Friday, 6 July 2012

Tinkering

Regular readers of this blog will have realised long ago my love of riding bikes. Road bikes, mountain bikes, commuter bikes, even tandems. Riding alone, with friends, with the kids, as long as it involves two wheels, I’m happy.
Something that’s not so obvious though is the huge amount of pleasure I get from maintaining these wonderful pieces of engineering. Many hours are whiled away in the garage, radio on, just tinkering. It might be making small adjustments to position, or perhaps trying out the latest eBay purchase.
More often than not the bikes are mine, but there’s also the kids’ and @ASL191’s bikes too. One of the many advantages of having more than one bike is that there’s always a job to do. It’s a sort of therapy, and is in stark contrast to the hours I spend desk surfing in my day job. I’ve always found that working on bikes makes you appreciate their beauty, and helps build a wider understanding of some of cycling’s more subtle points.
Perhaps the most tinkered with bike in the fleet, is also the most humble. My do it all, everyday commuter hack, come occasional tourer, the trusty On One Il Pompiino. Over the years I’ve owned it, it’s afforded me many hours of precious tinkering time. Wheels have been replaced, the gearing adjusted, stems and handlebars changed. Always with the aim of inching towards the perfect set. Will I ever get there? I hope not. I enjoy tinkering too much…

2 comments:

  1. Perhaps i'll bring my spare bike along with me and then you can stay behind and maintain it whilst i ride with Shifnal Cycling :-)

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  2. As well as tinkering, fiddling, adjusting or experimenting, I tend to spend quite a lot of time in the garage just staring at the bikes. Admiring their beauty or just contemplating the next component upgrade.
    BTW, a tinkering session is not complete without the obligatory huge mug of black coffee and stack of ginger nuts on the workbench amongst the spanners.

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