Bike bling: it has arrived!

My mother liked the bell. The bell went 'ping', and the bike was very bling.

I won't say that I wasn't watching the driveway yesterday, but I did notice when a large red postal van paused at the bottom, before coming up the incline. In the back were two deliciously promising brown cardboard boxes.

In the two boxes were an equally scrumptious array of bike parts. Glossy, oh-so-shiny frame, suprisingly light; a very sturdy fork, suprisingly heavy. Headset, ball races, seatpost, cranks, pedals. Two wheels, as is to be expected, but one nestling the Rohloff hub in the centre. I spent some minutes just turning the hub cog in wonderment, hearing the hidden gears inside whirr, whirr and change with the satisfying 'chunk' of the gearchange mechanism.

Rohloff.gifMy wonderment was one of awe at all these parts, which I would put together to make what surely has to be one of the most exquisite bikes you can think of: a bike to cycle halfway across the world. A bike for life.

I was so excited, I sent out text messages: BIKE! ARRIVED! First caller was Marjorie, one of my oldest friends, who's now up in Brisbane. She must have laughed; she had a very happy chappy chewing off her ear for quite a while. It's amazing what a difference having the bike makes. Before, I'd sent out an awful lot of emails and told everyone what I am going to do. Now, with a bike, albeit in bits (not for long!), it's absolutely real.

I'd asked for the bike to be sent over in parts. This was because otherwise it was going to take a long time to arrive as the Thorn factory is busiest at this time of year. But I also wanted to have the pleasure of building it myself, and gain that intimate knowledge of something that comes when you've put each part together with your own thoughts. It has to be an advantage, I figure, to know the bike that well. And if I've managed to put it together, I can surely deal with dramas in the middle of who knows where.

I can't say I've ever put a headset together before - but I do know that the bike maintenance book I got from the library has a pretty good looking explanation. Here goes: Bike building 101. Helsinki, here ah come!


Digg this

Enjoyed reading? Consider supporting future entries with a donation.


Copyright © 2007 Nick McIntosh. All rights reserved.

All web design, web construction, interviews and photography by Nick McIntosh