Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Bike Path

  The first real bike I can remember owning was a single-speed, coaster brake-equipped bmx-style kids bike.  It was a red Murray, and I loved it.  I rode it everywhere I could, popped wheelies, skidded until the rear tire was bald in spots, and made all the ball bearings fall out of the headset.  It hung around long after I’d gotten other bikes, eventually falling victim to an imbalance between my desire to modify it and my ability to modify it (I wouldn't say it was useless when I was done... but it wasn't too far from it).

The workshop
Over the couple of decades since then, my love for bikes has continued (and the number of bikes I own has grown), but until recently I didn't have the opportunity to do much work on my own bikes beyond the basic repairs.  This changed in 2009 when my wife and I purchased a small house - with a large 2-car garage.  It was a fantastic day for many reasons, but among them was the idea that once we got settled in, part of the garage could be my workshop and bike-storage facility.  This renewed my passion not just for riding bikes, but also for working on bikes.  Over the last year I've built a workbench, received a Park tool workstand (thanks honey!) and the Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair, and started tinkering with bikes much more.

Right now I own 4 bikes that I ride, with the addition of a rotating stock of 1-2 project bikes at any given time.  I’ve been bitten by both the singlespeed and 29’er bugs, and have also been convinced that riding, building, rebuilding, and maintaining bikes is part of what makes my life worth living.  I’m not the best biker out there, nor am I the best bike mechanic (I’m sure many mechanics would laugh at some of the things I mess up!), but I experience joy and satisfaction when I’m around bikes, and I’m learning more every day.  That’s what this blog is for: to share with you both the joy and the things I learn - with a few other things thrown in.

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