Saturday, I’d decided, was THE DAY to finish my bike. I’d gotten the call from Big Shark on Friday saying my new whitewalls (!!!) were in (I picked them up on my way home from work that evening – they’re right across the street from my train stop), and at 6am on Saturday morning my eyes popped open and my mind was instantly alert and occupied with one thought – “BIKE DAY!”
I was like a kid getting her first bike on Christmas morning, only they make the kid work on it for 2 weeks prior and injure her hand in three different places and get covered in grit and oil before giving her the bike.
First thing I did was give the intact assembly another spongebath, and set her out in the early-morning sun to dry:
(side note – I really wish I had one of those bike-holder-upper things so I didn’t have to set her directly on the ground, but the best I could do in this situation was avoid scratching up the bottom of that front fork, and try to balance more weight on the lower pedal than on the sprocket*)
Then I got to work on the rims. I think I mentioned in a previous post that they were a bit rusted, but it was nothing that a few hours with a Brillo pad + WD40 couldn’t take care of.
For comparison, here’s a “before”:
And here’s the “after”:
Not too bad, eh? If I were willing to sacrifice my entire fingernails/fingertips in the process I probably could’ve gotten every speck of rust from right around the spokes, but really there were only a few spokes (as pictured above) that had any rust left at all – most were more like that one on the far right. The sides of the rims really weren’t too bad; they sorta just got a once-over and were good to go.
This is one of those times, I think, when the visual effect of the finished product in no way communicates the actual work that is contained within. ::sigh::
With the rims ready to go, it was time for tires! Aren’t they beautiful? For $15 cruiser tires, I mean.
Love that whitewall! Farrell(?) at Big Shark definitely had the right idea in recommending them 🙂
I was able to put on the tubes + tires myself (sans Jeff), which is not only a big accomplishment in the name of independence, but also in holier-than-thou-ness and “nyah-nyah-nyah-I’m-a-grownup-you-poophead!”-ness.
This was also the great Fender Test – did my blind hammering and jamming and other physical abuse have any positive result on the fender-rubbing issue?
Survey says yes! Quiet as a dead bug (after the legs and bits have stopped waving, when it’s just sprawled there on the hallway floor waiting for a cat to pass by and eat it).
Round ’bout noon, Jeff woke up and came out to see what I’d been up to.
I’d moved my little bike shop into the garage after the neighbor kid left. Actually, come to think of it, I spent a good deal of time chasing the shade. Gotta maintain the pasty, you know.
Also, looks from that picture (and that picture only) like I’d fare pretty well in a Dooce*** lookalike contest, eh? Where the hell did I get that pointy chin, Mom?
But that’s neither here nor there.
“What’s that, Love? You say I’m completely unnecessary in this operation?”
“Yup, take my picture right quick for the b-log, then you go inside and eat your ravioli. UNNECESSARYMANPERSON.”****
I attached the chain, then made a few final adjustments…
TO BE CONTINUED.
*I dare you to try and say “sprocket” without affecting a British accent. Impossible, isn’t it? SPROCKET SPROCKET SPROCKET PIP PIP CHEERIO!**
***Or Alton Brown. Same difference.
****If this is what empowerment feels like, I can’t lie – I kinda like it.