Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bike Project

File this under, "How do I get myself into these situation?" Then again, that's what happens when you train to be a real man. I'd found a bike for A at a yard sale, and it was a steal. Literally. The yard sale had ended, and what was left was all for free. I saw the bike and couldn't resist, though for the record, there was a sticker that said $10, so I left the money taped to the door. Anyway, the bike is in good shape, or at least good enough, and I personally like the color gray, but I'm a guy, and I'm old, and maybe a girl might not be as enthused.

Then again, A is always agreeable, and she likes the bigger wheels and frame. It's just that the bike is not as cool looking as it could be, at least not as cool as her old bike was, which now belongs to N. So I took it upon myself to make this bike look cooler. This project, BTW, has been ongoing for the past 6 months, but in my defense, I sat on it figuring that it wouldn't get much use in the basement over the winter. Fair enough, but spring is right around the corner, and before you know it, it'll be bike riding time.

My first project on this bike is to work on the appearance. The decals are old and scaly, and falling apart. I ordered some flame stickers that look cool, but I have to get the old ones off first. Everyone I speak with tells me the same thing - use a hair dryer and the glue will come right undone. Of course, like everything in life, it sounds easy in theory, but in practice, no such luck. First off, we don't have an industrial strength hair dryer, just this little dinky travel one. Secondly, I don't have the patience to sit there holding the thing and heating the decals off. Thirdly, it seems like a waste of electricity.

So I'm doing it the manly way, with a little sweat and grit, and a scraper. I'm using a plastic drywall scraper, and it works beautifully if you don't mind scraping off a millimeter at a time. Talk about slow! It makes removing wallpaper seem like a walk in the park. Fortunately, I'm working with about 6 square inches in total surface are, so what it lacks in simplicity, it makes up in low quantity. My goal is to get all the decal off, use GooGone to clean it, and then put on the fabulously beautiful new decals. I hope she likes it. Then again, she's not a complainer.

I also got a bunch of spare bike parts at the dump, mainly new wheels to replace the rusted wheels that came on the bike. I have to take the wheels off, replace the tires, and then put the new ones on. I hope I don't screw everything up. When I was a kid, we used to attempt to do bike repair, and always ended up with a few spare pieces that left us puzzled as to their purpose. This puzzlement was immediately dispelled the moment we tried to ride the bike, because it basically didn't move.

I hope I don't repeat childhood patterns.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

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