So I know you have been waiting a long time for this, but I finally have a bike! The rest of the family has had one for a few months now, and I’ve been totally left out waiting for someone to go pick up my bike from my parents house.
See, when S and I were children, our mom had this really pretty bike that she got at a garage sale. I remember it being so awesome because it was pretty and delicate, not stupid and sporty like all the new bikes in the store. (My bike was pretty too then, cuz it was all metallic purple and stuff, but it was still pretty sporty since that’s the kind of bike you get at department stores, and, let’s be honest, children don’t need expensive bikes.)
The bike was a pretty blue. I think it’s probably from the late 70s, and I knew my mom still had it in her basement, even if it hadn’t been ridden in at least 10 years. So I figured instead of buying a new bike, I’d wait and pick up Mom’s bike and see if I could get it fixed up for a good deal less than the new bikes. Plus I’d have an awesome vintage bike with sentimental value (love you, mommy!).
S and the Architect went over on Memorial Day weekend and picked up my bike. Ol’ Redneck’s dad had done some work on it to make it look a lot better, but the brakes were clearly still in need of replacing, and we were a little worried about safety.
This is what it looked like when I got it:
As you can see, the shape of the bike is awesome! What’s a little harder to tell is that it’s kinda rusty all over. She kind of complained loudly whenever you rode her (still does actually), which is why I’ve named her Ole Biddy.
Oh, and here’s a gratuitous picture of the bike all packed up and my mom’s dog, A Dubs, trying to ride her. But seriously, A Dubs, I know you like attention, but that’s not how you ride a bike.
So the first thing I did was take it to the bike store to see if I could get it in working order. They said for about $100, they’d fix up the gear shifter and replace the brake pads and tires, which was all that was really needed to fix ‘er up, and that they’d even add a rear rack for that much! Yay!
So after a week of waiting some more, I went to pick up my bike. Good news: she looked pretty! Bad news: the had run out of brake pads, so she still squealed. But he said he had cut them a little, which apparently helps to be sure they work in the meantime until the new pads come in from the distributor. Here I am riding her for the first time without feeling like I’ll die!
Though, you can tell how she’s complaining with my facial expression. That Ole Biddy does not like to be ignored! So after we figured out that it would be a totally usable bike, S and I spent a weekend morning cleaning her up with some old soap pads Mom gave us. They really worked like a charm! It was amazing! With almost no effort, we wear able to get a lot of the rust off, leaving a glistening shine instead of an allover rusty glow!
Here is the washing in process:
And a complete after view, looking sparkly!
After that, it was really like a facelift for the Ole Biddy, making her look a lot younger and fresher. Now that the safety issues were (mostly) fixed, there was only one thing to do: find a basket. So we went on a long (16 mile) bike ride down to an antique mall to pick out a new basket for her. Along the way I discovered that this old seat was EXTREMELY uncomfortable. I knew that the springs were rusted, but there was something inside that was actually poking right into my bones. So we tried to stop by a bike store to buy me a new saddle, but they didn’t have any I liked, so I ordered one and dealt with the pain. (That saddle still isn’t in, but they felt bad for me and lent me a Brooks saddle for the meantime, so at least that’s a perk). Oh, and in case you were curious, this is the horrible image of the inside of the Hannibal Lecter torture device seat, under the faded faux leather:
Anyway, we got a cute basket, which the Architect cleverly installed with some wooden boards, screws and metal fasteners, and now I look super pretty on my bike! Here’s a picture from a picnic the Artist and I went on for our 6th anniversary!
And in keeping with the bike theme of our lives right now, I got him a rather appropriate anniversary gift: excellent panniers for his bike. They are awesome because they roll up, so they don’t have to be taking up space if you don’t want them, they have a detachable shoulder strap so you can carry them into the store if you want, and they have a lock so you can lock them to your bike if you don’t feel like taking them into the store with you. Luckily he was quite happy with the anniversary gift, and I’m quite happy with our relationship, and everyone is happy about their bikes.