Thursday, July 12, 2007

My fancy bike

Once I sell my electric bike, I’ll have a few hundred dollars burning a hole in my pocket. Rather than do something smart with the money, I’ll probably blow it on hobby-related fun stuff.

My first thought was that perhaps I could buy a new bike – something sleek, lightweight and fancy. You know – a kick-ass racing bike.

I even went so far as to visit a local bike shop. Turns out that all the bikes I like cost $1,200 or more! At this point in my life, that’s just crazy and couldn’t be justified on any level, even if I had the money (which I don’t, being that I’m in the newspaper business.)

The good news is that I have a fancy bike. Here’s a photo I took of it today.

My fancy bike

Pretty nice, eh? As you can see, it would be quite challenging to ride at this point.

It’s a Cannondale which I got for free on craigslist. It came in a bunch of pieces. The frame was covered in bumper stickers.

It was an ugly mess – so much so that the guy who gave it to me decided against going to all the trouble to fix it up. Whoever owned it before him was obviously a major degenerate who has no respect for bicycles, and probably no respect for humanity in general.

He (I’m sure it’s a male because a woman would never treat a bicycle in such a fashion) beat the hell out of this bike, which was probably an expensive item when it was new. Right now I call it my “$600 Bike,” because that’s what I imagine the first owner paid for it.

As of today, the frame is sanded down and primered. The front wheel is lubed, trued and ready to ride, sans a tube and tire. The front wheel is super-skinny compared to the rear wheel, which is a standard 1 1/4 aluminum wheel.

To match the aluminum frame, I came across an aluminum fork for a couple bucks at the Arcata Recycling Center a few months ago. You can see it in the photo. I’ll set aside the steel fork as a backup.

There are some nice Shimano components. There are also a bunch of missing pieces.

Right now I’m shopping for some cranksets – something with a nice granny gear for those long hill climbs.

I’m going to consider this my “racing bike,” even though it’s not really a racing bike. It’s a light-weight touring bike. But at my skill level, what’s the difference?

If I can devote an hour a week to this project, I should be riding this before the end of summer.

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