Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Out with the old

One of the more useful things that I did on my post-Challenger 2010 day-off last week was to pop to my not-as-local-as-I'd-like bicycle shop to put my trusty, if much put-upon, pair of wheels in for a servicing (pictured, in happier times, below). However, after more than 5 years of sustained abuse at my hands (or is it feet?), my faithful steed was far passed the point at which repair was more cost-effective than replacement. My policy of only fixing punctures and oiling the chain is not, it transpires, one to ensure bicycle survival for the ages.

Dsc04098

Among other gems of bicycle maintenance that I picked up on all too late is that, apparently, one is supposed to regularly replace the chain of a bicycle (biannually according to the chap I spoke to). By virtue of slightly changing the spacing between links, stretching, it appears, causes an aging chain to slowly wear down the teeth on chainset cogs. This is worse where a cyclist sticks religiously to the same few gears day-in, day-out. Needless to say, my fixed daily route (plus inherent laziness) drops me nicely into this particular offender category. Anyway, the upshot of this consultation was the "retirement" of my formerly stalwart, but now unsafe-to-ride, pair of wheels.

Out with the old, in with the new, as they say. After being slightly underwhelmed by the selection at my not-so-local purveyor of fine cycles, I visited the slightly closer vendor who'd supplied me with C's birthday bicycle a couple of years back. After a few tries out on a number of sale-price models, I finally plumped for a new hybrid apparently freshly released for this season (i.e. at full price) ...

DSC03749

I've been using it the past few days and, thusfar, it's been great. That's largely down to the aesthetic shift from a clanking, maltreated rustbucket to a smooth, purring youngster, but my new bicycle also seems to be tempting me out of my comfort zone in the gears department. So, though I've already promised myself that I'll take better care of my new ride (not least because it was £100 more than my last one), the changes it's making to my cycling might additionally help to prolong its lifespan.

For reference, it's a Giant ...

DSC03748

A new brand to me, but I'm hardly a regular sampler of two-wheeled fashion. Anyway, does anyone have any idea what one does with a knackered old bicycle that still has a good frame? Repair, reuse, recycle?

2 comments:

chimpaction said...

Nice new bike. Bet it's a lot lighter too?

Surely there must be plenty of docks/canals/rivers that you can dump your old one in? ;)

Plumbago said...

Definitely. I carried up the steps to the road bridge I cross today and it was appreciably lighter.

Regarding bicycle disposal, there would be something fitting in me throwing my old bike from the Itchen Bridge. It carried me faithfully over said conduit twice a day for more than 5 years. It'd be like a burial at sea for a sailor. ;-)