Monday 15 September 2014

Greasy But Fun

I don’t know if I have ever mentioned this before, but I am pretty good at bicycle repair. Not the super, high tech bikes that go for thousands of dollars, but your normal kind of bike that most everyone on the planet has one of.

I learned how to do bike repair when the kids were at home and we had five to ten bikes at any one time. Of course the bikes were in constant need of maintenance, kids being kids. I rode more often back then and a bike constantly in motion is in constant need of repair.

I liked the simplicity of a bicycle, if you could keep the derailleur properly adjusted, the tires inflated and the bearings greased the bike wouldn’t give you any trouble. There are some repairs that aren’t worth the effort, and if you know bikes at all, it is possible to pick up a good used bike for less than the parts would cost. In fact, I often would buy second hand bikes just for the parts.

I have never paid more than $75 for a bike that I ride. I would like to get an expensive bike, but unfortunately those are the bikes that get stolen. No one wants to steal one of my bikes, even though they run beautifully. I suspect that if I were to really get into cycling I would have a reason to get a bike that would stand up a little better in the long run. I don’t see that happening, but you never know where life will take you.

I haven’t done a lot of bike work in the last couple of years. It is just Louise and I now and once a bike is in good running condition, regular maintenance will keep it that way. It is a shame to have acquired knowledge and not have an outlet to apply it. Every year I consider getting work at a bike shop, but my knowledge is old and there would be a learning curve to get up to speed on the modern bikes. I suppose I could do it, maybe next year. I wouldn’t mind teaching Hurricane and Tornado some of the things I have learned, but that may be a couple of years from now when they are willing to focus properly.
I will be riding my bike to a job for the next couple of weeks, so I needed to do a little adjustment here, a polish there and some lubrication. It was fun. Maybe tomorrow I will re-grease the bearings and look to see if I need to change the chain ring or the freewheel. They are probably worn, but I’ll need to decide if I can live with the wear or not.
Should be fun, greasy, but fun.

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