Note: The thoughts and activities discussed in this post occurred on August 23, 2011.
As mentioned in the First Ride post I finally took my 18-year-old Huffy Snakeriver bicycle to an area bike shop for it’s “physical”. When I picked it up today I learned that mechanically it had passed with flying colors, needing only a couple of minor adjustments. It was a bit of a disappointment to learn it needed one new tire, the front one, because the tread was beginning to separate from the body of the tire, but considering how long it had been in storage it’s probably a near miracle both tires did not need to be replaced. Now that’s what I call dependability! It makes me wonder if bikes being produced now will last this long or if they’re made like a lot of cars, designed to be replaced every few years. I’m not knocking any manufacturers, or new bikes, just wondering. I have never made any major repairs to this bike, and as much as it pains me to admit it, I failed to give it the loving care I should have. As a matter of fact it’s had one (1) change of tires/tubes (not counting the one it currently needs), one (1) change of the brake pads, and only received sporadic lubrication of critical parts. I’m not advocating or condoning lack of maintenance for a bike. Quite the opposite. Bikes should receive regular cleanings and maintenance if you want them to be safe, dependable, and last for any decent amount of time. I simply never did so, something that will change as of today. Anyway, once I got my bike home I took it for a quick spin. Everything worked great, pretty much as I remember from when it was new. I did make one decision however. The old seat has to go. I want, and need, a much softer, springier, breathable one. This one simply doesn’t have any give in it and the solid design will probably be quite hot, not to mention uncomfortable, on longer rides. Fifteen years ago I never gave this much thought, however now that I’ve been browsing the online cycling sites, and visiting the bike sections of Sears, Wal-Mart, etc. I see much more user-friendly seats available, so naturally I want one. 😉 I know this kind of goes against my “old school” theme, but technically it’s ok. I’m only replacing the seat, not the bike. lol I need to touch-up the paint too. I don’t want the small rust spots to become large ones. I don’t mind it looking unique (see my Crux Of The Matter post), but I certainly don’t want it looking, or being, neglected.
I want to give the bike shop I used kudos and an honorable mention here. Not only was the staff knowledgeable, they were friendly and took the time to listen to my needs and concerns, then explained in detail what they could do for my bike if it needed additional work, how long it would take, and the full price of the service. I don’t know if this is typical, but they had the bike ready three (3) days sooner than I was told. A lot of other places would just fiddle around and do the work when they felt like it. After I had paid for the tune-up I asked a few questions about some maintenance items I will need in the future. They had their money and knew I wasn’t buying anything else at that time, yet they didn’t try to rush me out or give quick stock answers. Instead, time was taken to show me the various choices I had, explain the differences, and give their recommendations based on my needs and the way I will probably be riding, not according to which item was the most expensive. I’m impressed. If you knew me you’d know I don’t impress easily. If you have a bike needing service and are in, or planning to visit, the Western NC area I suggest you check out Motion Makers Bike Shop. I’m glad I did, and will definitely visit them again. 🙂