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Typed in the Fraser Valley, B.C.

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Typed in the Fraser Valley, B.C.

Old 05-13-20, 03:29 PM
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Join Date: May 2020
Location: ****tsford, B.C., Canada
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Bikes: A 26" custom folding dual-susp. MTB, and an upgraded Cannondale Adventurer 4

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Typed in the Fraser Valley, B.C.

"Who are YOU?!"
Who am I?

Hi, I'm Ivan!
I'm about to graduate from high school (pandemic-style, of course) and can say I'm quite fond of both tinkering and commuting on bikes. Since grade 7, I've always commuted this way, rain, snow or shine, as it is both time and cost-effective and gives me good exercise.

The Bikes:
  1. Around grade 6, a family friend of ours gave me a $1500 full-suspension mountain bike, which I rode only once. Story goes that my dad trusted the neighbourhood (the garage also got rummaged) and decided to leave the bike outside under the deck, clearly visable to snoopers. Some people witnessed someone who looked like me (I was actually very far away at the time) leave on my bike, and voila, it was gone! No recollection as to what model or brand it was, unfortunately, and much less a serial number.
  2. My next bike was a red Mongoose with black-painted rims, of which I found was made around 2010-2011. $80 Canadian for it, which felt like absolute pennies compared to the last bike. I put many, many kilometers on this bike starting in grade 7 to grade 9ish, it was my workout as I went from home to school and back. Then, I can't remember what exactly happened to the frame and chain, but they were both irreparably damaged.
  3. Grade 10 saw me develop a tinkering hobby with old-school Meccano, so when we decided to buy a cheap old mountain bike to try and combine it with my damaged Mongoose, the passion began. From the Mongoose, I took the wheels, seat, steering fork, handlebars, front disc brake system and frame shock spring onto this $60 duel-suspension mountain bike. This bike was obviously left out in the rain for a long time as everything except the frame, sprockets and chain, were rusted and seized. I very much liked it's blue-grey frame and took the time to remove the remnants of stickers. Opening the axle for the pedal cranks was found impossible without the purchase of a nifty pedal-tool, and inside the bearings were rust-city. Opening-up the Mongoose axle, the bearings, despite having a moderate deal of beach sand, were well-oiled and self-polished, so they easily substituted. The resulting colour scheme was cool, the black Mongoose fork, handlebars and wheels blended well with the grey and blue of the frame. This bike I rode for about a year until the gearing-system became too much of a hassle. A measuring mistake of mine with the rear derailleur then resulted in it getting stuck in the spokes at low-gearing, and you can guess what happened to both the frame and derailleur after the full force of me riding at some speed was put upon them. Nevertheless, I swapped the derailleurs with my spare and repaired the damaged frame. The end of this bike came one day when the gearing system tried and failed to have the chain for breakfast, so I gave it to a local bike store for free. I assume they repaired it sold it cheaply, but it didn't matter to me at that point...
  4. One day coming back from school I found an abandoned bike. You know, the cheap ones with no suspension. I took it home and figured out that the only reasons no one wanted it was because the brakes and chain system were misadjusted, making it dysfunctional, so using my recently-acquired expertise I made it about 80% functional. This bike too did I give to the local bike shop for free, and it's not about whether or not that bike ever rode again (likely got recycled from there), but it's about the fact I learned more.
  5. So, my blue bike with dark trim was outshined when a coworker of my dad offered us a white 27.5" Jamis Nemesis 650 Sport. Until then, I'd mainly riden 26". It's production date was around 2014, but the tires revealed that it really only had a few kilometers on it. The price sticker is on it to this day, $900 it states, but for $600 we bought it. Funny thing was that this coworker was short and received this massive bike as a gift from someone, I find it oversized and am of average height. This bike I rode right up until the pandemic shuttered everything during spring break in March, and have not found any use of it since.
  6. (The neighbour's bike? Does this count?) Despite having a very nice bike that I very much appreciate, I'm not that loyal to it. My neighbour's have an aged bike they use once in a while for recreational purpose, and just over a week ago I started tinkering with it out of pandemic-boredom and got passionate again. I adjusted the V-brakes perfectly and opened up the frame axle with the pedal-tool for inspection, and reported it fine-dandy. He thanked me a lot for this servicing. I then proposed that we buy a cheap second-hand bike to exchange the better parts onto his older bike.
  7. Alas, we purchased a CA$45 duel-suspension 26" mountain bike off FB marketplace, and oh how abused it was and somehow "ridable"! The coarse-silver and purple colour theme had been hideously brush-painted over in black, and rust was ever-present on exposed parts, the gears didn't shift and... well, the list really does just GO ON. But there was something odd with this frame, it was thicker and lacked a structural triangle. We quickly realized that it was a foldable bike, so the frame was sectioned as the rear, mid and front, not including the fork, which is unlike your usual mountain bike with just the rear and front frame sections. At the center, a hinge system allows the bike to be folded in two, and the handlebars repositioned, for compact environments. As I began to strip this bike down to the frame, things got even better. The frame turns out to be of a very lightweight aluminum, likely aircraft-grade. So, this $45 bike is not getting parted anymore, we're restoring it! My neighbour has all the tools and experience for the job as he used to own and run an auto-body shop, so this bike is going to get the makeover of a life time. I plan to use it for as long as I can!
Removing two three coats of paint (previous owners poorly painted it just a few times, I'll say) is a surprisingly easy task when you have paint-removing chemicals. After that, we'll detail the frame welds and scratches down to a smooth finish and weld the aluminum seat-post housing (someone put in a seat with an oversized seat post by greasing the surfaces and shoving it in. Put a crack top-to-bottom in that aluminum housing!).

This fall, though depending on how the pandemic affects us, I'll be studying Software Engineering in Kamloops. I will likely enjoy the security of being able to fold my bicycle down and take it with me instead of "securely" locking it up outside.

"Hey, Ivan, do you regularly drive a car yet?"
No, even though I've been told to be a very good young driver. Why would I ever rely on a car when a lightweight duel-suspension foldable mountain bike can take me anywhere, through any traffic? Furthermore, my career of choice really doesn't require me to drive. To own, service, insure and everything de la voiture seems overkill when a bike can do it all, don't you think? Part of me says that Canadian mentality towards cycled commutes is heavily influenced by the fact that elsewhere in Canada, it snows too much, but the Fraser Valley is really not known for this. Wet, yes, but that's a lesser issue if one takes the self-draining sidewalks.

I'll end it here, this will do... for now.

Last edited by ivangohome; 05-14-20 at 04:29 PM. Reason: Fixed error: Word "Spokes" was used instead of "Sprockets"
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Old 05-13-20, 08:50 PM
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I've never been to BC, but my bike (a Norco) is from there.
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Old 05-15-20, 06:38 AM
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You’re gonna fit right in around here.
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