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lboorse2Member Since 10 May 2007
Offline Last Active May 06 2018 04:35 AM
It was like any other Saturday morning in the summer. I woke up around 9, grabbed a bowl of cereal and caught some TV ‘til about 11. I really needed to get moving. I didn’t want to just waste the day sitting on the couch.
It was fairly warm. The temperature was already in the low-80’s. The pool was crystal blue and looked really inviting. But, I had some work to do.
I went out to my shed and pulled out my Hutch Hollywood, the lavender popping against the background of the green grass. My prized possession always deserved the best and it was going to get pampered today. I pulled out an old blanket, flipped the bike over and started disassembly. Wheels came off, then the Takagi one-piece cranks. I pulled out the bearings and tossed them in a Tupperware container for safe keeping and for cleaning later on.
I flipped the bike back over and the brakes, bars, stem, seat and post all came off. It was time to start wiping everything down with some warm water and Dawn. Once that was done, a light polishing made all the paint and chrome look almost new again, despite the beating it took from me on a daily basis.
See there wasn’t anywhere this bike wouldn’t go with me… to the store, to my buddy’s house, to the trails, hit a few jumps, back home, up the driveway with a nice little kick-out to finish off the ride…
I started re-assembly. All the bearings were cleaned up and re-greased. My hands now smelled like a combination of WD-40, bearing grease and dishwashing liquid. They went back in for the headset, then the stem, bars, seat and post back on. Hey, it’s starting to look like a bike again. I flipped it over and reinstalled the bottom bracket and cranks. Wheels go on, chain gets tightened. Finally, re-install and re-adjust the brakes and off for a test run. I check to make sure everything is tight. It looks and feels just right.
I rip off down the driveway and into the street. I’m pushing as hard as I can then slam on the brakes. The Comp III’s leave a bit of a skid mark in the street. The brakes work great, but I remind myself to save that tread. I turn around and head back to the house. I pull a nice wheelie along the way. Wow – three house lengths. I’m getting better.
That’s the story of me as a pre-teen. It also fits in well today. The Hutch Hollywood is long gone, but I now have a small stable of a few other bikes from that era. Tearing them down, building them up, and ripping on ‘em down the road. Now, just like then, it’s so fun and so pure.
That’s what it’s all about. That’s what I’m about. I don’t fancy myself as an artist, though I can certainly appreciate the artistic value of some BMX collectors’ bikes. That’s not me though. I’m merely a caretaker. What I’m creating is simply those bikes I had, my friends had, or others I lusted after during a good portion of the 1980’s. The collection is the venue. Sure, I grow the venue little by little each year, but what I really dig is the maintaining, the building, and most certainly the riding. I race, I freestyle (I use that term loosely), and I cruise.
Ultimately, to me, there’s nothing like taking a pile of random parts that were manufactured in years gone, with techniques that are just as old, then putting it all together, the way I would have as a kid, and seeing the machine come to life.
That first test ride. That’s it right there. That’s what’s real.
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Biking. Guitaring. Building. Writing. Riding. Playing.
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