staring into space

This is why I often find myself standing in the garage, hands in my pockets, staring hopelessly at the wall, paralyzed with indecision, altogether unsure of where or how to begin. I hereby present to you my winter project list.


Claire's Blue Suburban

1. Last-minute, final tune-up on Claire’s bike so I can give it to her (finally!) next week. This involves a brake adjustment, a derailleur adjustment, and re-lubricating the chain.


Some Other Murray

2. I have a Murray Leisure Tour that was given to me for Re-Bicycle Lenawee. It’s not exactly like the one pictured above, but it’s similar. For starters, the one I have is a ten-speed. Anyway, this things looks more or less like a piece of junk, or at least like nothing you’d ever bother writing home about. Regardless, I have to get it fixed up and ready to go, or else get it in good enough shape to take to the co-op where we can finish it up and help it find its way into the hands of a Re-Bicycle client. One way or the other, I’ve got to get it out of my garage.


Her Yearbook Photo

3. Overhaul and tune-up my Fuji Roubaix. Unlike the stock photo above, my bike is looking and sounding very tired of late. I’ve put over 6,000 miles on it, so I think it’s time to replace the brake pads, headset, and bottom bracket, at least. She’s also due for a new chain and new tires. Since I’m not likely to be buying a new bike anytime soon, I have to keep this one running smoothly, and make sure it’s ready to go come spring.


Fuji Special Tourer

4. Figure out what to do with my green Fuji. I miss riding it. At the very least, I still need to figure out how to remedy, once and for all, the recurring problem of the rear wheel slipping out of alignment. Beyond that, however, I’ve toyed with reconfiguring it a bit (e.g., swapping out the drop bars for a moustache handlebar, and replacing the drive train with a single chain ring up front and an internally-geared hub in the rear).


U.B.F. (Unidentified Barn Find)

5. Last but not least, tackle this thing. I don’t know what to do with it. On one hand, I think, who cares? Just do something. On the other hand, I feel all this pressure to make it count (whatever the heck that means). So, do I make it into a speedy commuter? A cyclocross bike? A touring bike? A fixed gear or single speed bike? It seems like half the options would recreate something I already have, while the other half would create things I’m ambivalent about. But that brings us back to the first question: who cares? Just build something. I’ve stripped the bike down to the frame. I even gone so far as to disassemble the wheels and to polish the high-flange hubs, which I’d like to keep on the bike, no matter what I decide to do with it.

So there you have it. Too many options and obstacles. It doesn’t help one bit that, most of the time, I have no idea what on earth I’m doing. Then there’s the fact that everything costs money.

Incidentally, this tendency toward indecision and paralysis brought on by over-stimulation is also to blame for my inability to get anything done at my day job.

Any recommendations?


14 responses to “staring into space

  1. OK, I’ll bite. You have said before you would like to do some touring and I think that last bike could do the job nicely. Add front / rear racks and fenders obviously. Maybe a triple chainring in front and a cool double kickstand (I’ll take the old one when you replace it, haha). And, uh, paint job. It looks like the fork might be chrome under the battleship gray.

  2. Oh, and I like your idea for the green Fuji. The bar switch and ditching the derailleurs for an internally geared rear hub would make this into a cool utility bike. Good for commuting, errands, leisure / family rides, etc. I think it would look nice too. Maybe you could add a full chain case like this?

    • Personally I’d leave the green Fuji just as it is. Just look at her, she’s all there and a classic! So what if she’s not so light? Touring is about the ride, not how fast you can do it in right? If she simply doesn’t suite your needs and you have too many bikes, I’d find her a good home if it were me.
      About that rear wheel, check that the axle isn’t sticking out further than your drop-out. If it is, that may account for the slippage. Adjust it and see…

    • What gave you the impression that I was looking to shave weight and go for speed on the green Fuji? Regardless, sometimes I’m out for the slow meander; other times I want to go fast(er); and still other times I’m in search of something in between. It’s always still about the ride, but “the ride” varies. I suppose, if pressed, I’d say the one thing that seems to remain pretty consistent for me is the quest for miles. I really like racking up a lot of miles, no matter the pace.

      Thanks for reminding me about that possible fix for the rear wheel. I’ll look into that.

  3. Ah yes, the bike projects. Obviously what works for me may not work for anyone else, but I only do one bike at a time, and I start with the front hub and wheel.
    From there I do the front brake, head set, bottom bracket, rear hub, freewheel, rear wheel and brake. Last are cables and whatever shifting system is involved is gone through then grips or bar tape. I find that if I do each part one at a time and work for the pleasure I find in doing the work at my own pace is best. If I’m not in the mood or the bike is fighting me, it’s often better to tale a brake or try another time.
    Then there’s the part of what it costs to go through a bike replacing what needs to be replaced. New is always nice, but that’s where the RBL comes in. Come raid our parts bens and donate what you can. Our collective knowledge doesn’t hurt either.

    Happy wrenching…

    • Yep, I typically follow the same plan when I’m overhauling a bike completely.

      I very much hope to take advantage of the parts bins at the co-op. I’ve gotten the impression from Jim that the co-op side of the 216 Center St. effort is soon to get underway in earnest.

  4. Agreed. We need to get more people into the shop at 216 Center working on their bike projects.

    Scott, can I form a “slow but steady, upright riding position, everyman simple gearing, cycling sub-team Hadrian” for the Tour de Cure? I don’t think I can keep up with you and Amy!

    Merry Christmas all, I think the family is stirring……

    • Hey Merry Christmas to everyone . I am in Alabama and it is 50 degrees with rain coming. Jim I agree with you on the slow but steady riding and I will ride with you . If I was at home I would be down to Center street trying to help and learn something , hope to when I get home . Bob

    • @Jim and @Bob and anyone else who might be wondering the same thing: YES! You can be part of Team Hadrian for the Tour de Cure and ride whatever route and at whatever pace you like. Last year, we had six people on the team, and we were divided between two routes. Honestly, I think it would be cool if we had enough people to have team members on every one of the routes offered.

      Sign up and let’s get to fundraising!

  5. Here’s what I think: Leave the older fuji just like it is (green, but fix the rear wheel issues so it is more rideable. It looks great as is. I would make the spray bombed bike your project, you did a good job on the repaint of the ‘burban- I’ve only seen this done a couple of times and I think it would be a cool idea. two chains haven’t been done often.

    The Murray would get fixed up and donated or sold. Fix it up and sell it for a profit could help fund the other projects.

    Or you could throw out all your options and just get out and ride period………:) good luck on whatever you decide.

  6. I’ve thought about adding a multi speed freewheel to an automatic kickback hub before- combining the best of both of my worlds.