On Life and Love

A Shiny (Old) Bike!

After my bike accident back in 2005, my father bought me a sweet Mongoose mountain bike. It’s maroon and champagne colored, and I used it to commute in college.

When I graduated and moved to Charlotte, though, riding became purely for pleasure, and wasn’t particularly feasible for commuting. (I’ve pretty much always lived across town from my job and I sweat a lot when I exercise.) By the beginning of 2008, the bike was idle.

I carted it with me to the house, where it sat in the garage (excuse: the neighborhood was too hilly and roads too narrow!), and to my current apartment patio (excuse: it’s probably ruined now!)… until now.

Inspired by a potential biking partner (albeit one on a road bike), I’m cleaning up the bike. Tuesday night we wiped down the frame, gave the cables and tires a look-see, and degreased the chain.

Beautiful bike. I can’t believe I’d forgotten.

It looks like it’s actually in quite good shape, considering. The initial inspection suggests that all the brakes, shifters, and cables are fine. It was never left to sit out in the rain or anything, but it does have 4 years of dust on it. I’m using Deana’s knowledge and guides like “How to Clean and Lube Your Bike” to make progress.

Hopefully my collection of sources won’t resort in anything like my first Thanksgiving turkey.

Don’t ask. The color green was involved. And organs.

The air pump I own isn’t very good, so we couldn’t really assess whether the tires will hold air. I’ll try again with the pump, but if it won’t work, I’ll have to cart it down to the gas station and try to fill the tires with a higher pressure setup. I’ll be getting oil, lubricant, grease, a few tools, and a helmet this weekend. Hopefully I won’t need tires.

I never really did maintenance on the bike before (terrible, I know!), so I’m learning how it all goes. I assume the bike needs all the manual’s suggested maintenance for a year in order to get up and running now. If I only ride a couple hours each weekend after this, though, I hope my maintenance needs will be lighter than the manual suggests.

That said, I did do the initial assembly myself back in 2006, and am looking forward to diving into it again. I just have to keep away the other two geeks I’m often around, as they like to take tinkery tasks away from me.

While I’m very excited to see this beauty restored (if nothing else, I can give it a name!), I suspect I’ll feel rather different (more nervous) when I’m down in the parking lot faced with actually climbing on. If there’s one thing I learned back in 2005/2006, it’s that it’s not just like riding a bike.

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