I took this photo 10+ years ago and back then the bike made me laugh. Now it makes me smirk or maybe it’s a wince. I’m not just ten years older, I spent 5 of those years refurbishing bikes. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of bikes in a small nonprofit bike shop.
Refurbishing a bike for resale is about sizing up where you are and visualizing where you’d like to go, staying in the realm of reality and working with what you have to create something greater than the sum of its parts for the new used bike owner.
This is like a bike that was refurbished by an over enthusiastic volunteer at Bike Works trying to utilize everything all at once. Now it’s awaiting a bolt check from a staff mechanic. But when the volunteer goes home, the staff mechanic starts over and rebuilds the entire thing. I’m all about swept back bars and thumb shifters but this is not the time or the place for rootbeer brown glitter grips. I want to skip those brake levers across the surface of a pristine alpine lake. The in-line barrel adjusters for the friction shifters is over the top and maybe just a remnant from its past life.
This bike is the poster child for trying too hard to look like it's not trying too hard.
This bike contains way more than one cubic centimeter of bullshit. (see Albert Eisentraut)
This bike is 27lbs of shit in a 14lb bag.
This is a road bike in a crappy cruiser costume.
This bike is using needle nose pliers as a chisel.
This bike smells like a thin veneer of air freshener over shit.
I applaud everyone that rides a bike to the grocery store or the library or to work every fucking day. I chuckle at the Castelli-Rapha bros who rage around Lake Washington but would never think of riding a single speed with platform pedals to their dentist appointment or just commuting to work.
I applaud this dude, who may or may not be an attorney, for attempting to slow down and enjoy the ride on one of his old road bikes. He's on the right track. I’m not just a bikesnob shit talker. This bike is barking up the right tree it just doesn’t know when to shut up.