“Sheldon Red” ready to ride

Bicycle Works, Conrad OHO, and CC all contributed.

It was tough, last Friday, when Spokey told me that the damage to the front end of the bike made it unreliable.

I tried to shrug off the feeling of riding about six miles in sleet with a bike trailer, hauling the carcass across the Ross Valley, braving  scary Friday traffic ..all for…uh…(sound of tear rolling down crow-feet corrugated cheek) uh…beauty.

I tried to fall out of love with the  impeccable red boy’s bike  that had prematurely been given a name…even wrote “Malo! Muy Malo” as a way to warn anyone hoping to restore it.
Went home with it, and Charlie took a look.
“The steerer’s such soft metal…easy to straighten…and the headtube isn’t that ovalized…a little controlled hammer work…. blahblahblahblah re-ream and it’s good…why not just fix it an’ get a new headset. …blahBLAH..then, if it doesn’t work, we can declare it dead”.

For  three hours he made hammering and filing noises in the 43 degree shop while I stoked the Jotul and tackled a hopeless cause within my area of expertise: reconstituting his threadbare riding corduroys with a new “bonobo butt” (colorblind-matched, haphazardly stitched) , and felt lucky again.

And lo! With a cheap  1″x  27 mm headset and about$400 worth of bicycle husbandry, the frame was back in play.

Just about then, Geoff Halaburt comes by pick up the Merlin Charlie’s operated on, and he presents me with four magnificent bottles of wine, created by women vintners. The cup is overflowing.

Stop press. Just got three magnificent archival quality photos from Marc Elliott of Color Services (Needham, Massachussetts)….an early Christmas present. Marc is an  artist and a member of the knobby nobility (don’t forget: earlybirds on fat tires in the eighties are by definition in this group).  He’s a rider who watched me ‘dispatch’ the competition, and remembers hearing about the time race impresario/Ross team mgr John Fitzpatrick backed over a custom-built Peter Weigle bike.
I swear, that was the most exciting thing that happened that day.
Everyone was having fun, and then some stupid car (well, OK the promoter IN the car) destroys a bicycle….

UGNHHH. Peter, what ever happened after that?
Did Team Ross make good?

In Massachusetts that year there weren’t women in my league yet, so I had most fun racing the Floridians from Team Jamis.  They really suffered those Western Massachusetts hills at Wendell State Park.

But I digress.
The red bike, now dubbed Sheldon Red, was brought back from the brink, and then obsessively re-oiled, reconstructed by OHO (local bike luminary and health buff).  I threw in the rag, frustrated with the nit-pickyness of putting three speed hubs back together. Jelani allowed me to tap out a press release for their fledgling store/community workspace, where each gives according to her ability…

~ by jacquiephelan on December 15, 2009.

One Response to ““Sheldon Red” ready to ride”

  1. Barter economy! It’s amazing how much one can accomplish by trading skills. I tend to use cookies and/or beer as currency.

    Sheldon’s looking mighty handsome. Glad you gave that old bike a second chance.

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