week-long Bicycle Mechanics summer program and loved it so we should have seen it coming, but 15 year old teenagers aren't as forthcoming and communicative as parents would like, and he sprang this surprise on us at a time when I was an acting single parent - my husband was on a business trip - which meant I had to help whip his bicycle choice: the Raleigh Grand Prix, into shape, according to our son's plan.
We prefer to wrench in the kitchen - the lighting is good and clean-up is easy - so the Raleigh was put into the stand. The previous day, I'd purchased a new tire - a Panacer Pasela no less! - locally to replace a blown tire, plus I surprised my son with bicycle shorts, a well-deserved treat for his 30+ mile daily jaunts. This particular son struggles in school, so for him to embrace a sport, and for his passion to align with our own, well, I will support him as much as possible! As for the bicycle, he likes a lean, lightweight bicycle, which, in his mind, means without racks or fenders. He removed the quick release rear wheel, stripped the tube and blown tire and had replaced the tube and tire himself, mostly, with my additional help cinching and securing the new tire back onto the rim.
Once we finagled the wheel in the dropouts, he adjusted the rear brake pads so they clamped the rims instead of the tire - initial cause of the blowout. He also inspected the front brakes and made similar adjustments, then removed a front fender. He also cleaned up the frame and wiped the chain. I was proud that he's taking pride in his work and improving the Raleigh, a bicycle he seems to have adopted as his own.
Three days into his program, our son is enjoying the long rides He brings home printed maps of each ride and seems to be enjoying himself!