Friday, August 1

Beer vs. Bike

So I picked up this junker bike from a disreputable vendor on Islington street several weeks ago. It was a decent old late-80's Schwinn frame but the components on it were just total, total crap. This greek guy down on Islington Street between Caffe Kilim and Dunkin' Donuts sells these total crap bikes that he makes from dump parts. I had some cash burning a whole in my pocket though and I liked the frame, so I bought one to fix up as a town bike.

rolling resistance
I can't even tell you what a piece of crap this bike was. The front wheel wasn't even the right size; it was crammed in to the fork dropouts that were not space properly for it. The thing wasn't even remotely safe. The greek is a salesman though, and he saw me coming. I don't know what happened; it's a shameful moment. But the bike had all these hip stickers on it! I felt like I was sticking it to the man by buying a bike from some dude's back yard, with a sticker that sayed "EXPECT RESISTANCE" in large red lettering.

I didn't realize it meant rolling resistance!

But whatever, it had a decent frame. The most critical thing I noticed about it was the totally frayed sidewalls on the tire. Last week, my roommate Alex and I went down to Gus' Bike to get a couple new tires. While we were there, I asked the mechanic to check out the rest of the bike and see if they had any advice on how to go about making it in to a whole bike again. I knew it needed new everythings (wheelset, groupset, everything) but I wanted a second opinion.

His reply:
"Okay, well . . . you could spend $20 on a new tire. Or, you could spend $20 on a 12-pack of beer and just toss the bike off a bridge."

Best. Advice. Ever. Sometimes you need that sort of insight to regain focus on what you're doing.

Alex took pictures of everything after that with his cell phone:







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