I'm pretty good at not buying things, but I have this tendency to adopt things. I'd adopted an aluminum bike that I named Al but I managed to pass Al on to a poor college student. I'm still trying to pass my old PX-10 onto someone and that bike has migrated down to the Bikestation and I know it'll end up with some messenger or urban hipster soon. So I should be making progress in terms of simplification.
And then an old steel mountain bike comes along. A little too small perhaps but maybe something fun to mess around with. Strip off the broken Gripshifts. OK, I'm only going to do this if it's a no money kind of thing. But I do have a big pile of parts. And tools. And time. And I do get this urge to putter.
Beth in Portland likes old stem shifters, maybe I will too. For now the gears will stay. A long seatpost and a Butt Buddy get the saddle high enough. Knobby tires get swapped for something slicker. Rough enough to wander, fast enough to be fast enough. I don't care much about the optimal but I'm fascinated by what is sufficient.
All my bikes wind up looking like my bikes. Brand names tend to get buried. Stickers tend to get cut-up and repurposed. Old campaign signs are made into fenders. All that really matters is where the bike hits my butt, my feet and my hands. The rest will be whatever it is. The Cowboy Junkies said it best, "the beautiful is not chosen, the chosen becomes beautiful."
This bike works for commuting or for exploring gravel roads or tiny trails. I could probably ride it to Inuvik or Patagonia or to the Safeway or the Starbucks. I don't know what I'll do with this. This morning I rode it along the Cedar River and I took some pictures. You can see them here:
Keep 'em rolling,