Friday, May 9, 2008

Biker trash


I hear some people talking about what trash some bikers can be. I’m a biker. Well, not really. I used to be a biker. Well, that’s a stretch also. I used to bicycle. I used to ride in high school for fun. Before I got a drivers license, I used to bicycle to my job as a lifeguard at a pool. After college, I decided to get a state-of the art bicycle and bike for fitness. For about four or five years, I used to ride about six days a week and ten to twenty miles a day. I had some great and horrible times on that bike. Getting caught out on skinny race tires in the rain. Watching Joe Pool Lake fill up. I even got hit by a car. I saw the idiot coming. He was bombing along on a gravel road off Joe Pool Lake. I was doing about 20 miles per hour and had the right of way, not that it mattered. About the time I realized that I couldn’t even slow down, he realized that he better hit his brakes for the stop sign. Try doing about 20 MPH on a gravel road and then lock up the brakes. It’s like slowing on marbles. He slid through the intersection and clipped my rear wheel in the process. Somehow, I didn’t get knocked off. But the idiot nailed the accelerator and took off! My wife came upon me sitting on the grass looking at the pretzel that was my rear tire.
I still have the bike, but have not ridden much in 20 years. Marriage, kids, building onto the house, no place to safely ride, all played a part in my bike sitting for 20 years.

About 10 years back, I did spend a few boring weekends and rebuilt my bike and my wife’s. I took them apart, cleaned them, put in new grease in all the bearings. They then continued to sit, but it was good that I rebuilt them.

A few weeks back, I got the idea to start riding some on weekends. I thought of this instead of my daily five mile walks, which is yielding sore feet and ankles. So I decide to get a new helmet and gear. I drag out my old biking shoes and find them dry rotted. I look at the tires and they are UV rotted. I purchase new tires, inner tubes, shoes and other gear. I then go about taking my bike apart. Except as I disassemble things, everything is found to be in great shape due to my rebuild some ten years before. I do have a time getting the old tires off, as they were so rotted. I also find my rims just a bit out of true and have to remember how to adjust the spokes to properly true up the rims.

So after a few nights and weekends cleaning, greasing and adjusting, the bike finally got ridden for 15 miles.

Meanwhile, the wife got wind of this project and requested her bike also be rebuilt!

Then she batted her eyes at me.

Here’s a shot of my bike trash. And a photo of the rebuilt bike.

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