Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanks4Giving me that broken bike

As you may or may not know, tomorrow is an exciting day in this country, a day when we all gather around the table and get wasted while some poor sucker spends the whole day in the kitchen cooking a meal built around a whole turkey, which everyone knows by now is SO 2008. So in the spirit of the season, I'm inclined to invoke the wrath of Wholesome Defenders of America by saying I would prefer to eat many things to roast turkey. it is neither delicious, nor exciting, not for that matter all that fun to cook. you just sit her in the oven and baster her crisping skin every hour or so, all the while uttering that famous Thanksgiving prayer, "please don't let the turkey be ruined."

Being a cyclist, my family has taken a decidedly rebellious and socialist approach to the meal preparations and assigned jobs to individuals -- everyone except Uncle Jeff who will be tasked with Not Burning Down the House and Not Urinating in his Own Pants After too much Booze Again.

While I am certain to come in for some criticism from the WDA for being "anti Thanksgiving," I am also setting myself up to be ridiculed for being "not anti Thanksgiving enough" by the more militant faction of the cyclists that see the fact that they ride a bike as an act of civil rebellion against the State. I would simply remind them that I do not hold my cycling to such lofty ideals, and instead have established my cycling image more in the "creating a self-righteous nuisance by riding safely to and from work" camp. but more thoughtful commentary on the "imagery" of cycling can be found at BikeSnobNYC, who is much wittier and more adept at piercing such things and as such i leave it to him.

I would like to extend a Thanksgiving greeting to the thrift shop on Mercer Island that found it in the goodness of their hearts to sell my naive father two rather nice, subtly broken bicycles without informing him that they had any problems. The Trek 1100 and Raleigh USA Competition were both pretty cool (and still are, the parts that aren't broken), but are so much more valuable and collectable with the custom dents the thrift shop thoughtfully installed.

The trek is blue with yellow lettering (i still don't have a camera and the pic above is the closest thing I could find) and honestly only the rear wheel is shot; I tried to bend back the massive rim dents as described in this Bicycling magazine article and succeeded only in cracking the rim in half. But the nicer Maillard hubs (NOT Helicomatic, fortunately)

leave me inclined to rebuild it using an old Wolber Alpine rim I have sitting around. Plus it has a full Suntour Edge group, including an amazing "collabo" between Suntour and Dia Compe. Stay tuned for more on this bike via a Tired Wheel Deal post once it is completed.

The Raleigh was the real find, or so it seemed: Reynolds 531 frame tubes with an elegant Tange fork/seat stays/chain stays and original Shimano 600 group. But alas, it had met some large, blunt, brown painted object in a rather rough manner.

But I still have much to be thankful for this year. And perhaps the thing I am most thankful for is that i only have to be thankful once a year.

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