Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Diamond Back on Duval

I'm cruising down Duval after visiting the Truman Annex to visit my former favorite parking spot by the cruise ships. I'm on the phone with Steve. I'm riding my new Diamond Back. This bike is a good machine. It's a replacement for my recently stolen (and very much loved) Diamond Back city bike. Maybe this one doesn't give me the same feeling of bicycle love. The old one was a kinda green metalic hi-ten(sile) steel frame with bulky too-fat tubing. I bought it for $20 when I was running my basement based bike business in Philly. I changed the cables and housing, took off the front derailer, put on some northroad handlebars from a Raleigh 3 speed, put on a big yellow milk crate on a super bulky old steel rack, and called that bike mine. I locked it outside and rode it everywhere. I had better bikes, but liked this one best. When Nat's bike got stolen in Montreal on our way north, I almost wanted to get my city bike shipped up there and give Nat my bike. I rode the city bike 120 miles from Kennett Square to Lewes, DE along bicycle route 1. Now it is gone: stolen.

I'm riding my new Diamond Back now. This is the new puppy. My old trusted labrador has passed on. This is a great bike, but maybe nothing can replace what I had. This is a Diamond Back too. It's an old mountain bike of approximately the same vintage. This one is taller: a 23 inch frame because maybe the other one was small. This one has a chromoly frame and fork because that is an upgrade to the hi-ten fatty tubes of the city bike. This bicycle started from an eBay purchased frame. The parts had to be bought: a mix of basic Tektro stuff, and J&B flotsam and Eaton Bikes jetsam. The city bike's parts were logistically easy. I rode it how it was and upgraded nothing. I built it for cheap utility. With this new Diamond Back I've already sunk money into parts for an old less-than-beautiful frame. I question myself on gear selection. I go between wanting less and wanting more. Free, garbage, swap meet parts, or Paul Components? I've met this bike, respected it, spaced the frame. We've met, but we're not partners. I'm planning to ride this machine for months across the country or thousands of miles somewhere. We'll be acquainted. I think we'll become friends. First we have to get to know each other. It needs to be housebroken.

I'm cruising down Duval, talking on the phone. My bike has pink grips and a pink "I [heart] my bike" bell. It has J&B brand "Origin 8" handlebars in a matte black finish bent slightly like northroad handlebars. It has no front derailer, but a triple crank. Shift with a foot or a finger. It has a white basket on front. It has a dent in the top tube. It's pretty big.

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