When Tyler started talking about getting road bikes, I was dubious. We already have nice bicycles, I pointed out, unsure why exactly we needed two more. Undeterred by my doubt, he promised that we most certainly did need them, and after just one ride, I'd understand why. So, just like last time, he spent untold hours in research, and amassed quite the collection of parts and pieces along the way. >
A few weeks ago, the frames were painted and the last of the bits arrived. Finally, everything was ready to assemble. A pair of sleeker, less tank-like bicycles were laying in a pile of parts, waiting to replace our car for most trips around town.
As it turns out, the actual building of our new machines has been fraught with more complications than we anticipated (what isn't?), but we've both learned a lot while bungling various parts of the installation. For example, brake cables (at least, the ones included in our build kit) come in two sizes, one long to reach the rear brake, one short for the front. We realized this about two minutes after we cut the longer one to fit the front brake. Whoops!
I have to admit, working on bicycles is not my idea of a good time. On our trip, I was happy to let Tyler deal with maintenance, but this time around, he insisted that I build my own bike. I've likened the process to piecing together bits of some ancient Mesopotamian map: exciting, but a little incomprehensible, and certainly not playing to my strengths. It's important to know how things work, though.
After much longer than we anticipated, our bicycles are finished, and I now posses a whole swath of bike-building and repair knowledge that I didn't have when we started. I can't wait to try out my sleek road machine—I foresee many morning rides in our future!