My father was a mechanic.
Before he met my mom, he started out as a bus mechanic for Greyhound.
As such, he was exempt from the draft.
He hated that job and wanted to be drafted rather than work there but he needed the money.
As it is, the job nearly killed him. Literally. But he fought and survived and I am here to tell of it.
When I was a wee lad in 7th and 8th grade we had a small engines shop where we learned of internal combustion, tore apart and rebuilt B&S lawn mower engines. If they started, we passed the class.
This got me curious, how these little engines compared to the "big boys" so, beginning with xmas vacation of my 12th year, I started spending my time off from school helping out in my dad's shop. I did that, actually working full time there for a few years, until he retired when I was 26.
Well, you can take the boy out of the shop but not the shop out of the boy.
It's an oft-told story, here, how tearing my bike apart, cleaning and reassembling it helped me kick my nicotine addiction and, still, now, nothing makes me giggle like getting a new tool in the mail from Park Tool. Mrs S just gets the greatest kick out of my childlike glee. It baffles her but it tickles her, too
(she grew up in a hardware store and you should see her eyes get all glassy when she walks into the local ACE. But that's another story. This one is mine).
So it was with great joy, that I tore the cranks off my LeMond this weekend and ripped out the BB cartridge in search of the mysterious "click" and to see why I kept getting a wiggle in my cranks.
Besides, I had to try out my new crank puller and BB wrench, didn't I?
I never did find out why but I cleaned everything up so lovingly, greased the threads up with anti-seize compound and put it all back together again.. BB, cranks, pedals.
The cranks spin like silk now and -lo!- the click and the looseness are gone.
Couldn't stop there.
I had a new set of Allen wrenches to try and I had read so much about being careful when you removed your stem cap and step, lest the fork and guts fall out. Ohhh, really? The headset is the ONE part of the bike that was inviolable to me 25 years ago but these new integrated headsets change everything.
Yep, tore that apart too.
Cleaned up a little corrosion, put it all back together, adjusted up the bearings just so. Et voila!
I was 12 all over again... and taking that bike out for a little spin yesterday was so, so satisfying.
Apologies for the nostalgia. I don't know what came over me.