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Tuesday, 7-Oct-2008 02:28
Like I Told Paparazziboy, Here's What Happened Last Saturday
Saturday after buying that beater Acura then getting tags at the DMV (fun!) and getting a few car things done, I opened up the garage to assess my projects. What stood out were a handful of bicycles that I had purchased over the summer. I had a his-and-hers set of bright green Huffy Sportsman bikes from 1971. They each had racks, lights, 3-speed hubs, original whitewalls, and I picked them up for $5 each at an estate sale. I planned to eBay them and make my money back x10 or so. Then I also had recently picked up a 1962 Royal girl's bike, made in England, black with raised rib fenders, for $40. That wasn't the same great deal, but after cleaning up, I was probably going to keep it.
I have a neighbor who loves bikes. Builds heavy-duty commuter bikes with welded-on racks and generator hubs and lights and batteries. He buys up bike shop inventories and is always getting and giving and selling and building. He came over while my garage was open, asking if I wanted to see his newest acquisitions. After visiting a while, we started bartering. Soon he had all three of my bikes, and I was back home with a lightweight aluminum-and-steel hybrid road bike frame, two new complete wheels and a freewheel in back, handlebars and stem, two brake levers and a front brake, etc. I'm building a single-speed lightweight stripped down bicycle like I see all the cool people riding. It'll have one brake, on the front, one gear, one water bottle, and that's about it. With ring gear and rear sprocket combos and by adjusting the length of the chain, I'll find a ratio that I like. Checking the WWW for other riders' preferred combos, it shouldn't take long to find something that works well.
On Sunday afternoon I dug through Don's boxes of goodies for a crank hub and arms, a seat post and seat. I have pedals and will have to come up with the gears and chain. Right now all my existing parts are assembled and the bike feels nice and light, stiff and responsive. It's a fun little project I've been wanting to do, it cleans out my garage, and it'll make me even more cool than I was before! Plus, the Bell's Oberon beer, a local favorite, tasted very good.


P.S. My brother-in-law once told me a story about shopping for hiking gear, willing to pay a lot more for stuff that weighs a little bit less. It all adds up, you know. And then he started thinking about how much consumers spend for lightweight this and featherweight that, carbon fiber bikes and ultra fabrics.... And then he thought, "or I could just lose ten pounds of fat...."

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