Saturday, August 7, 2010

a new life

...for the old bicycle that has spent the past 30 years in my parents' basement(s).

It's a red diamond frame BRC Harrier. It has swept back handlebars with glittery red grips (with holes in the end for streamers!) but because of the similar level of saddle to handlebars it's not actually very upright.

Although it's a diamond frame, we think this bike was my mothers' because it's smaller than the other bike hanging around down there: a red Raleigh road bike with drop bars from approximately the same era. However, she doesn't seem to have many memories of actually riding it.

Last weekend I tackled the decades-old rust on the chrome of the handlebars and fenders. Here are some before and after shots.

I discovered that one of the pedals had lost a nut and was working its way off the crank. My Dad, who always seems to know just what to do in mechanically-related situations (whether cars, motorcycles, or -- now I know -- bikes), gave me a quick lesson on how exactly the pedal stayed on and how to fix it. Thank goodness he has a workshop full of miscellaneous pieces! Now the pedal is firmly attached once again.

Test ride!

My parents live on top of a hill so I rode back and forth a few times along the the few blocks that comprise the plateau, without descending too far. I passed a man walking his dog three times and he seemed a bit confused by the third time. I suppose it's expected to see kids just riding back and forth around the neighbourhood for fun but unusual to see an adult doing so.

Next up: we take it into the shop for a lookover and to replace any old parts that may have safety implications: brake cables, inner tube, etc. I visit my family for a weekend about once every 4-6 weeks and don't like being without a bicycle when I do, so this is going to be mine when I'm there. It also (somewhat) makes up for the fact that my primary bicycle is neither vintage nor well-crafted. There's just something so lovely about the lines of a lugged steel diamond frame.

1 comment:

  1. I love it! The handle bars, the seat, the colour! I think that once you have more space you should bring it over to the mainland... you would look adorable riding this along the seawall ;)
    Good job on cleaning up the chrome too... maybe I should give Glenda a little TLC.