both XT 1×11. The. I put a new chain on only to realize it was about one link too small. No matter, I took a link from my old chain off and put it on my new chain. However, in the process, I broke the chain break. Man that sucks.

Fortunately we had another one and I continued on. Finally I had to run the shifter cable from the shifter to the derailleur. The cable came pre-installed to the shifter so that was good but when I ran it through the ferrule (which I already had on my bike from the past shifter cable) I couldn’t keep the ferrule connected to the shifter (through the barrel adjuster). So I did another thing common to millennials: I left it alone and hoped it would fix itself. Which somehow worked for me, after shifting through the gears on the first go around it didn’t come out after that. But I had a new problem, my shifting sounded terrible. After messing around with it for a bit I realized an old issue had come back to haunt me, I’d put the last gear on my cassette on diagonally so the it didn’t thread right and also rubbed against my bikes rear triangle. I quickly took it off fearing I’d ruined the cassette, fortunately it was ok and I corrected the issue and put it back on the bike. Now it didn’t shift right but at least I could turn the pedals.

So as I began to mess with the the a and b screws on the derailleur I noticed patterns, one screw kept the derailleur from going past the highest gear, one kept it from going past the lowest gear and one brought it forward and backwards horizontally to the bike.

However I couldn’t figure them out so I made up my own way, I shifted into the highest gear, took the derailleur and manually manipulated it to allign with that gear, then I tightened the derailleur cable so it stayed there and all of a sudden it shifted perfectly. I ran through the gears in disbelief and lubed the chain so it stopped rattling.

I realized that I actually could do most things I set my mind to and I am not as helpless as I thought. I was victorious; time to tackle the other areas of my life that need a little TLC, maybe I’ll just wing it.


Too Much To Do 11/16

This title may seem contradictory; anyone that writes a blog MUST have endless amounts of time on their hands to post pictures of food, themselves, and probably their cats as well as write funny and informative anecdotes full of pop culture references. Not I, I have nme-blogo time. If you see this, it is because I found a free second between training, school, what is left of my social time, my incurable disease, and trying to keep myself sane. So, if you see this, its because I have something to share, it may be of no importance to you, just another blip on whatever social media app you use, a random title you came across scouring the dregs of the internet, or a recommendation from that friend that gets just a little too excited about everything. Or it may be of the utmost importance, I know I am not the only one dealing with – well – what I’m dealing with. I have no time, you probably have no time, but between the two of us I think we can work out a way to learn from each other, because they say that the best way to learn is to teach and while I may teach you nothing I can at least feel like I am.

This month is type one diabetes awareness month, for some of you that may not know exactly what type one diabetes is, it is an auto-immune disease that attacks the insulin producing cells of your pancreas. Imagine it this way: a line man decides for some reason that the best way to win a game is to cut his own quarterbacks dominant arm off. Basically type ones can’t turn sugar (carbohydrates) into energy. So they must rely on synthetic insulin (used to be animal based but that’s not important). Too many carbs and not enough insulin leads to high glucose levels and too much insulin and not carbs leads to life threatening and incapacitating lows.

I am a type one diabetic (if you didn’t guess already) and while it is manageable and technically “treatable” it is not “curable” so diabetics are left with five plus injections a day and multiple pricks in the finger to know their blood sugar. Returning to the subject of type one diabetes awareness month, if you know a type one give them kudos, and if

you don’t maybe its time to find one, they’re generally great people and there are 1.25 million of them in America. And all of them need a friend, someone to keep them accountable and someone to have fun with because they can do and eat everything you can.

If you remember one thing it is this, type ones did not get this disease by eating too much sugar as a child or not exercising a lot. Most of us are great athletes and grew up in households that eat healthy foods. We like to refer to the common diabetes you’ve heard of (type 2 diabetes) as lifestyle diabetes. Very different and a little insulting to hear us put in the same boat.

I’m not a doctor, nor do I advertise for a company but I am someone who knows my body so if you have any questions about diabetes or anything else in that subject I’ll try to find some time to answer those in the comments.


All Images Copyright Brian Kennedy

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.