25 July 2022

New old bike

When someone said they were throwing away a bike unless I had some use for it, and I said I would indeed have some use for it, I had no idea just how much. I had used it as my office bike; a bike good enough for commuting between Bangor and Menai Bridge, but not so good I would worry about it being stolen while I was lecturing. It dutifully did the job for a while, but then the pandemic hit and I was expected to work from home. I took the bike home as well.

Then I got tired of the same old runs, and decided to broaden my horizon a bit. I took the old bike, which of all my bikes is the least unsuitable for mountain biking, and took it through the hills. And then my ankle started playing up. Then suddenly I started taking it into the hill is pretty much every day!

When I got the bike, I had asked the local bicycle repair shop which thought it was a piece of rust to just make it good enough for its job as an office bike. And they duly did that. But now it's gone back to its origins as a mountain bike. The suspension didn't work anymore, but at least it had a small frame, wide handlebars and wide rims! And somehow it coped.

Then I went for a walk with Kate. And she just happened to have brought her old mountain bike up from the south. She said she had got it at 18 (she is in her 40s now) and it had been a good bike at the time. It really needed some work now, but it still could be a good bike! She wondered if I wanted it. And I did.

Not only would it hopefully be a much better bike than what I am using so far, but I also like the idea of giving her old bike a new life. It is so much nicer to be on a bike that you know someone you care about has already spent decades on! So I hope it can be restored to a reasonable order. And she can come visit it to see if I look after it well!

On the day we went for a walk in Beddgelert she handed it to me, in three bits. At home I assembled it and went for a test ride. As things stand, it was in a worse state than my office bike! And I realised immediately it needed more work than I could give it. So the next working day I phoned the repair man. He was on holiday. I phoned again when he was back. He agreed on taking it on the next week. So off to Mynydd Llandygai it went! And we will see how it comes back…

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