You know what's nice? A bike shop that endevours to keep you on the road and safe, but isn't trying to put its profit margin first. The shop on 96th & Broadway is a fairly busy place, but they were able to take my bike today and I'll pick it up about 4:30. I said I thought I needed a new chain, since mine got all rusty for a while, and the head honcho took one look and said I don't need a new chain; he asked me what my specific complaint was and I said basically it felt like the bike had slowed down, like I'm getting more friction than I should. He took a look at the bike and pointed out that the rear wheel is out of true and is rubbing the brake pad on every rotation and mentioned the hub probably needs some attention, too. "Basically," he said, "on these older bikes, until a part dies, don't replace it. Lubricate regularly and keep going." Good advice and I appreciated he didn't try to sell me a chain for one that didn't need replacing.
Had a good bike ride in to work today; great weather. I overdressed. I could use a rack, but my bike doesn't have the mounting holes for a proper rack and I can only use one of the racks that carries maybe a wadded up jacket or a notebook, but no more. I'll think about it. I'm beginning to understand the need for bike gloves and bike shorts.
I bought a better pump yesterday and was able to fully inflate the tires this morning. That alone made the ride much better (though much harder on my butt). My legs felt stronger and only on two uphills did I shift into the lowest gear. I was able to keep my speed up better today and even shifted the front derailleur into the higher gear for cruising up the west side. I was actually passing people for once!