Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Bucephalus is the latest addition to my menagerie of bikes. I bought him about a year ago at the UT bike auction. The UT bike auction is basically where the University tries to unload all the sundry bikes it has picked up in the past year. These bikes have been abandoned, impounded after being chained to a stairwell railing, or been recovered as stolen bikes by UPD.

My original motive for buying yet another bike was influenced by some of my domino friends earlier that year. A few of them are hard-core, dyed in the wool, paddlers. Their idea of a good time is a 3 man canoe, a few beers in the water jugs, and a good swift current. As the weather was fairly nice that summer, they had invited many of us domino people out to Town Lake and even to the San Marcos river to paddle with them. Paddling trips were quite a hit with the club, and spots in the canoe filled up rapidly each time the paddling call went out. After a while, I got a crazy idea into my head that I might be able to chaperone weekly or monthly mountain biking trips, much in the same way. The only problem was, if someone didn't have a bike, (s)he couldn't go. So, I decided that I needed to purchase a new bike for such a purpose.

Truthfully, I think I just wanted a new bike. Ever since my original Raleigh was stolen from my balcony, I'd been missing a real, quality mountain bike. Sure, Bruno is a beast and can take a beating, but his frame is just too heavy. He's not really a mountain bike. I think he could be, but it would require a frame transplant. I think once I get Bucephalus up and running, he'll be my primary mountain bike, and Bruno will play the Sammy Sosa to his Jason Botts.

Anyway, I bought Bucephalus at the Bike Auction for $70. He was originally just half a bike. Missing a rear wheel and needing a new chain, deraileur, grips, and possibly even brakes, he wasn't much. However, he had potential. The Trek frame was more than enough to keep me interested. Bidding started at $5, I think. There was a dude who was hovering like a buzzard and kept overbidding everyone who placed a bid. I watched the bids climb from $5 to $20, and eventually to $55. Finally, with 5 minutes left in the bidding, I calmly walked over, and placed my bid of $75, and walked away. $75 was all I was willing to bid, and if the other guy wanted it that bad, he could have it.

Once the dust settled, it became apparent that I'd gone over the buzzard's price limit. I kinda felt bad about it, because he mentioned in passing to another guy that this was the only one that would fit him. I kinda doubt that, b/c he was a really big guy, and the frame isn't ALL that big. I took the bike downstairs and paid for it, $75 poorer and one bike richer. Well, half a bike richer.

In the year that I've had him, I've yet to actually ride him. Well, that's not true anymore. Last weekend, I made one of my projects to tune him up. I replaced the chain, added a rear wheel (which Mom gave me for Christmas), replaced the handlebar grips, replaced the rear deraileur, added a seatpost, and even a seat. Even so, the chain is too long, and I still don't have brakes, but at least he can roll. I took a "spin" on him after tightening everything down. By a spin, I mean I took him out the front door and coasted down the slight incline to the bottom of the cul-de-sac, using my sandaled foot on the rear wheel as a brake.

I'm taking him to Yellowbike soon to get a professional opinion as to how to fix the chain. Amanda's brother comes into town in a week or so, and I promised to take him mountain biking, so I guess I've got a timeline now...

1 comment:

Caroline said...

Was was! A Rangers reference! I had to look up Jason Botts, sorry about that. But welcome back to the blogging world! We've all missed you!