I'm almost too embarrassed to mention this, but it proves I'm still, after all, only human. A human with a tendency towards procrastination. At least for some things. I'm good at oiling and wiping a chain. Okay, quit stalling. Confession time. I've been riding the Ross around since I've owned it, approximately 6 years, with a wobbly crank. No kidding, it's been forever. Did I think it would just go away and the cogs would magically straighten themselves? Well, I was kind of hoping...
The excuses go something like this:
- It's just going to be a parts bike.
- After 2 years both wheels seized up, so I repacked/regreased the bearings. I'm tired. I'll get to the crank later.
- It needs fenders.
- It needs a back rack.
- Neat, I found green pedals to match the frame color.
- Year 5. Cool. The front rack is a swell addition.
- I learned how to add swanky golden lettering and pin-striping to the frame. The Ross definitely needs that...
- Hmmm. I'll get to the crank maintenance this winter when I stop riding. It's a good project to do in the basement.
- Egads, what if the axle is bent, or the cogs? It won't be worth fixing and it's currently functional. Leave well enough alone.
- I'm not planning on keeping the Ross so why get all greasy? Let the next owner deal with it.
The crank symposium didn't happen because I never stopped riding this winter. At least that's what I tell myself. In actuality, it's not an easy or sexy task that adds a colorful splash, kind of like emptying the dishwasher. I also haven't taken apart a crank in a good many years. I don't recall that it's difficult, per se, but you need the right tools, which we have. When I can get to it. There I go again.
So last week when I drove myself home with the bike on our van's rack, I made a spontaneous detour to the bike shop and paid to have them look at the problem. And just like that, in two hours the cups were greased (no pitting either), the axle straight, beautiful cogs. The bike runs like a dream. And surprisingly the mechanic said I have a sweet bicycle. "They don't make bikes these days with quality components like this one."
Oh brother. After all this I may have to keep this thing.