Sunday, October 16, 2005

A fine afternoon...spent in the garage

There's another Community Cycling Program class coming up on Saturday. The CCP works with several local agencies to provide bicycles and instruction for non-violent ex-offenders and some other social services clients.

My role in this is to teach part of the LAB Road1 course, usually the fix-a-flat portion, and I adjust saddles and handlebars as necessary. There's always something to fix.

This week, I have two donated bikes to overhaul. One's a generic 'Mart bike that's actually in good shape, considering. It was abandoned at Tom's Bicycles by a customer who never came back for it. The other bike is a Raleigh, hilariously mis-named a "CityLite"! It actually has an aluminum frame, but this thing weighs a ton! I'd guess it's from the early 80s, as it has friction shifters and a mix of French and Japanese components. It's on 26 inch wheels, hell for stout, but what really caught my eye was a Maillard rear hub with a drum brake. The brake housing is cast into the left side of the hub. It's heavy, but probably bulletproof.

The Raleigh had a broken cantilever post on the fork. Tom donated another fork, so now the bike has a jaunty, bright red fork in a medium blue frame. It's definitely a funky look!

I spent most of the afternoon playing with wrenches, grease, and WD40. It was hot out there, so between the chemicals and sweat, I developed a peculiar funk of my own. But the Raleigh is mostly done. All that's left is to tighten some things and adjust the cables.

Of course, I couldn't resist working on one of my other projects too, but first, I have to digress a bit.

I cruise the neighborhood yard sales on Saturday mornings, most often on my Centurion fixed gear. The bike sees that I don't haul too much stuff home! There was a parts box at one sale. Another guy was looking at it as I walked by, and I couldn't help but notice the Look cleats, Camapgnolo chainring bolts, and assorted other goodies in the drawers. But he picked it up and bought it for $3.50! I asked what he was going to do with the parts. He didn't want them. He just wanted the box, so I offered him five dollars for the parts. He accepted, and I dumped everything into my Camelback. Then the woman who was having the garage sale gave me a set of mountain bike wheels! They were used, but still have many miles left in them. I gladly accepted, strapped the wheels to the Camelback, and rode home with my prizes.

So, today I looked the wheels over carefully. They're on Suzue hubs, anodized bright red. I've been building up an old Schwinn as a utility bike for grocery store runs, and the wheels are better than the originals. It's a no-brainer to switch them. But first, I decided to re-dish the wheel for single-speed use. That's where I left off when Mary arrived with pizza.

Now, with a full belly and too much time on my feet, I'll probably just go get a shower and prepare for the morning commute. But it's been a VERY good weekend!


Blogger Fritz said...


1:15 PM  

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