Friday, April 15, 2011

Dinosaurs Never Knew

I stopped to fill up my gas tank yesterday.  I was running on fumes, so there really was no way around it.  If I was going to get anywhere today, I had to buy gas.  Now, we haven't seen cheap gas in a long time.  I remember when it was less than a dollar a gallon and people were shocked when it went over that.  Then two dollars, then three.  And last summer, it was over four dollars a gallon.  It went back down below four dollars and fluctuated wildly in the threes for most of the year, but never quite approached that four dollar mark again.

Yesterday, I saw $4.09 at a station near campus.  It's not even summer yet.  I kept driving and praying I wouldn't run out before I found something more reasonable.  I did finally find $3.73 and pulled in.  $49.46 later, I pulled out feeling a little sick to my stomach.  I don't drive much - just to and from work and to the grocery store.  Sometimes out to the farm.  I can usually make a tank of gas last a couple of weeks, occasionally three.  But even so, I've got to do something about this.  I can't afford that much money a month to drive my car.

So when I got home, I pulled out my old bike.  I love that bike.  I bought it 20 years ago at Darling Man's behest.  I couldn't believe I was going to buy a bike that cost $325!  It wasn't the best bike made, but it was up there.  Over the next decade, it took a lot of punishment.  When I got pregnant and had my son, it was pretty much retired.  I'd ride it every once in a while, but nothing like I used to.  It was in pretty sad shape when I pulled it out.
Doesn't look so bad from a distance...

But something built a nest in my fork... 

And my gears don't look so hot. 

The wires for my brakes and gearshift are rusted.


And my chain is probably beyond salvagable.  It doesn't look too promising, does it?  I'm guessing keeping it under the back deck wasn't the best thing I could do.  I got to work with a bucket of water and a dishrag.

The paint's pretty nicked up.

It doesn't look to bad.  The frame is still in good shape.  I'll probably be starting from scratch though.  Take everything off, repaint the frame and put back what's good.  New items will be cables and housing, pedals, seat, chain, wheels, tires, tubes and connectors (the one that holds the seat post adjustment is pretty darn rusted).

I could take it to a bike shop, but for what they'd charge me for parts, shipping and labor, I could almost buy a new bike.  I look at this as an opportunity to learn something.

We have a community bike shop here called Krank It Up.  They have some parts, but mostly they have tools and people with know-how to help ME put my bike back together.  Monday is ladies' night, so I think I know what I'm doing next Monday!

I'll bet the dinosaurs never knew how much they would be affecting life on earth so long after their deaths!


karisma said...

OK so where is the picture of YOU riding that bike? Hmmm?

Under $50 still sounds cheap to me. Assuming that gas is petrol over there. Gas is dirt cheap here, petrol is more expensive. Our old car went from around $80 a tank to well over $140, we converted to gas and then it was cheap but we could smell the gas so we traded it in and got a smaller car. Now it costs around $50 to fill I think. Don't quote me though, I don't drive so don't fill the car. LOL

karisma said...

PS>..You can have my bike if you can't fix that one, I am a lazy bugger, I don't ride it! LOL, its hanging out the back going rusty! No wonder I am getting fat!

joanygee said...

I'd welcome fuel prices like yours. It'd be so much cheaper as we already pay double your prices!

Hoosier Girl said...

I can't show this post to Steven. There is a beatup 10 speed in my shed, which HE wants me to fix up. I vote for a new one.

Please show pics of how it turns out!


Pamela said...

I remember 27 Cent/gal when I was a teenager. And 5 cent candy bars too

(My word vericiation is "flown" and I think that sure describes what has happened to time and low costs)