Over the wrestling mats in Junior High there was a sign: Proper Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance. Those are the peas I’m talking about. But really not preparation but maintenance. For some reason, all my lab instruments I have on strict maintenance schedules but stuff I own I just use it until it breaks.
Like this Gary Fisher Utopia I used as part of my commute back in 1996:Beat the hell out of the poor thing and it never got a lick of tender loving care. Lived outside on the back of my 4Runner for the first five years, you can see how the bike rack tore the paint off the top tube. As a hybrid street bike it was awesome for about two of those years hopping curbs but then things started going south. 24 gears down to 7, back brake was dicey so instead of a little maintenance after five years beating on it I bought a new bike and let a friend borrow this one. Then in 2008 it made the move to Rockport and got thrown into the corner of the shop looking pretty sad. Cables split and rusted, the movable parts did not move but the parts that weren’t supposed to move did.
But I always remembered my old Gary Fisher fondly. I loved the “arc” handle bar and short wheelbase. So I collected up the pieces and dropped them off at Big Mike’s Bikes. Mike wasn’t there but I left a note: Option A: the bike is trashed, can you make it a one speed? Option B: the full monty, fix everything. Got a phone call back and the full monty was the smart course, 160 bucks and replace a whole bunch of doo-dads. (I lost the receipt but it was one long list which included what sounded like very important pieces like bearings and races.)
The price seemed way too reasonable so I greenlit the full monty. And now it looks like:I’ve been riding it a week and I still think, “holy cow, this bike never shifted like this.” For Cape Ann, large set in front and the back 8 gears just slide one right into each other as you go up and down the 23 hills of Cape Ann. I jumped on this morning thinking I would just bop over to Granite Pier but then I was going past the Rockport High School and the next thing I knew I was going past Good Harbor Beach and on to Eastern Point Light House. A stop at Joey’s and since I could not smell the fragrance of Toby Chowder I was up to Fred Bodin’s for water (but not open yet), down Maplewood, up Cherry Hill (outta the saddle on that hill), past O’Malley Middle and Goose Cove Nursery and over to Halibut Point before my needle was on empty.
Back to the 6 peas. Preparation is maintenance. Change the oil and the grease and mechanical things last longer. Or you can do what I do at least for bikes, beat the crap out of them and drive them into the ground, leave them in the corner 5 years then go bring the pile of parts over to Big Mike’s Bikes. But I might change my ways and actually bring my other bikes in for a tune-up. Whorled peas may follow.
Big Mike’s Bikes is easy to find. Big Mike’s right next to Big Macs.
ps. The Rubber Duck does this type of stuff incognito. I don’t want the special Rubber Duck treatment. I only put the Duck on the dash at the Rockport dump so I can get free parking.
pps. for the excruciatingly bored on this foggy foggy Cape Ann night the rough out path on google is 23.2 miles. The awesome thing about Cape Ann is you can add and subtract dozens of miles by including or skipping over points and coves. Same as in a kayak you could take the straight razor point to point 20 miles and add ten miles easy.
A track: http://goo.gl/maps/PNaty