The Beloved Bike

As many of you know, S is an avid biker (as in bicycle). His bike is his primary form of transportation. He rides a bike to work everyday--despite the fact that he leaves for work before dawn. Weather is typically not a factor. About the only time he rides in a car is on Sunday when we go to church as a family--although he has tried desperately to find a way to haul the three kids so he could bike there too (but I convinced him that biking in heels and a dress didn't sound too appealing to me!) LOL. Anyway, many of you also know he is frugal and practical. As a result, his main bike (road bike) is a old Schwinn, estimated to be around 20 years old. He has pieced it together, made repairs, duct taped it, patched it, you name it, anything to keep the old thing running. He LOVES that bike. And, of course, "if it still works, there is no need for a new one!" You should have seen this bike! The gears were basically non-functioning, so he had rigged it to keep the cables out of his way, there were reflectors duct taped to each side (safety first!), the white grips on his handle bars were black from grime, the hand-brake covers were barely hanging on, there was rust and grime in every joint, nook, and cranny, the chain popped off frequently......you get the idea. Well, the "teeth" on a piece had worn down to nubs, so he took it to a local bike shop to get a replacement. Of course, they no longer make them, and he decided not to "waste" money on a new version. Shortly after his return, I found my dear hubby sitting out on the back patio with a metal file, filing this little thing in an attempt to create new teeth. That was the final straw. I slyly hung around until he reassembled the bike, then I walked over and I took it! He wanted to know what I was doing, and I simply responded with, "do you want to hang it on the bike rack on the car, or do you want to trust me to?" Nervously, he strapped the bike on (I think he was concerned about the car's paint job!). I got in the car and drove away.

I took the bike to a shop he likes and talked to the manager about how to fix it up a bit. This was on Saturday. S has been using his mountain bike this week. Today, I was able to pick up his road bike. I can't believe what a great job they did! The bike was in such terrible shape, I think they thought we were really poor. Instead of replacing the broken derailer with a new one as I had expected, they searched for, found, and refurbished a model similiar to what he had so I could get a lower price, and then decided to just give us some really good reflective tape to replace some of his old stuff (no complaints here!). They also cleaned the bike thoroughly, made the chrome shine, replaced the hand-brakes, covers, bar wraps, derailer, cables, adjusted the tension on the gear levers, cleaned and adjusted the chain, and replaced a tire tube. They even added some extra reflectors. I brought the bike in, and S was shocked. I think he was very pleased, though. He took it for a spin, and returned with a big grin on his face. He said, "Man, I did not know the gears could work that smoothly!" I guess he approves.
But he will probably never repair anything where I can see him again!

This is the after pic. If I'd known it would look so much better,
I would have taken a before pic! Sorry.

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