The Golden Wrench

A blog about bicycle repair and maintenance by the mechanics at Freewheel Bike.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Spring is at Space Camp

If you're like me (and you are, at least if A. you have gums, and B. you are bilaterally symmetrical), you're experiencing some serious anticipation anxieties about whether Spring is actually going to Spring, or if we're going to have to implement plan "B." You may be wondering what plan "B" could possibly be: let's just say that it involves a great deal of whining and finger-pointing. Frankly, as early as Spring showed up last year, I can't blame a fella for sleeping in this year, but I'm starting to wonder if Spring is maybe going to skip the Midwest this year and go to Space Camp instead.

So here we are: the Ides of March is at hand, and there's so much snow in my yard that the Leprechauns are not even going to be able to make it out of their burrows, let alone see their shadows. I doubt if they will even come out in time to hide hard-boiled eggs behind my furniture.

The freeze-thaw cycle makes treacherous man-traps out of shady spots on the bike paths. Those big, brown puddles that collect on the side of the road are perfect hiding places for landlocked sea-serpents that want to gnaw your shins.

I see you there, mister sea serpent...

Yes, yes. We're Midwesterners. We know all this. That's why we have special bikes for such seasons: featuring full-wrap fenders; studded tires; a good, thick patina of crusty grime; and "high-performance orange" decorations on exposed ferrous surfaces. And we have a highly effective game plan if we encounter sea serpents in the big brown puddles. It is so effective that I've never met a single person who was at any time eaten by a sea serpent, which proves everything.

When do we get to ride our nice bikes? Not for a couple of weeks yet, I'm afraid. We have to wait for the snow to melt down and expose the mounds of trash that got there all on its own. Then we have to wait till a good rain washes the sand off of the corners. Then wait for the big brown puddles to make their way down to the Gulf of Mexico, where they will be enslaved and sold to tourists for many pesos.Then we have to sit and wait till the road salt has had a chance to wake up the Leprechauns, who will emerge groggily from their dens, predict that Spring is at Space Camp, and then fly south for the winter in their infamous vee-formations.

While you're waiting, we're waiting too.  Late Spring means light Spring rush at the bike shop. While our workload is still light, you can bring in your elite fleet of summer bikes for super-quick Spring service. How quick is super-quick? As quick as a 1986 Camaro with a louvered rear window (pictured above), parked outside of Space Camp (not pictured above), that's how quick!

Make your road bike feel showroom fresh with new tires, new cables, bar tape, and a chain. Get your mountain bike ready to go with new grips, fresh tires, and clean suspension oil. Estimates are always free, as are smiles, advice, and bike parking while you shop. When it finally gets warm, you will be glad you're not sitting in line at the bike shop, dratting Leprechauns and waiting a week or more to get your bike ready to roll.

As soon as Spring gets back from Space Camp, all bets are off.