Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My bikes

Part 1: 1984 Nishiki Olympic 12

The biggest change in my life this year has been in the area of transportation. I've driven my car half as much this year as I did last year. Part of the reason is that my youngest now has his license and I'm not driving him around, but part of it is that I've started riding my bicycle to work. I figured it would do me good if I rode once in a while; I don't like to do any other kind of exercise.

In February, my work location changed and now I live less than ten miles from the office. I mentioned this back in February. The bike I started to commute on back then was my trusty old Nishiki Olympic 12 (pictured above in February when I started riding to work). It was made in 1983, I got it in 1984 (or perhaps 1985). As I recall, I paid about $250 for it. It seems like nothing now, but in 1984, that was a lot of money to us.

At the time we lived in Los Angeles and we only had one car. So if I rode my bicycle to work,

it allowed Mrs. Doohickie to have the car during the day to do whatever she needed to do. It was a good investment. I hadn't owned a car until 1984, so bicycling was pretty much how I got around when I was in college.

We moved away from L.A. in 1987 and the Oly 12 was never ridden regularly again. Until February 2008, when I was again close enough to my work place to think it was possible. This time, I have a car. I'm riding my bike for the enjoyment and exercise. Starting to ride my bike to work this time around wasn't without excitement, as this post from February proves. Even though I crashed the bike, I fixed it up enough to feel comfortable riding it. Mostly I got the front rim straightened and bent the front fork back into shape using an aluminum ladder.

Eventually I got another bike (which will be my next post), but I recently got the old Oly 12 off her hooks in the garage and cleaned her up a bit. A new tire, some new handlebar tape, and she's looking pretty good:

Of course, the frame damage from the accident remains.

There really isn't anything I can do for her, short of spending several times what she cost new at a frame builder. My other option is to find a similar bike, maybe just a frame, and move all the good parts over to it and give my old Nishiki a proper burial. She's a good bike, though, and I don't like to think about letting her go.


HeidiTri's said...

Ohh! She looks pretty now! Don't get rid of her, just because she has a few dings! Those dings are like the laugh lines around the eyes of an older woman: they show charactor!

Felicia said...

I never knew you guys lived in L.A.!