This took a while, and for a number of reasons I wanted to let it sit before posting. I also wanted to get the damn thing fixed first. And I’ve been busy. You know, the usual bullshit.

From Oct 22:

The Schwinn is dead. Long live the Schwinn.

The Schwinn, Dead

Suffice to say that it was my fault. I was carrying a tote bag inappropriately and knew it, but thinking I could get away with it for the block or two I was riding, I still slung the thing over my shoulder. It went into the wheel when I was turning left, I went over the handlebars, the fork buckled like a good fork should (maybe). It at least took some of the force that otherwise might have gone to my noggin’, so that’s good. The helmet also did its job, although it was pretty new and I’m bummed to have to replace it.

I had a pretty OK low-grade headache for much of the rest of the day, some scrapes and scratches, but am otherwise completely fine. Pride hurt, but body OK.

I have yet to really investigate the full extent of the damage. It’s frankly pretty upsetting: this was my first “adult” bike, my first bike after not riding for ~10 years, the bike I learned to commute on, fix, rebuild, and it was the bike I rode exclusively for quite a few years there, on road rides and commutes and occasionally places it had no business being (dirt, gravel, etc.). It was a good bike. It got built up in quite a few different ways. Had lots of different parts put on it and taken off.

The most recent build was probably the “funnest,” a flat-bar 1x8 with a stupid small gear range (40x11-28), and it was the perfect bar/school bike for a good… what, three months? A shame.

There’s a good chance I can just throw a new fork on there and the bike be fine. It will, however, mean one less part that’s original to when I got it: I think all that’s left now will be the frame, the seatpost, stem, and cranks (not the chainrings). I can get a replacement crown race for $5 from V-O if the current one isn’t salvageable (read: I fuck it up when taking it off).

I’ll still probably have a mechanic take a look at it to make sure there’s nothing wrong with the frame itself, but with any luck it’s not completely hopeless.

That said, I don’t know when I’m going to do it.

From Nov 25:

A month later and I am very happy to say that the Schwinn is now alive and well. Total repair cost is going to come out to ~105 USD plus my labor time, which for a passion project is $free.99.

The Schwinn, Alive

What had happened was that after I gave my brain and body some time to heal, I started riding ‘ol Stragglepus around again. I was out of shape. I was also (due to Stragglepus’s present configuration) in clippy shoes. This is mostly fine… except also annoying when I want to do a short trip by bike. (The Schwinn has toe cages. I am useless without foot retention. This is also, incidentally, why I am useless at mountain biking, but that’s another story.)

So though I had meant to save a bunch of money (to be fair: I did pay off my semester bill first), I swung by Cambridge Used Bikes in the basement of the Cambridge Antique… something, and picked up a $25 fork that I was pretty sure was going to work. I didn’t bring my own measuring tape and the one the mechanic lent me was all Imperial (my measurements were metric) but it seemed close enough, and bonus: it was an old Schwinn World Tour fork. Mad fork rake, too, which given this bike’s current life as a townie/commuter/bar bike, this would be a good thing.

Because it’s hard to get most of a bike downtown to my old shop, because the City of Slummerville has closed down the Bike Kitchen for the time being, and because I didn’t have the tool(s) to cut down the steerer (which I made sure was longer than I needed it to be for this) and add some threads (this I had not anticipated), I walked it all across the street to my LBS, WheelTwerks(tm). I have a lot of feelings about this shop qua bike shop but they almost always have what I need last-minute and I like Peter Mooney.

So, Peter helps me sort it all out. Machines a fun super-big spacer out of an old seatpost so we don’t have to cut the steerer at all (and I can bring my handlebars higher… very high. I’m still deciding if I actually like this or not). He also drilled the brake out for a recessed nut. Nice! Thanks Peter!

(Yes, this is the same Peter who builds neat bikes and also helped me prep the Straggler frame.)

The old Claris brake won’t work (shocker: the bike was designed around a 27 x 1 1/4 tire), but I had an old Tektro Long-reach (nutted) left over from when I mis-judged Alia’s bike’s braking needs, so I threw in a bunch of washers and it’s working fine for now. A buddy of mine whom I once gave a front wheel to is going to give me a mid-reach brake in return, so that’ll be just fine now, won’t it?

Speaking of wheels, they’re both a little fucked. The front I quick-n-dirty trued after the crash in some forks (see Slumerville closing the Bike Kitchen above) and I did only an OK job at it since I am only OK at truing wheels, and the rear hub has pretty much always been fucked and it’s loose again. Oh well. A buddy of mine has a dynamo set I want to buy off him just as soon as I have some spare cash.

But the point is the bike fucking rides, you know? And I’m very, very happy about it. Still out of shape, but happy about it.