Thursday, April 17, 2008

Status Report on My Bicycle Fleet

Everywhere I go, people are asking me the same question: "How are the bicycles?" I don't want to get into it, so I just reply, "OK, thanks." Unfortunately, that's not exactly true. My bicycles are not OK. In fact, they're pretty fucking far from OK.

The Road Bike - It rattles. It's heavy. It's in constant need of repairs. Right now the LeMond (which I purchased while Greg LeMond was still racing) has yet another flat because the sidewall of the brand new tire wore too thin, so I actually need to drive it into a bike shop for repairs. I could take it to the bike shop near where I live, but the guy lectures me about taking better care of my bike. If I wanted to be scolded, I'd go to the dentist. Or the florist.

The Touring Bike - I've been riding this beaut the last couple of days because my road bike has a flat tire, which I just mentioned in case you're skimming. Unlike the road bike, the touring bike needs no repairs. It is exactly the same bike with the same parts that I took to Spain in 1995. Actually, that's not quite true. After I got a couple of flat tires in Spain, I realized that the rim strip was off-center, put a band-aid over it, and haven't had to replace a tube since.

The touring bike could probably use a tune-up. All of the cables are brown from rust, and one set of brake pads fails to react when I depress the brake lever. The lack of braking ability does not concern me because the bike is so heavy. If I were to collide with an average-sized car that pulled out in front of me, here's what passers-by would see -- a long-haired guy (yes, I'm growing my hair out again) spinning the front wheel of his bike to see if it's out of true while several emergency vehicles are using the Jaws of Life to extract possible survivors from the crumpled sedan.

The Electric Bike - This is technically Wendy's bike. It's still doing fine, there in the garage.

The Ibis Mountain Bike - This is also known as my Leadville bike. It's fine unless you try to shift into the two lowest gears, which are useful only if you're climbing hills.

The Stumpjumper Mountain Bike - Not doing well. Two flat tires and one-half of a seat, very inactive.

The System - This is sitting somewhere in Utah. It's a heavy bike that caused me to fail at Leadville last year. In truth, I shouldn't lay all the blame on this bicycle. Dug was also very much at fault.

The Singlespeed Mountain Bike - I believe this is still in Fatty's garage. I miss it.