Thursday, January 16, 2014

"Happy" New Year?

After some much needed time off, I am back. Lucky you!
While I have resolved to change a few things in the new year, being "nicer" is not one of those things.
Here in the Midwest, we had more than a foot of snow last week and temps of 44 degrees below zero. I spent three days shoveling snow and re-winterizing my fleet of bicycles. Meanwhile, the students all went home to their cozy Mc Mansions in other parts of the country, and left their fleet unattended for the last six weeks. Chained to bike racks, and abandoned, many of these bikes will never again see a rider, as they simply cannot survive the conditions. Sure, bicycles may not be living things but I maintain that college campuses are where bikes do in fact, go to die.
Alas, the students have returned. Now having dug out their "Walmart Whip" from the snow banks, they bring them to me.

I wish I were joking when I say that the bikes they bring in for repair look like this:

("Can you just, like, put some oil on the chain?")

Flat, dry-rotted tires, chain and cables rusted solid...yeah, it just needs some oil.
Is it totally their fault? No. The Schools will not allow them to bring bikes into the dorms, and do not offer sufficient storage during the seasonal breaks. 
But, they are not without fault, had they listened to their bicycle mechanic tell them how to avoid this, perhaps their bike would last more than a year.
Let's not forget that these are the same kids that study at Ivy League schools, yet don't know the difference between "open" and "close."
(Tulio Campagnolo is rolling over in his grave)

No, they can't be bothered to perform the most menial of tasks like inflating their tires once a week to avoid flats, instead, they call mom and make sure they can put the cost of the repairs on their credit card, or simply say "fuck it" and buy a new "bicycle" at Walmart. The cycle (no pun intended) is complete when that "new" bike comes back to me to fix because it was built by some tool with a mullet who assembles the shitty outdoor furniture and grills, yet claims he is a bicycle mechanic. Seriously,  consider yourself on my "Tit List."

So what does a guy like me do with all those busted ass chains? Make yard art of course.

Don't judge me.