Sunday, May 16, 2010

I Want To Ride My Bicycle (!!!).

I have an unhealthy obsession with anything vintage. It's somewhat out of control; so much that when I saw an old beach cruiser bicycle rusted beyond repair laying over on someones front lawn, I knew I had to have it.

I made a mental note of where I saw it and the next day I went on foot to collect. I knocked on the door and told the lady of the house that I loved her bike and she told me to "take it" and that I did.

While walking it home with two flat tires I met a very nice, elderly woman who told me she rode a bike like this when she was a kid and she suggested that I buy Rustoleum and primer the bike with it before I paint over it with my color of choice. I thanked her for her suggestion --it was a good one.

After I got the cruiser home, the first item on my agenda was to air up the tires to see if they were salvageable, which they weren't because they were too corroded. I pulled them off and chucked them in the garbage.

Next, I pulled at the rusted chain and it came off in my hand, so I chucked that too. Then I set out to my local shop to purchase some Rustoleum and make my previously owned treasure shine with glory once again.

I bought a silver primer color and a blue top coat and went home happy with my purchase. Once home, I coated the cruiser, which took two cans, then I let it dry.  I finished with blue because it was the bike's original color. After I did this, I realized that I wanted/needed new white wall tires to spruce it up a bit and I went right out and bought some along with a new chain, pedals and handle grips.

I got back home and tried to replace the pedals without luck. I was very frustrated once I realized the pedals were so rusted they wouldn't even crank the chain mechanism. My son and I took a hammer to the pedals, as well as some oil and after no time we had the pedals moving again.

Speaking of that damned chain --it's going to be the death of me, or it will cause me to throw this bike angrily from a very high cliff (I have probably never been this angry at any inanimate object... Ever!).

The chain I bought was too short, so I took it back and got a longer one which didn't fit in place correctly. I returned it and bought the first style chain again, but this time I bought two. I got them home and luckily I had been smart enough to buy a chain repair kit (it saved part of my sanity), which helped me link the two chains together.

Once I did that, I had to shorten it to fit --at that point I had a mini-meltdown because the chains wouldn't link back together. What the hell? This is the only thing keeping me from riding my bike. One tiny link in a chain. Thinking about it again is making my heart beat faster and I just want to kick the shit out of the cruiser. Why can't I just ride my goddamned bike? Because the universe is against me, that's why.

Hopefully, I will get this fixed soon, or I am saying "fuck the bike" and buying a brand spanking new beach cruiser.

Here are some pics of the cruiser, the first is from the day I picked it up and the second was from the following day. I haven't taken any updated pictures of progress because I can't stand to look at it anymore.