04 January 2006

Double the gears, for free

Some kind soul in Greenwood chucked a Repco “Evolution” 21-speed mountain bike out into their pile of kerbside junk. Due to my foresight in collecting numerous other more-or-less intact bikes, it was easy to find a seat to replace the existing sun-damaged one. The rest of it was just routine maintenance like oiling the chain, pumping up the tyres, and tightening the skinny nuts on the axles to adjust the bearings to “firm but not squashed”. Judging by the wear on the tyres, (possibly the original set although they show little sign of weathering) and the original genuine Shimano brake pads (to match the Shimano running gear), this thing got ridden for a month or two after it was bought, and then parked outside somewhere and forgotten.

I also picked up a Repco “Tracer AllTerrain”, and for a moment there I thought I finally had a pair of bikes (I want an identical pair to slice up and turn into a dual kid-carrier) — but it turns out that the one already in the carport was an older model of the same type (the same kind of thing car makers do, slight changes everywhere apparently just for the fun of it), and a feminine frame rather than a masculine. The new one has a nut and washer missing from the front brakes, but other than an abrasion to the side of the seat and a rusty, capless bell it looks like it’s never been ridden. The tyres still have moulding scurf on them, and the brake pads look untouched.

I do actually have a pair of Apollo “Cheetah” frames, but one of them is the original FOSTFLG Beastie, which other than awaiting a chain join (messy, fiddly job), works fine. The idea with the kid carrier is to have a towed arrangement that uses standard (and large) tyre sizes and sports two (or possibly three) deck-chair-style seats for littlies, one or possibly two facing forward, and one back.

If anyone in Perth wants a working bike and isn’t going to get hung up over appearances, just whistle. We are definitely into bike overflow here. I have two (now three) bikes that I regularly use, plus one for each other family member, two on loan to a family friend named Sydney, and two spares.

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