"Keep a Journal: How else are you going to get a good look at who you were?"

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Silk Purses...

I will take a moment to brag (uncharacteristic of me, I know) about my proficiency as a "Wrench".

For those not in the know, a "wrench" is cycling slang for a bicycle mechanic.  Wrenches may ride...or not ride...but they *do* invariably possess a mental storehouse of cycle-mechanical lore.

And a collection of fairly unique tools.

I've been fixing bikes for 40 years.  I've got a set of tools that you would find in most shops -- with the exception of some very expensive specialty tools used in frame preparation and modification.

A COMPLETE set of bicycle mechanic tools (old school) looks like this:

That is a Campagnolo Master Set.  They're still made and sold today, despite being older than I am.  The Campagnolo company is one of the last remaining OLD bicycle builders.  This set has everything needed to prep, assemble, maintain or repair a Campagnolo Racing Bicycle and its frameset.

My own (more modest) toolset looks more like this:

That is a Park Tool AK37 Pro Shop Tool Kit.  Do I have one of these?  Nope.  But I do have every tool shown in that picture.  As I mentioned in a previous entry from wayyy back: when the time came to buy some proper bicycle tools, I found that I had a small collection started already.  So, I didn't buy one of the - more expensive! - ready-made kits.  Instead, I just bought what I didn't already have.  I have added to my toolbox since, in an effort to keep up with present cycling technology.  The last item I added was an IceToolz I.S.I.S. splined bottom bracket removal tool.  

I haven't done a whole lot of wrenching until very recently....

My kids don't seem to cycle much.

Grant's kids do cycle but are inclined to take good care of their rides so I don't have many requests for "fixes".

Ben Williams (my Nephew-in-law) did bring over a garage sale "find" that needed some love.  He originally intended it for his wife Shayla (my niece), but found it was a little small for her.  I think one of Grant's other daughters ended up riding it.

Grant decided he's through with cycling and has taken up running.  Finished his first race just last month!  I did fix up his old Norco Monterey...and it's still hanging on a hook in the garage; months later.

I never *did* hang out my shingle as a travelling cycle mechanic; which is too bad because I think I would have made a really good one.

I've got a real talent for taking a pile of parts and turning it into a ride-able bicycle.

Now we arrive at the point of this entry:


There's a saying to the effect that we should treat people not as they appear to be, but as they could be.  We should believe in others and treat them as if they have in them to be better than they are.

And I do.  I believe in Peter.  He's gonna make it.  He's already come a long ways...with a ways to go yet.

Part of getting where he is going involved enrolling in school and getting a new job.  The need for some personal transportation came up and Peter bought an old Raleigh bike off craigslist...

What a metisse that thing was...and I don't mean that in a good way.

While giving it a once-over and trying to fit the frame to Peter, I discovered that its rear derailleur had been replaced with another that was incompatible with the frame.  Also, the handlebars could not be raised as the stem was too short.  So, a pilgrimage to O.C.B. was in order.

That was a few days ago.  We set up right on the floor (while the OCB guys looked a trifle askance), and found a new stem, derailleur, and tire for the back wheel (among other issues, it had a 2.75" tire on a rim meant for no more than 1.9").  I am sad to report that I left my raggy black CANADA hoodie at OCB.  It's probably been thrown out or adopted by some hipster bike messenger...

Anyways, on our way back home, we went 'round the block on 116A on the way to my place and saw a couple of bike frame - sans wheels - on the roadside.  The lady of the house arrived moments later while we were looking them over and told us they were indeed for salvage - take 'em away!

So we did.

One of the frames was a Gary Fisher Wahoo that just happened to be Peter's size!  The other was a dept store suspension frame, fairly new...but not what we were looking for; we took it anyways.

We spent an hour putting new wheels on and setting up the Fisher.  With ALL SPARE PARTS!!!

I've never had a Spare Parts Monster go together so well...or so quickly.  Peter says it may be that he is a good influence on me -- or perhaps I'm just a better cycle-mechanic than I think I am.

I let Peter borrow my "Jeep" helmet, and he bought some lights at Canuck Tire...he's ready to go.

Will post pictures later...

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