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Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Bike project 2012 from Hell!

I've heard of the book "Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance". Until recently I never bothered to do the search on Google of what it actually was. I imagined it was about being Zen when actually doing motorbike repair. Turns out I know as much about that book as I do about motorcycle insurance!

If my original understanding was true that the book was about being Zen when working on a bike, I could say that I've hit a massive wall. Talk about the Universe turning on its ass to tell you, you are waisting your time!

In the beginning the idea was to get a decent City bike together in order to have a ride to take me around town during my first vacation week in May. I needed something to carry my photo gear, my new found passion. As some of you know, it was going pretty well until this happened:

Don't let the image fool you, the streets are not ablaze every night, in fact this was a rare occasion and I was lucky to be at the right place, at the right time.

Daily protest in Montreal, my hometown, that started out for student tuition hikes and then rallied the rest of the population against a corrupt government. When you dream of someday being a photojournalist and this type of thing is right at your doorstep, you just have to be there.

The one thing that is present every night is the no quarters given to media people from the Police on the streets. A camera is not a get out of jail or all access pass. This factor is important because when people get arrested, that's a risk present every evening, when they have a bike, it just gets tossed in a pile by Police on the side of the street. The owner is lucky if the bike is still there when released 10 hours later.


Carrying a bike also slows you down and that's not a good thing when riot geared cops are running around. Walking and the subway in this case is the best way to get around town. So that kinda killed the motivation behind the project.

Whenever I actually had time to work on the bike, tools magically vanished, parts disappeared and things that usually mesh together started to get out of whack and refused to work in unison. I mean fenders are pretty straight forward and on this set up I might have to go with a full homebuilt custom job. But the cherry on the sunday is the rear tire.


After finishing the paint and installing the fork, I decided to put on the wheels and tires in order to see how this was coming along. Slapped my white Fat Franks on the rims, pumped the air up and installed the wheels on the bike. BOOM! That's what happened 30 minutes later while the damn thing was on the work rack in the Sun. Left it like that until I worked on the bike the following week. Check the tube, found a hole that indicated shavings on the inside of the rim. Fixed the rim, changed the tube, put in some air with 10 psi of loose just in case.

That was in the morning, in the late afternoon...POOF! AGAIN! Took it apart again, looked like I didn't do a proper job on the rim, fixed it, changed the tube, pumped it, left 10 psi loose and parked it. Guess what I found when I went back to work on it a week later? You guessed it, the rear tire flat as a pancake. So I just closed the door to the shed and decided to give it a rest.


The project is not dead. At some point in time the feel for it will come back and you will be the first ones to hear about it. This is not the first project I've tackled that came to a screeching halt before the finish and it won't be the last. Funny thing is when I do get back to it, it might get done in a day or two. Hey, a guy can dream right?


Don't forget to check out the how-to articles.

Ride safe and free.

Gerry :)

1 comment:

DEN said...

Nice read... after reading that reminds me of all my half-done and half baked projects lying around while looking to cook up the new bike room now... another project in itself