Bicycles Joy Or Addiction ?

January 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

Asks you today if you agree with Mr Dawes Man here ?

I've recently started wondering about the joy I experience in 'things bicycle'. Hours pass blissfully working on things and fixing them. A few months back a student asked me what made me happy and I answered that working on my bikes made me truly happy, that while I was doing it time disappeared and I was at ease with being. What is this fascination? 

What is your fascination?

A week or so ago I bought a 1948 Sturmey Archer FW hub because it had a threaded driver and I thought I needed one for my girlfriend's 1955 Hetchins, which was made for an SA hub/ Cyclo derailleur combination. The hub was rusty and cheap. I got the driver out of the hub, together with the cog, and saw on the internet that to remove the cog from the driver you needed a bar in a vice. You slip the pronged end of the driver over the bar and then use a chain whip to undo the cog. 

IMG_5126 by Dawes-man, on Flickr[/IMG]

I went and bought a Shimano tool for undoing lock-nuts and cogs and then realised that my vice, being a suction type, wasn't up to it. Try to undo the cog with that and it would just come unstuck from my desk. What was I to do?

Taking it to my LBS was an option but where's the fun in that? I decided to take the tool and driver out with me in my pocket, just in case I came across some street-furniture that I could use. And I did. I'd actually given up and was heading for the garage I rent (to give the Americans in this forum, by far the majority, an idea of the privations we non-US based C&V members endure, I pay around $635 a month here in Tokyo for a 1-car lock-up garage, just big enough for our 3 motorcycles and 7 of our bicycles) when I noticed a barrier I must have passed a thousand times.

IMG_5128 by Dawes-man, on Flickr[/IMG]

I got off my bike to have a closer look – perfect!

IMG_5129 by Dawes-man, on Flickr[/IMG]

IMG_5130 by Dawes-man, on Flickr[/IMG]

Standing there, a 6'2" foreigner in a land of the short, doing what must have seemed, to the uninitiated, like 'something unnatural' to their surroundings, and grunting all the while, gave me cause for thought, but it wasn't long before the 62 years of grime in the threads gave way and off it come. Can anyone imagine the elation I felt? I half expected a cheering crowd.

IMG_5131 by Dawes-man, on Flickr[/IMG]

IMG_5132 by Dawes-man, on Flickr[/IMG]

Whenever I have time on my hands my mind turns immediately to my bicycles and I quickly do a mental sort-through of the things I want to do, measured against the time I have to spare. Just now I re-shimmed the stem on my Chesini Pista as it's been creaking when pulling on the handlebars on hills due to the shims I made before being slightly too thin. I've dialed in the right length for the stem on my Hetchins Nulli Secundus and have to remove the adjustable Ambrosio and fit a stem of the right length. I have a couple of Fiamme sprint rims that I want to build into wheels (bought a truing stand before Xmas as I've decided to learn how to build wheels). I'm off to the garage now to swap the Chesini for my Peugeot PX60, which I want to ride for a few days to check if anything needs doing before I use it for a bit of touring later this month. This is a full-time hobby! If only I could devote myself to my business like this…

Does this resonate with many people here?

More to feed your current Bicycle cravings at come see us soon!

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