Basic Guide to Bikes

This is for my non-cycling friends so I dont have to repeat myself 🙂

Identifying a bike is the first main part of Bikes.

If you picked it up at the local convenience store/Warehouse/k Mart then it is worth less than half its value when you walk out the door, and its possibly even unsafe. These bikes are usually mountain bikes fobbed off as road bikes, made of inferior steel metal which can bends or breaks whilst riding.
They still have their place if you just want something cheap to cycle down to the dairy and will probably leave it out in the rain to rust anyway. Chances are they will never be comfortable however, and are really a mountain bike, despite what the brochure said.
Its always better to buy a second hand brand name or decent bike online I have found, both for comfort and durability.

Identifying your bike:
Check your bikes tyres is a good way to identify what style bike you have.

This is a normal mountain bike tyre. MTB wheels are 26″ around and this is on the tyre.
This is a slick mountain bike tyre (so you can ride an MTB on the road). This is wide but smooth. Also used on Hybrids, however a Hybrid has 700c sized wheels (700 mm clincher), normal bikes have 26″
This is a road bike tyre (note: its very thin and smooth). These wheels are 700c (or about just over 27″) round.

Check the Valves:

Mountain bikes and Hybrid bikes usually have Shrader valves, these are handy because its the same as a car, and dont need as higher pressure (60PSI or so).
Road bikes use the Presta Valves because they have much higher pressure in the tyres (up to and around 120PSI)

The Frame:

Mountain Bikes usually (but not always) have some sort of suspension either in the front forks, or the rear.
Hybrids are a mix of both MTB and road, so the Frame usually has no suspension, but sometimes will have just front (never rear). The front fork onto the front wheel usually is straight like an MTB. They usually have the flat handlebars that a mountain bike has.
Road bikes are thin, aerodynamic and never have suspension. The front fork onto the front wheel usually has a nice curve (though not always). Handlebars are usually the hooked style look.

You can tell the age of most bikes by whats on them, the frame style, etc.
Cheaper MTB/hybrids have twist grip gear changing. You twist your hand grips to change gears. These are pretty handy for people not confident with taking hands off.

Newer MTB are better yet with a trigger style gear change for your finger, and a thumb press to go down gears

Newer road bikes have these excellent gear levers hidden behind the brake. A Quick flick with the finger changes you up a gear, and a push sideways on the entire brake lever goes down a gear. There is no guessing where the gear is like the old days, they just ‘click’ into place. Brakes work like normal brakes when you pull them towards the handlebar still.

Older Road bikes had levers on the down tube which were hard to reach and the cheaper ones had them up where the handlebars bolt on. These have not been really used in the last 10 or more years now other than on cheap bikes. Unless you are trying to go retro, better to stay away from them.

Road bikes tend to have deep dish wheels now vs the older ones

Now, the important parts!

Road bikes are for riding exclusively on the road. Good for long rides in the country, getting fit, going to school and back. They are designed to be fast on the road and fairly comfortable once you get used to them. They will give you a sore butt as you get used to them, but this will pass (if not get a proper fitting!). You should not jump curbs, go up dirt tracks, over fields etc with them. They are light weight, easy to carry around, and dont take up much bike rack space.
The gears are made for road riding so you can get good speed going up and downhills or along the flats.

Mountain Bikes are for riding soley on dirt tracks, through bush and generally thrash them. They are the grown ups BMX pretty much. Also great for family bikes through dirt tracks and what would otherwise be a bush walk (except on a bike). They are heavy, and made of steel, with knobbly tyres for traction in mud, streams or otherwise.
They go slow on the road, mostly due to the tyres, and are not particularly good for anything but on the dirt tracks unless you fit mountain bike Slicks (smooth tyres) to them.

Hybrid is more of a comfort bike, good for people getting fit, who mostly want to ride road, but also want to ride up bush tracks occasionally with family. Its a great universal bike for most people, and probably ideal for children going to school and back (unless they have other sports). They work well pretty much everywhere and i find they are great as a general every day bike unless you want to specialize in a particular style of cycling.

Warehouse Special is a bike that look like a broken mountain bike and sold as a road bike and should only ever be bought as a gift for somebody you DONT like. Please stop buying these and calling them bikes unless you are some seriously budget person who can’t find parts in an inorganic and put them together.

And in case you got stuck on any of the bike parts

Quantums head Injury update

Well its been 4 days now since he had an accident and landed on his head. Some memories have come back, but most of them hes learnt. ie ‘What is a car’, ‘what is a cat’ etc. Hes extremely smart (was the highest in his class) and logical still, so learns fast which has the side affect of somewhat hiding that hes still not really getting better overly fast.
We went to the hospital as the Occupational therapist was worried when i described over the phone his state.
He’s mentally about 5 years old, but with the smarts of an 11 year old. Hes quiet and polite and very honest. He no longer ‘knows it all’ or shows off, and like a 5yo has no shame at all about anything. Prior to the accident there would be no way in hell he would have let me see him naked, but when having a bath he had no problems with mum helping out.
He doesn’t recall places, people, or things, but can remember doing things more (ie recalls doing dishes with people at camp but doesn’t recall the people).
Beeping noises and tinny sounds drive him mad, he thinks the supermarket is ‘hell’ and sits in the trolly with his hands over his ears until we leave due to the in shop music. He tires easily , a walk around a car park will need a nap afterwards. Walking from one end of the hospital to the other plus stairs meant he was shattered after going into the hospital today.
I can organize an Occupational therapist, however due to a new law i need a Doctors referral and that has to wait until 10 days after the accident. This allows for any natural healing. In the mean time i have no idea what status things are at or how long to expect it to get better.
At the rate hes going there will be no school so I will have to continue working from home. During our visit there was a mention of probably months before hes better.
They did more tests to see what he could recall or not, he recalled sellotape since he had used it the day before, and paper, but had no idea what a ruler was or a pen.
The pen, scissors and sellotape were hidden under a chair for a minute, and then he was asked to see if he could recall what things were hidden.
He recalled the sellotape, the scissors, and an Octopus ….
There are times you are just torn between laughing an crying, this was one of them.

As Paul said, when you see what a minor fall off a low chair can do, you realize how idiotic it is riding a bike without a helmet or similar.

Update: this morning was bad, but this afternoon after his nana naps he seems a lot better, almost his old self. Heres hopeing!

Quantums Injury/accident – the full story

Quantum says they got up and went out for a run around the field before breakfast. He got out and realized he had his slippers on, so his leader told him to sit on a chair next to the skate park whilst the others did theirs. He got cold so pulled his knees up under his jumper then pulled his arms into it as well. Being Quantum he jiggled a little too much and fell off the chair face first into the ground. He got his arms and legs out, coughed up blood, then got up.  He saw somebody over by the skate park and tried to walk for help but got dizzy and passed out near the skate ramp.

He was found near the skate ramp out cold shortly afterwards, and they assumed he had fallen off that. The next thing he recalls is being in the office.

I got a call at about 8:40 from Camp Friday morning, The kids had been staying at Finlay Park for the week and were due home that afternoon. Apparently My son Quantum had had a fall, unwitnessed, and had hurt his face and may have concussion.  They said they were going to the local A&E, so i headed up there to meet them. When i arrived he was in a room by himself, he looked pretty bad. His nose was swollen twice the size, and upper lip was also very swollen. Blood crusted his mouth and nose, and was all down the front of his shirt. His two front teeth were bent backwards into his mouth and looked like they had been pulled down as well.

He looked at me and said in a dazed voice ‘Who are you?’, at which point i turned around and said ‘I think he needs to go to hospital’ . The Dr took a look a few minutes later and said the same thing, and called an ambulance. Quantum was unable to remember anything, who he was, where he was, what happened, what things were. He kept asking ‘Whats hospital?’ , we would reply ‘Its a large place they can make you better’, so he would reply ‘so where are we now?’, and we reply ‘at a Doctors’, and he would say ‘whats the difference?’ etc. that conversation happened about 5 times.

When at the hospital he eventually remembered who I was (after i repeated it several times). He still had no idea who was family or who dad was. He said ‘Wow, I have 2 parents? I wonder what my dad is like! i cant wait to meet him!’. We had to explain everything, what water was, what windows and doors. He usually remembered once we told him once. He went through a day of x-rays, cat scans, and an emergency dentist who we luckily found on I didn’t leave his side because he panicked because he couldn’t remember anything or who he was. Eventually about 3-4pm whilst at the Newington Dentist CT clinic, we realized we were hungry, but by this time the cafe was closed, and i was still unable to leave Quantum alone. I realized I hadn’t eaten since the night before since he hurt himself before breakfast (neither had he).

The dentist gave him some gas, and needles, pulled his front teeth forward and used some wire to hold them in place. He had another tooth pulled out and will probably end up with a lot more dental work to come.  He will have to diligently follow the after care instructions which you can find on if he is to properly heal. He is also unable to eat anything solid at all for the next 4 weeks.

His memory was coming back somewhat, but still mostly gone. Paul (my husband, Quantums dad) came in after dinner and brought me food about 6pm. he also had a bag of clothes for Quantum to change into since he was still wearing bloody ones. I got the PJs out of the bag and noticed they were a bit smelly, Paul mentioned he had just grabbed them off the bedroom floor so they may not have been clean. Quantum smelt them and said “Eww Yuck! thats gross!” – He thought we wanted him to wear somebody elses filthy PJs, not realizing they were his.

Today he was able to go home after lunch since there was no broken bones, and no brain swelling, but hes still not with it and not himself’ .

Here are a couple of the conversations we had

Me:Don’t spill your drink on the electronics.
Q: what are electronics?
Me: things like that ipod.
Q: what does an ipod do?
Me: its a thing that plays music.
Q: woah that’s so cool, so is this plate electronic?
Me: no.
Q: how about this spoon?
Me: No, things that plug into the wall usually
Q: Whats a plug?

Q: what’s that?
Me: spaghetti.
Q: does it live in the ground?
Me: no you must be thinking of  worms.
Q: did they get it out and cut it up?
Me: No, thats spaghetti, not worms
Q: Are the worms nice? .. at this point everyone is laughing as he goes on about eating worms (we have since bought several cans of worms)

Me: Can you see dads car?
Q: Is it that one?
Me: No, Dads car is white
Q: Oh is it that one?
Me: No its this one here, get in (we get in and start leaving)
Q: Is that dads car there?
Me: no, we are in dads car now
Q: Oh, ok. Its very scary and fast ….. Is that Dads car there!
Me: No, we are still in dads car ….

His sister Chelsea kept getting called James for some time. Hes still not sure what the cats are, and in fact called a Friend of ours Ichabod (his name was Allan, though at least he laughed). I figure he should be right as rain in a day or two, but i have made a few videos in the mean time which ill show him when hes better.
For the long haul hes looking at a fair bit more dentistry work, and mushy food for the next month or so.

Photos of his his journey are at

# Added conversational items worth remembering for posteriously
Day 3
Q: why does the clock go 9:59 to 10:00 instead of going to 9:60 and 9:61 ?
Me: No idea, its just stupid i guess

Q: How do you know if something is alive?

Q: Ohh! i remember my friend Nick! he has green hair!

Me: Would you like a bath?
Q: Whats a bath?
Me: Its like a giant cup of water, big enough for you to hope in
Q: Wont i suffocate?
Me: No, it has no lid and we wont fill it right up
Q: Okay
— after filling up the bath
Q: woah! whats that?
Me: bubbles
Q: Are they poisonous?
Me: No, they are just fun to play with
Q: awesome!

Music annoys him, more than annoys him. He cant stand any tinny music, iPods, and music at the supermarket left him holding his hands over his ears.

4:30pm Sunday his memory finally came back from holiday 😀

Useful link for you guys: Pediatric Dental Services.