So, it was a funny surprise to find a bike hanging amidst our bikes that someone had "dropped off" for repair. Girls got a good laugh from it and my wife thought it silly.
About a week ago a friend was visiting while in town. He maintains two residences, one here along the Texas Gulf Coast where he works three weeks at a time. Then he goes to his other house in the Carolina mountains to be with his family. While he was here for work he told me he had been bike commuting for work. Not far just a couple miles or so and was complaining he didn't have a way to carry his large back pack with laptop and other items.
After some discussion regarding panniers and bike racks he decided what he needed was a front basket. We didn't discuss my doing any work on his bike but the following week (while we were very busy with our organic open market store and food co-op) I watched him sneak onto the porch, quietly placed his bike on open hanger and snuck out.
I didn't tell the girls I saw him, I didn't have to as I was just as surprised by the silly antic as they were as I found it to be humorous as well. As I began looking over the bike I could see it was a mess, rear flat tire, rear wheel needed truing, cables and housing were a mess, front tire had a hole in the side wall, handle bar was bent down on the right side and the left brake lever was bent in half at a ninety degree angle. As I recalled the previous week's conversation in my mind all I could think was "brother, you need more than a basket", although I did have one lying around my workshop.
As I went about performing the routine repairs and tune up adjustments I was reminded of the importance of the basics, which mostly consisted of quality products and how much easier they are to work with. Particularly when I began to change the brake cables which necessitated tapping the cable ends out with a punch and a small ball peen hammer. Cables I had to replace them with went together without issue, something so basic as having a quality brake cable and ferrules on housing where they're supposed to be prevents housing from fraying. Felt so good to be working on a bike again, it had been awhile as our family business is doing very well and has been keeping me busy with "back to school" week. Good timing for a lesson in a return to the basics, being grateful, sharing knowledge and know how.
After test riding the bike and feeling good about how it was shifting with the new chain not skipping on the gears I loaded it up last night so I could leave it on his front porch in order to return the silly gesture, oh yeah and I was able to drill and fit the Wald 198 front basket on the handle bars after cold setting the right side and adding new grips. When I got home I decided to visit the neighborhood pub where our resident bartender Vicki has been clean and sober for seven years and we love her for that, she reminds us to return to basics, those of us who listen anyhow. I bumped into a roadie cyclist who I'd met there before and he explained to me that he hadn't been on his Cervelo in over a year, that it was too painful on his shoulder while leaning forward on the drop bars. As I offered the suggestion of a touring bike he had no idea what I was talking about, so I explained the difference in riding position, posture, etc. After our chat Vicki informed me the guy had left his wife for a prostitute. Wow, what an interesting day and served as another good reminder of returning to the basics. Hoping this "blog about" finds you well.