Saturday, 3 November 2007
Butter wouldn't melt in my mouth.
However, I found (not nicked) a bike the other day. It was leaning against the wall at the northern end of the bridge over the railway line. I passed it once, on the way to the shop, scoped it out, and saw that it was in a pretty sorry state. But then I started to think about it.
It was like holding a knob of butter in my mouth.
On the way back from the shop, blue plastic bag swinging at my side, I made a decision to take the thing home. Once, many years ago, my vegan friend (admittedly pissed out of his mind) took a broken piece of privet back to his flat, with the intention of nurturing it, and this memory somehow resonated with me. I acted on impulse and dragged the machine the few hundred yards back home. The front tyre was flat, and by the time I reached home, the inner tube was snagging on the brake blocks, so I had to lift up the front of the bike in order to move it. I stuck it in the bin store.
Today, I decided to start work on fixing it up.
My kids helped.
The main problem (and there are many) was with the gears. Somehow, the derailleur mechanism had been kicked in, so that the rear wheel could not turn without snagging on the spokes. After about 10 minutes, I had reached the point where I could bend back the metal to rectify this.
After that, the mudguards were priority number 1. Various bits had become loosened or fallen off, so the mudguards were snagging the wheels. Needless to say, it was not by any means easy to remove them, but I got there.
With the kids cleaning, lots of swearing, and blackened and scraped fingers, progress was made. I started thinking that there could be a future in this...