I recently got in touch with an old friend from whom I had not heard in quite some time. Though he recalled that I had been a messenger in Boston, (back in the day) he had not remembered me being that into cycling. This is true. It was the only practical means of transit, and it enabled me to have a job to which I could show up most of the time. I rode everywhere and in all weather. Winter snow and ice, no problem, dress accordingly and take it easy. I did not really care about bikes or cycling. I was aware of pro racing only because that was the time of Greg Lemond's Tour victories.
My bike at the time was a nameless "racing" frame that had ended up in the shed behind my parent's house in suburban Massachusetts. Nameless wheels, coaster-brake, "english" bars, big basket up front. I never worked on it other than fixing flats. I do not even remember cleaning the chain.I did not want to upgrade my bike, it worked fine until the seat tube finally cracked at the bottom bracket. Other bikes followed. None were an obsession.
So why, now that I am on the down hill section of life's course, have I become so taken with cycling? I now clean my chain every other week. In fact I just put on a new chain. It is a nice SRAM Power Chain II with a speedlink for easy removal.
I'm not sure I am happy with this chain. It makes noise on the Shimano freewheel cog. It's the kind of noise that's not that loud all of the time, just when I crank hard or power up a hill. Metal on metal, and it bugs me a lot. I tried it on the (Shimano Dura-ace) fixed cog and that was worse.
I have a good chain-line. The old chain made little or no noise but got stretched to the point where I could not tension it by pulling the wheel back in the dropouts. So what is it? It's making me nuts. This chain was supposed to make my life better.
My pastor likes to say "Nothing created can complete us." But really, I have this feeling that if I could only get the bike setup just right. I mean a new set of brake pads. Come on now I NEED those right. And over the last couple of weeks I have noticed a funny feeling up front and I went by the shop and sure enough a new headset is required, the only moving part original to the 1981 frame. All else has been carefully researched and ordered and put together to create the perfect…
...ah yeah right. So I am a dork.