Now that Shira's learning to ride a bike, and I've enjoyed getting out on two wheels, I was official overdue to take action with my old bike from high school. I dutifully moved it here, stored it in the shed, and left it. That was about 12 years ago. It was time to face facts: either the bike was toast and needed to be left at the curb, or I needed to resurrect it and put it to good use.
With some trepidation, and a hint of embarrassment, I schlped the bike to the bike shop down the street: Papillon Cycles. There I sheepishly asked if this heap of items (two detached and flat tires, and the frame itself) could be saved. I was prepared for snickering at the very least. I got none of that. The kid behind the counter inspected it, and what I saw as a mess, he as a perfectly serviceable bike. He started rattling off new parts it would need (break shoes, cables, etc.). I just nodded as knowingly as I could.
I left the bike with them for about two weeks, and yesterday went to pick it up. There I was greeted with a bike in perfect working condition. Yes, there's definitely signs of wear and tear, and a fair amount of surface rust. But, I drove it out of the store and it worked quite well - the breaking and shifting were spot on. The amazing thing: the whole cleanup job cost me about $130 - not much more than what I'd expect to pay for a yearly tuneup.
When considering my bike options, one piece of advice I kept reading was that the most important thing was to find a reputable bike shop. And I believe I've found just that with Papillion Cycles. They could have charged me an arm and a leg. They could have sold me on the latest technology. They could have laughed me out of the store for even considering riding a bike with rust on it. Instead, they did none of this. They saw a perfectly solid bike, that I should go and enjoy.
At some point, I'll no doubt want something fancier (and less rusty), and when I do, I'll no doubt start my shopping at Papillion.
Here's how the old girl cleaned up - not too shabby.
Now I've just got to take advantage of this clear whether while I can, and get out and ride!