Sunday, April 3, 2011

You Know You Spend Too Much Time On eBay When...

You're cleaning out your garage and come across a bike that you have no recollection of buying.

That happened to me today.

I am always on the lookout for my next two or three frames for commuter builds. Occasionally, I buy.

Today, I was breaking down a winter's worth of boxes in the garage. I came to a bike box way in the back, and as I pulled in towards me, I realized it wasn't empty. There was a bike in there! Only problem was, I had no recollection of ordering any bike that was not already on my repair stands.

Well, I was alternating between excitement (woo-hoo! Free bike!) and despair (Good Lord, what else have I bought?!)

The mystery did not last too long. When I put it up on the stand, I realized it was not a bike for me, as it was 54cm. But it wasn't for Carol either, as she rides a 56cm. Had I promised to build a bike for someone and then never followed through? The box's old mailing labels were from Oakland.

Then it hit me. Oakland. Chloe went to college in Oakland. This was Chloe's bike, which she'd stashed in our garage when she went to the The Big Apple for grad school.

Sigh. OK, on the positive side, I am not so far gone that I am ordering bikes and then forgetting them. On the negative side, I've completely forgotten about the bike I bought for my daughter.

Yep. This is my dotage. Who are all you people, anyway?


2whls3spds said...

LOL...I haven't gotten that bad...yet! I have several bikes sitting around that belong to others, some are in for repair, others long term storage. Might need to invest in some work order tags, or then again maybe not.


Rick Bauer said...

My wife accuses me of picking up old bikes the way little boys have stray dogs follow them home.

She will point out my old '74 Paramount Track Bike to visitors and remind me my glory days are over, then pat me on my belly. After that she points to a second set of wheels for the bike and tell me she doesn't understand why I need two sets of wheels for one bicycle.

As for glory days ... I read you rode with Kenny Nowakowski. Kenny is from Portage Michigan and so am I.

Kenny introduced me to the sport back in 1977, sold me my first set of Dettos and mounted the cleats for me, "Man, you gotta quit riding with those running shoes." He also built my first set of racing wheels, "You gotta get out of those 27" clinchers and into some sew ups." He also built that second set of wheels for the 'Mount, and drilled the fork to accommodate a brake for early-season 60" gear Mike Walden fixed riding on the road.

I was never good enough to be great, but I won a few and Kenny would find out about it, "I heard you won your first race," "Hey, you placed in States over in Wisconsin." He was so very good, but also a great guy. I'm sure he still is.

If you're up in the Pacific Northwest, you should know Dr. Mike Murray, director of the Velodrome in Portland. Dr. Mike rode with us back then and got his MD from UM. He moved from Michigan about the time you started racing. Here is an article with his pic:

Two velo directors from Michigan, and from the side of the state that didn't have a Velodrome. Go figure.

Later I trained with Paul Mough, a monster from Wolverine Schwinn who moved to Portage. He took me to "the mountain" and taught me that pain was "the sword with which I will slay my enemies."

Complications with bi-polar and endorphin addiction finally forced me to quit. I couldn't train and keep a full time job without going clinically crazy.

I moved back to Michigan and started riding again this year, 18 months after surgery for prostate cancer. Would have ridden last year, but the bicycle seat was a problem. Commute from the country to a little lakeside town 6 miles each way. And I join a group ride once or twice a week.

Can't do a leisurely 22-25 mph pace any more. I struggle to keep up at 18-20. Like my wife says, my glory days are over. But I did see this old Masi frame for sale up in Battle Creek ...

Ted Diamond said...


Thanks for commenting. I'm glad you're riding again, and more than that, glad you're still with us. Cancer is scary.

I doubt I've ever met Ken Nowakowski. But Angelo Chinni, who's commented elsewhere on this blog, knows him. I was at the wrong time (I think), and the wrong level of the sport (I'm sure). (You describe yourself as "good but not great." I'd describe myself as "enthusiastic but not good.")

I'm glad you've found a way to ride that's in balance with the rest of your life. I doubt I ever experienced it as seriously as you, but I've been in the situation where I thought it was natural to train multiple times a day, and had to be reminded by my spouse (now ex-spouse) that my main job was getting my PhD (now, ex-Phd, as in "never finished it")

I've had my ups and downs with riding, but now feel I'm in good balance. I use riding to manage depression, and keep it a steady part of my life, but (I think) never let it take over my life. Because, as you say, the "glory days" are gone. It's been more than ten years since I've been able to wear a team uniform with any credibility.

Glory days are gone, but I'm not done with cycling yet -- not by a long shot.

Peter Wesley said...

I was a neighbor of Paul Mough and remember him well. Especially the muscles in his legs. Rode with him a few times. Amazing Guy. I do miss him and his Mother.