Fun At The Bicycle Workshop
1) Clean a couple surfaces in the living room so there is some flatness (as opposed to steep-sided mounds of clothing & paper).
It took me three hours to ‘integrate’ (=rearrange, hide) the crap loaded on the Big Dictionary-Sized tea cabinet.
Left dictionary open on the page for “woolgathering“. Discover that this is an artist’s blog (of course), and get drawn into her lovely watercolors and drawings… Pry myself from desk–which is still a wreck. Eye the steamer trunk drowning in ephemera, and wonder if putting shelves on the two inside halves mightn’t just increase stuffing capacity (and you leave it open, on its end)…wood-worker needed for that…sigh.
2) Work on bikes.
I needed a reward for item #1, so I told myself that playing with the new bike would be a treat. That is, making Charlie fix the red bike.
Charlie took the fork and did something with a vise and a square of leather and the world’s biggest wrench.
Now the fork looks normal, as opposed to looking like it was ridden into a stone wall at 20 mph.
The next step was to go to the Bicycle Workshop and have Jelani Bertoni guide me through the process of sorting out what needs to be done.
Bearings re-done. Tires replaced. Pedals repacked. Brakes adjusted. Even the scabrous saddle got a lathering of “leather lotion”.
I’ll try to get proofide tomorrow, you guys say that’s the best, right?
The workshop was hopping. Three young men slaved away at BMX bikes in their respective zone, and and one old dude my age tinkered with I didn’t notice what. Talking Heads blared merrily overhead.
No one ever likes hearing me insist that the top reason for riding a bike is to develop sexy legs, but here comes another batty platitude: having rock n roll playing in the workspace makes the work seem fun. Tedium disappears.
We repacked the front hub, and I noticed the axle was more worm-shaped than rod-shaped. Rolling it between your fingers, you felt the Wrongness, though not easy to see. Probably that insult involving a fast-moving wall and a baffled rider. Bent or not, we slid the threaded rod (“axle”, to you) into place. We will see what we get (later at home, CC said it’s easy to straighten! Hmmm. I guess if you have a giant level table it is. One of those one-ton affairs).
Off came tires and tubes. Interestingly, the butyl tubes still held air. And the tires were nice and stiff except for the horrible long weather-cracks in them. It might be a 1963-ish bicycle ridden a couple of times, crashed badly, and hung up forever.
The brake pads say “JOHN BULL” and look un-worn.
Alas we didn’t finish (I’d budgeted a month to fix it, but unrealistically wanted to be done in two hours), so everything’s a bit in limbo til tomorrow or Thursday.
Which is my birthday. You might have noticed I de-facebooked myself so I’m telling you myself, instead of letting them give you the thoughtful hint that I’m 54 going on…oh….twelve.