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Zen and the Art of Messing with Bikes :)

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Zen and the Art of Messing with Bikes :)

Old 12-11-19, 06:53 AM
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robalong
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Zen and the Art of Messing with Bikes :)

I used to restore cars, especially the welding aspect, until I got too old to ignore the dangers involved. That, and the fact that the ground gets further away as one ages. Not now, for me, the crawling around under a car with an angle grinder a few inches from my nose!

I got to thinking about how my skills and experience were going to waste, so I've bought some old complete bikes, some rear 28" Sturmey wheels with Dutch chrome rims, some front wheels of the same type, and some stuff I didn't have... a tensionometer and a bike stand among them. I can rebuild a Sturmey hub in the kitchen over the winter. I can prepare a frame over the winter, again in the kitchen with a sheet of cardboard on the floor that's covered with a damp piece of material to catch and trap the falling dust. I can do the work whilst watching a film, since most of it involves scratching and wire-brushing components into a clean state.

I know nothing about modern bikes, though I appreciate the advances in technology, design and materials. Humans are a pretty smart bunch, and I admire anyone busy pushing the boundaries.

Anyone else here messing about in similar fashion?

Cheers!
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Old 12-11-19, 07:18 AM
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Welcome to BF! Since you are already in the kitchen, you can melt some wax for your chain and destroy your rust with EZ Off oven cleaner. Think twice before using the dishwasher for greasy parts
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Old 12-11-19, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Welcome to BF! Since you are already in the kitchen, you can melt some wax for your chain and destroy your rust with EZ Off oven cleaner. Think twice before using the dishwasher for greasy parts
I am my dishwasher, so I'll be using me for washing greasy parts .

I will be looking into the waxing of chains. I've seen it mentioned a coupla times in web-search listings.
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Old 12-11-19, 10:06 AM
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Having a damp material to catch dust on the kitchen floor just sounds wrong to me.
Of course your lifestyle may make it feasable.(sp) But it depends on the toxic nature of the dust.
There is no way you are going to trap all the dust. That dust will settle on counters,appliances and food stuffs.
You won't see it all so won't remove it all.

That having been said I am not much into Zen but messing with bikes is a great idea.
I hope you figure out all the ins and outs.😉
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Old 12-11-19, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by PdalPowr View Post
Having a damp material to catch dust on the kitchen floor just sounds wrong to me.
Of course your lifestyle may make it feasable.(sp) But it depends on the toxic nature of the dust.
There is no way you are going to trap all the dust. That dust will settle on counters,appliances and food stuffs.
You won't see it all so won't remove it all.

That having been said I am not much into Zen but messing with bikes is a great idea.
I hope you figure out all the ins and outs.😉
The 'Zen' reference comes from a cultish book from the seventies, 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance'.

Regarding dust in the kitchen, I'll be using wet-and-dry most of the time. Appreciate your concern, I'll be careful.
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Old 12-11-19, 11:56 AM
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I was into old cars before bikes. One thing I like is that a bike can be considered "done" as long as I don't get upgraditis. With the car, there was always something to do. Maybe I have too short of attention span to "complete" a classic car.
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Old 12-11-19, 11:59 AM
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In the bicycling world, we pronounce "Zen" as "Zinn".

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Old 12-11-19, 12:15 PM
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You need to get out of here and go here.

Where the"mature" people hang out
https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vintage/
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Old 12-11-19, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
You need to get out of here and go here.

Where the"mature" people hang out
https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vintage/
The people don't need to be 'mature' but the bikes generally are.
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Old 12-11-19, 12:29 PM
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Aumm mani adme humm. I spent a peaceful and soothing Saturday cleaning my bike including polishing the spokes. Sunday I removed the chain for a thorough scrubbing. Now the bike is so clean I'm reluctant to use it.
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Old 12-11-19, 12:47 PM
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Great book! Read it about 30 years ago in college for fun. We've all had those times where the value of getting one pesky bolt out approximates the value of the whole bike/car/motorcycle. Welcome.
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Old 12-11-19, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
The people don't need to be 'mature' but the bikes generally are.
Well I really didn't want to say "Old" because I'm one of them.
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Old 12-11-19, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by imakecircles View Post
Great book! Read it about 30 years ago in college for fun. We've all had those times where the value of getting one pesky bolt out approximates the value of the whole bike/car/motorcycle. Welcome.
Hmmm...'value'...hmmm...

What is that?

I can't remember too much in detail about the book, but it has had a lifelong effect on me. Something about...looking at things from a perspective other than the obvious...about really applying the mind in pursuit of a goal, no matter how trivial that goal might seem to someone else. One on level, it's about winning by overcoming the problem. But there's more to it; the whole process of really getting into and enjoying the power of one's mind is fascinating. I remember the impatience of my youth. It has been replaced with...hard to say exactly...perhaps a better sense of...things being somehow part of us while at the same time being disposable.

(A quick aside...someone once told me a story about a guy who had a wonderful classic car but didn't have a garage. He had to park it at the side of his house. He'd wake up several times a night to check that all was okay with the car. On the night of a terrible storm, the guy was awakened by a dreadful crashing noise. He jumped to the window and looked out, to see that the chimney stack had been blown off the roof and down on to his precious car. He died instantly from a heart attack.The reason? The guy didn't HAVE the car, he WAS the car!)

I have to admit here and now that I'm a pervert, in that I really enjoy myself when stuff goes wrong. A new challenge! How dull it would all be if stuff never went wrong. Dealing with upscrewedicity for many decades has been delightful. Some you win, some you lose, but the failures teach you more than the successes, probably.

Cheers!
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Old 12-11-19, 02:38 PM
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I lace wheels with my feet up in a La-Z-Boy recliner. Is that zen-ish?
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Old 12-11-19, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by FBOATSB View Post
I lace wheels with my feet up in a La-Z-Boy recliner. Is that zen-ish?
Eyes open or closed?
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Old 12-11-19, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by robalong View Post
I. I can do the work whilst watching a film,
Go read Persig again. One of his rants was about mechanics who listen to music, or engage in other distractions, when they are doing repairs on motorcycles, etc...
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Old 12-11-19, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Go read Persig again. One of his rants was about mechanics who listen to music, or engage in other distractions, when they are doing repairs on motorcycles, etc...
Ah, but Persig didn't put a smiley at the end of his book's title .

Fair point, though. I should read it again. I remember enjoying it immensely, so thanks for the push.

Cheers!
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Old 12-11-19, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by robalong View Post
Anyone else here messing about in similar fashion?
I like to make a mess. does that count?

the other I was thinking I should be wearing a welders apron instead of a thin fleece jacket as I was bombarded by a stream of sparks

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Old 12-11-19, 03:10 PM
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> rumrunn6

I bought a leather jacket from a charity shop...probably fashionable in the seventies but something I'd prefer not to be seen wearing when away from the sparks. The leather is thick and heavy and the styling is gruesome, but it's my best friend when I go Rambo !
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Old 12-11-19, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by robalong View Post
The 'Zen' reference comes from a cultish book from the seventies, 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance'.

Regarding dust in the kitchen, I'll be using wet-and-dry most of the time. Appreciate your concern, I'll be careful.
Yep, I was thinking about that book not long ago, and scored a "new" copy in a resale store!

Back when it almost made me go out and buy a Honda 360 vertical twin - guess I missed the point on the Zen part of it, huh?

But Pirsig's idea of quality and how it appeared to him as a dividing edge is still rather chilling, to me!
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Old 12-11-19, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Go read Persig again. One of his rants was about mechanics who listen to music, or engage in other distractions, when they are doing repairs on motorcycles, etc...
I remember that! Almost like a type of dharma yoga! The meditation is found in the nonverbal mind dealing directly with the elements and actions of the task
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Old 12-11-19, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
The people don't need to be 'mature' but the bikes generally are.
Hear, hear! Say what?
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Old 12-11-19, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by FBOATSB View Post
I lace wheels with my feet up in a La-Z-Boy recliner. Is that zen-ish?
No, that strikes me as quintessentially Midwestern!
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Old 12-11-19, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
I remember that! Almost like a type of dharma yoga! The meditation is found in the nonverbal mind dealing directly with the elements and actions of the task
Well put!

Staring at something and thinking "What next?"

Again and again and again and again...until...

...one makes a move...and then?

Staring at it again...

This is how we learn.
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Old 12-11-19, 06:20 PM
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Scratching the entire bottom of a Morris Minor to bare metal got me into the Zen zone at times .

Worth it for the pix!

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