Back from the shed…

… Last ride December 23 2009 in the snow and ice. And for Christmas the Cove was stripped bare of parts, with the remains stashed away in the dark reaches of the shed. Less than a month later, it nearly passed into new ownership until a brief burst of sanity sent it back to the guilty corner. The plan* = which stayed its’ eBay execution – was to all ride my other bikes to see if it that one would be missed.

This is such a dumb plan, because as a measure of ownership everything but the ST4 and road bike would be heading out the door. Only when the ST4 became an expensive tester for breaking strain of every component was the Pace dusted off. Until I broke that as well. The DMR is the perfect wheeled perch for riding with the kids, but its’ days of being flung off large jumps – with an abandon if not exactly wild then at least pretty feral – are long gone.

My mistake was to confuse mileage with usefulness. Sure logic may dictate that something that is not used and has a value should be off-loaded for whatever the market would pay, with a bonus of losing the guilt associated with hanging on to something that’s become a bit of an embarrassing shed-queen**.

However let us extend that hypothesis to only my immediate family. Such an approach would see us quickly assume eBay trader status and further require a fleet of skips to remove the roomfulls of crap we have collected through the power of “Project Magpie – two kids, tiny attention span, cheap plastic shit”.

So we’re not exactly starving, and selling bikes just because I am not riding them RIGHT NOW is clearly the ravings of a mad man or an accountant. And while the ST4 has been consistently brilliant, it’s also a bit fragile. Even with the decent winter riding we have here, it’s hard to imagine there would be much left other than bits of swarf and a large bill at the end of the next one. So getting the Cove built back up is a fantastic idea even if it is six months early.

Ahead of the game that’s me. No one has any idea what I’m doing most of the time. Least of all me. A careful study of that image will show a splash of old school Crankage hanging off a positively venerable Square Taper BB, bars, stem, seatpost, saddle and wheels reclaimed from the spares bin, a new set of forks brought forth by a Warranty triumph, with the remainder of important bits harvested from others’ unwanted cast offs.

I didn’t even finish building it because I have started to think of the bike shop in Ross as an extension of my own workshop only staffed by competent people such as Nick. I rolled in most of a chassis with a set of bleeding brakes that needed just that, and returned to fetch a fully working bike assembled without any obvious use of the large hammer much loved in my own builds.

Shall I be waiting to ride it until Winter? I shall not, because – even on a brief test ride – there is a certain directness and simplicity that is sure to offer much in the twisty forest tomorrow. And maybe on some other trails as well, where the utter sorted-ness of a full suspension bike could feel a little too much. But really it’s a crap conditions bike, although I do appreciate that a Titanium bike with decent stuff hanging off it is probably not everyone’s idea of the perfect winter bike.

Get yourself a singlespeed and some rigid forks” they will shrill and I shall calmly reply “Much as I hate fixing stuff, I still want to be having fun when I’m out there. If I wanted the experience so loved by your sort, I’ll just buy myself a hair shirt and rub myself down with a ripe pineapple”. I find this generates enough confusion for me to run off before they can compose a ripost.

You see I look at this lot and don’t think “too many bikes, not enough difference between them, waste of money, etc, etc”. No I remember how much fun I’ve had on each and every one of them***, and – more importantly – how much MORE fun I’m going to have.

Starting tomorrow πŸ™‚

* It’s not really a plan. It’s merely twisted logic on the endless roller-coaster of bike acquisition

** A job I feel I fulfil rather well myself.

*** Except the road bike. I’m not admitting to anything. That way lies waxing.

7 thoughts on “Back from the shed…

  1. Ian

    Is it wrong to be really chuffed and slightly excited that you’ve built the cove up again? πŸ˜‰

  2. Alex

    I guess you are just looking forward to my comedy crashes on it πŸ˜‰ I already have my excuses lined up “well I would have been fine had the talent compensating 4 inches of rear travel been installed. I blame Nick for putting it together wrong” !

  3. Dave

    I seem to recall you hang your bikes? Have you got a photo of the set up (i.e what wall bracket do you use/recommend). As i’m begining to need to do the same.. I’ve a wood built workshop so just need to think about how i need to brace the structure etc.

    being as i’m broken/mending,, i seem to have gone on a bike purchase spree. New into the shed are road bike (a bargain for 50quid!), trike (free) and kiddies bike (free). Currently in there are MTB, commuter + wifey’s commuter. It’s begining to get a bit crowded!

    I have contemplated SS-ing the roady,, but being as i live in the chilterns i think i like my knees to much for that and my aim of doing a 16mile (each way) commute.

    p.s and no I don’t have kids,, but i do have a design for a soap box/cart!

  4. Alex

    Dave, check this out:

    I think the hangers are called “Da Vinci” or something. Wiggle used to do them. That wall is made up of double thickness OSB boards and we just screwed them in with rawplugs. Nothing fallen down. Yet.

    Just over a year old that picture and it’s not very current. Out: Little Pink bike, CX Bike, White Kona. In: ST4, Boardman, Spesh Hardrock Myka. And I thought I was doing so much better!

  5. Nic

    YOU CHEEKY BASTARD!!!!!!!!!!!
    THere really is something wrong with your brakes (again!) Now………………………….

  6. Alex

    Hang on, that was a compliment! Cheeky I shall save for next time πŸ™‚ How are my brakes btw.. they’ve spent more time being bled than a man whose gone five rounds with a bacon slicer!

  7. Nic

    I hate Them, Thats all Ihave to say On the subject tbh. Oh, except I have repaired them, Again, but if your Not collecting right away, I could do with an Hour morrow to re attack the front one please, I’ll be charging you Storage at this rate.

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