I am blaming That Greg Hooterville Mayor Anderson .
I volunteer at The Bike Project. I talk the talk. I help with … flat tires. I do NOT rebuild bicycles.

I actively neglect bicycles. See my profile picture. It’s the nasty, rusted out axle nut on my Gazelle.
It’s a little slow at The Bike Project.
I was there when the Glitter Bike arrived last September, with… yes. It had an arrow — bow and arrow arrow — ziptied to its top tube. Somebody had … covered up the original paint job with paint and … glitter.
It was slow at the Bike Project.
I walked around. I saw this Free Spirit with BIG YELLOW FENDERS and red reflective tape and thought, “wow! a person could take an innocent frame and … make a statement!”
I walked around again.
The Glitter Bike. It is still there.
It starts talking to me.
It says “I was once a Schwinn.”
I don’t let it get to me. I say to myself, “I get no joy from rebuilding bikes.”
I am back at the glitter bike.
It says, “Schwinn. Chicago Schwinn. I once had an arrow on my top tube.”
It says, “Give me fenders.”
I walk away. Somebody else could bring it joy.
It calls me back. Its tag says “10/22 — greased seatpost.”
It says, “I can be a bike again.”
I peel away the bikes around it… I stop. I get no joy from rebuilding bicycles.
It says, “somebody coudl slap me together or… I could be a bike again.”

It wheels me around to where peopel are working on bicycles. I hear myself say, “What would *you* do to make this a bicycle again?”

“It’s already a bicyle.”

“well, okay…”

“REbuild the hubs.”

… I am walked through the process of Taking The Hub Apart.

Rebuilding bikes brings me no joy, but I have seen hubs.
This is not the hub of an old Schwinn left outside or in a garage or the attic.
I see shiny, happy ball bearings in GREEN 21st century, dip-your-fingers-in-it grease.
This bike has been LOVED.
(I can’t remember its donation circumstances… I amthinking a rental property left-behind?)
I am told “Yea, they look pretty good, you could re-do them or put another daub of grease on it and just put it back togehter.”

We have blue and red grease. We do not have green grease.
Plus, if I re-do this bike it shouldn’t be *worse* than it started… so I (with much coaching and instruction) take it apart.

(Fourth Partie:) “You are wanting this bike?”

“I don’t know.  It just… spoke to me.”

“It’s too big for you. STraddle it. It’s monstrous.”
I straddle. “Well, yes, if I had junk it would be touching it.”
(THird Partie:  ) “yes, but those are huge tires; swap them out and you’ll get an inch and a half… oops, those are wide rims…”
” I could swap out the rims, though, eh?”

…. NO.

And, indeed. Here I am, five mintues later, applying fine steel wool to very fine rims…. rims that are old but *not* corroded, neglected… and now they are SHINY 🙂 HAPPY:) GLEAMING!!!

I do not know that I shall be the rider of this bike, but…. whoever gave this bike its first 20+ years of love and lubrication… know that it will not be left to rust.

The… beginning 🙂


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