Wednesday, November 03, 2021

Neglected But Not Forgotten

The Big Dummy loaded up for a recycling run recently.
 Lately I've been doing some rearranging and cleaning in my shop. That's the same area where I store my bicycles, so I really have been paying a bit more attention to those bikes because of this recent activity down there. This has brought to my attention that several of my bicycles have been neglected of late. Well, some for a long time, truth be told! 

This has never set well with me. I've been one to not want 'garage queens' as some folks call things like cars and motorcycles that are babied and never used. I also don't want a tool around I'm never going to use either. I've got a couple of bikes that would fit that description, actually. Then there are those 'treasured memories' bikes. Hard to part with and a big space-suck in a place where I have to maximize every square inch of usable space. 

So, to assuage some of my guilt and concerns in this area, I got out two bikes recently to ride them. One is a bicycle that has 'meaning' to me and the other is a 'tool' I should be making use of more than I do now. The 'tool' bike is the Surly Big Dummy I have. This one has sat mostly unused of late because I have not been using it to do recycling with. Instead I have been using my truck, inviting my son along, and then taking him out for a driving lesson or two, or just hanging out with him. 

Well, he is in college now during the day, so I had time to get this bike out, air up the tires, and take a load of cardboard and recyclables back to the recycling collection center. It's a great bike for that task. I should also be using it more to go get grocery items as well. But yeah.... At least I got it out again!

The "OG" 29"er for many folks- 2003 Karate Monkey.

The other bike falls into the "I'll never get rid of it" category and it has meaning for me on several levels. First, it was my very first 29 inch wheeled MTB. I got this in March of 2003 and so it probably was one of the first- if not the first- 29 inch wheeled bikes in this area. 

It was my first fat tire, drop bar bike. It was my first single speed mountain bike and my first 'gravel bike'. This bike may have been the bike I rode my longest ever ride on. It was either this bike and the first "Guitar Ted Death Ride Invitational", or my 2015 attempt at the DK200. I know how many mikes I rode at DK, but I did not have a computer on this bike in 2006 for the GTDRI and I rode to and from the start, which I figured added approximately 11 miles to an approximately 150+ mile ride. (There was a detour which added miles in the first GTDRI). 

This bike nearly was ruined by a frozen bottom bracket which I managed to break free from the frame back in 2016. So, yeah, I'm probably not getting rid of this one! Too much history with this one bike to do that. But there again- I don't use this bike like I should be using it. So, I have a bit of a plan going forward for this rig. In fact, I cooked this idea up while I was writing this post! 

I won't get into all of that right now, but I did get this one down from the hook, pumped air into its tubed tires, and went for a spin. I remembered the magic of its feel and why I ended up making this my 'gravel bike' in the mid-00's. It just worked. Oh.....and it's never been geared. Never! Disc brakes, yes, but never geared. 

So, I was glad to have found the time to get those two off the schneid and back out for rides lately. Hopefully there will be many more rides on these bikes to come.


Boudin said...

A little side note:

Pour one out for the Big Fat Dummy. We hardly knew you…

teamdarb said...

Boudin made me laugh. So true to a number of bikes during the how much tire can we stuff arms race. I would like to pour one out for the Raleigh Stuntman.