She's dead. I killed her. It's all my fault, my stupid drunken mechanic skills have destroyed my most cherished possesion. She's no longer rideable - the best she could be now is a piece of art on my wall.
It's the bottom bracket. I stripped the threads when I put a sealed unit in, and didn't know that I wasn't supposed to use a lockring with a sealed BB. It came loose on Thursday, and I was able to find someone to help get her rideable to get home. On the way home from OneOnOne's art opening last night, it started being really hard to pedal. I stopped and looked, saw that the BB was trying to come loose again, working out on both sides.
Drunken walk the next ten blocks home, spent most of today in a stupor trying not to face the fact. But I did go to a bike shop and get the part I needed. Took off the cranks, pulled the BB out for the second time this week. Little slivers of steel came with it, confirming my fears. The threads could be worse, but they aren't what they should be, and probably can never be again.
To think that riding home from a race that didn't happen could be the end of her life... It just has me twisted. I could see a wreck or running into a car or something, but not just threads. I'm pretty sure that it woud cost me more to get a new BB shell installed than it would to just have a new frame built. Not really sure. I know that I need to build up the Falcon that I was riding over the winter again, and probably get a new set of cranks. The ones I was using have had quite a bit of the metal worn off by the two times the BB came apart. I don't like the idea of riding on scratched carbon fiber and a dented head tube, but it's really my only option right now. There were only maybe 30 miles on the BB when it came apart again.
There is so much that this frame has done to change my life in the last year and a half that I can't even begin to describe it. I never expected that something as simple as lugged steel could have the impact that it has had, but somehow this bike turned my thinking around, changed the way I interact with people, just made a lot of things better. Made me better. I don't know how.
Yet a few turns of my wrench, which I'd done many times before, and she's gone. On the same day I buy her a pretty new front wheel, with bearings smoth enough that you can feel the extra weight of the seam in the rim when you spin it. On the first ride with that wheel.
I felt less when my grandpa died. I'm supposed to go out with some coworkers tonight and have a few drinks, but I don't even want to do that. I do feel like getting myself more ****faced than I've ever been, but I know that I'm just going to be crying over her and boring them if I do head out.
Anyways, thanks for reading - anyone know if you can actually re-tap Italian threads? I've heard it doesn't work all that well, and putting in a new shell would probably not only be out of my price range, but also cost more than the frame is really worth....