Wednesday, July 3, 2013


This post could be about physics, but it isn't. It's about a bicycle, sort of. 
Old School Dyno Compe
Back when I was a lot shorter, I used to love bicycles. I would ride my bike all over a little Texas town for hours on end. I read BMX magazines. I would sit around and draw different frame designs. My mom once told me that a bike made out of titanium would fly. She was an enabler of the best kind.

I made a calendar and charted out when I would have enough money for the bike. My mom would give me an $1 for every A I made on my report card and pay me for helping out at the office. I plotted and saved and eventually bought a chrome Dyno Compe freestyle bike. When it came time to assemble it, I did fine until it came to the rotor. I had never actually seen a rotor in action so mom drove me to a bike shop in the big ol' town of Wichita Falls, Texas. We got it figured out. For a kid who loved bicycles, it was awesome.

Usually once a year I think about getting a new bike. I bought my current bike in 2007, and it's been good to me. That titanium bike has always been there stuck in the back of my brain, though. Those things cost $4000 brand new so there was no way that was ever going to happen. I could be richer than a king, and I doubt I would spend that much money on a bicycle. Two weeks ago, however, I looked around and found a used titanium Litespeed Tuscany on sale within a 2 hour driving distance. It also happened to be just my size. The wheels began to turn... :-)

I contacted the seller, and a meeting was set. I began thinking about what I would do to fix it up and researching online, and I had a plan as to what I needed to look at once I was there to make sure it was a good purchase.  I showed up at his house, went to ring the doorbell, and jumped a mile high as he unexpectedly rounded the corner of the garage. It was at this point all logic left my poor brain. Pure rational thought was gone anyway because I was way too excited about this bike. The bike went out of my brain when I saw the guy selling the bike. Let's call him B. I think it was his smile that put me over the edge. 

My mom had insisted on going with me since there have been more than few cases of people pretending to sell things on craigslist and doing terrible things. While Mom isn't scary, she does know how to shoot a gun, and I happen to own one. None of that was necessary because it turned out that B is a police officer. He also lives alone and had a road ID that matched mine, as he pointed out. I was smiling. He was smiling. Mom thought the entire thing was pretty funny, and it was. So anyway, I wound up with a good story and a new (to me) bike. Luckily when I got home and had a good look at it, the bike was in perfect shape.

So over the past few weeks I've been learning a lot about bicycles. I've been figuring out to remove decals from titanium (acetone works great), ordering new decals and installing them, replacing tires, figuring out I know almost nothing about derailleurs, cleaning gears and a chain, putting on new handlebar tape, bike fitting and adjusting blah blah blah. I have plenty of knowledgeable internet folks to thank for the tips. Between message boards and YouTube videos, I've learned a lot.

    Litespeed Logo before...                                                                    Litespeed Logo after...

(waiting on a different water bottle holder to arrive, though)
Is it blue?
Is it green?
It's been a fun project, and used or not, I am beyond happy with my new bike. The other great thing about this project is that it has made it completely clear just how much my mom has always been there for me. When I needed to learn how to put together a rotor, she was there. When I needed backup while going to pick up a bike, she was there. That titanium bike in the corner of my mind was there partly due to her influence. A lot of who I am was greatly influenced by what she said and did while I was growing and learning. My mom is caring and always there when I need some help. Thanks for being awesome, Mom!

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