Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Spring cleaning

I've been doing a SERIOUS basement cleaning for the past few days. For those of you that haven't seen my basement lately, it is a true haunted house of severest clutter. I've got to come clean with you guys. Hi, my name is Shawn and I'm a packrat... Man, that feels good to get off my chest.

It really started to dawn on me when I uncovered a pile of small, irregularly cut blocks of wood. You know, the sort of odds and ends that you get when you cut big boards to size. Whelp, I guess I've been saving those suckers for a rainy day, or something to that effect. It's like the 2 or 3 inches of carbon fiber steerer tube that is left over when you install a new road fork on a bike. I save those bits, too. I swear I'm gonna glue 'em all together one day and have the most awesome carbon fiber town bike ever.

So, I'm going through everything, getting stuff organized, throwing things away. And then, I decide in a sort of fevered madness of organization, that I'll tackle my "bike" room. Now, before we opened the shop, I did all my wrenching down in the basement. Working on our stuff, doing stuff for friends, that sort of thing. But mind you, I've been a bike mechanic for most of my life. I started wrenching twenty-two years ago, at the age of 14. Through those years, I have managed to squirrel away parts and pieces of bikes too numerous to mention and too weird to share. Until now.

So, I start sorting, doing a kinda catalog run-through sorta thing. Suntour Sprint braze-on ft. d'ler? Check. Suntour Accu=shift downtube shift levers? Check (I swear those things shift great!). 6 pairs of cheap, rat-trap mtn. bike pedals? Yep, you bet. I go on and on, trying to come to grips with the fact that, I don't need to hold on to all of this stuff. Things get tense and I start to compromise: cheap rat-traps get pitched, but beloved XT rat-trap mtn. bike pedals are definite keepers. So, i whittle it down to 1) trash, 2) keep, 3) ebay. I know that some of the things I have are useless to everybody, some precious to me and other just need a good home...

I gazed longingly at my Bontrager Race Lite that Joe Murray brazed extra braces onto to make it into a Bontrager Race Heavy touring frame. I've got Golden's first mtn. bike frameset, a Ritchey Outback. Her last pro race frame, a custom Klein painted in her last team colors. I've got 3 bent frames that I've had for a couple of years, swearing up and down I was going to turn them into shop stools. Now, I've got to do it, just to justify their continued presence. It's like I've gone spelunking inside my own head...

So here's to spring cleaning and the mental realignment that inevitably comes with it!
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