21 April 2009

Bike Church- A Journal of Sorts—Finding and Rebuilding my Motobecane Bicycle

Day One
I strolled by Bike Church and on impulse decided to walk in and check it out. I met Ann & Josh; they were super nice and explained how Bike Church worked. There in the back I eyed this bicycle, the only step through frame they had (on that particular day). I saw the $10.00 price tag. Done. I bought my bike. Ann said it was a Motobecane and French.

(Bike Church - Ann )

Ann also said that because this was a slow time at Bike Church due to the Christmas Holidays that this would be an excellent time to rebuild my bike. She then explained what I would need to do in order to get this bike in riding shape. Oh, yes!! I signed up for the 'memberteer- get a bike' program. In the back of my head I also knew I would want to write about the experience and share it on this blog.

MY TEACHERS: Quentin & Erik
All I did was work for 2 solid hours, sorted wheels, seat posts and other bike parts. I earned 2 hours. I learned in what bins you could find which parts by doing this sorting job. In the end I realized this is really an excellent way to get you familiar with bike parts!

MY TEACHERS: Jason & assistant
Today's assistant was really excited by my Motobecane and exclaimed I’d gotten a REALLY good frame. Now for the first time I got very excited about the potential of my 'junker'. I removed the back wheel and learned how to repack the bearings on the back wheel. I felt extremely proud! I had to get my work checked no less than 6 times to get it just right. Only snafu was that I lost a part (forgot the name of it) and ended up spending ½ hour sorting through and cleaning out a junk box of mountain bike forks with tons of crud at the bottom. Never found the part. Jason liked my cleaning & organizing. He said I did a great job on my rear wheel.

MY TEACHERS: Steve & assistant
Steve helped me identify my frame type. He explained drop outs that are cast vs. stamped drop outs. He told me my frame was not double butted or 531 steel. He said it was a single butted job and explained tube thickness. He also explained the derailleur to me, telling me I needed to replace it. He showed me a bin which I looked through. Hey, the cost for a used derailleur is a mere $4.00! My boyfriend came in and said the one I picked with Steve’s help was crap. Steve said to try to get a long cage derailleur; it would give more options down the road? I was confused. Time now for a derailleur research on the internet when I get home, I decided.

So later when I got home I researched some 'period correct' derailleurs and found 2. One on craigslist (simplex) and one on eBay (suntour). Anyway back to Bike Church... Steve was VERY helpful. The assistant however, was being pulled off in 100 directions by all these demanding people needing help. Sometimes Bike Church just gets flooded with people and their bikes and all wanting attention and help. I went off and cleaned the Bike Church bathroom and swept the yard. I racked up 3 more hours of 'memberteering' work. I came home filthy and feeling like slime because this really was grunt work, but I was so happy at the same time. I was getting my bike built!

(Took a Bike Church break for one week)

More pictures of bikes in the back that are for sale or are project bikes...

(3 speed bike currently (4/21/09) available to buy & fix at Bike Church)


MY TEACHERS: Steve & assistant
My boyfriend came with me to Bike Church to help put on tires and to help speed things up for me since I only had an hour to spend at Bike Church that day. I wanted to get seriously down to work and at least get tires on my bike. Steve came over and helped out as well. I made a slight mistake and picked brand new tires when I was only entitled to use my accrued credit towards used items. All my parts so far I had gotten used and in trade for the work I was putting in down there.…So I put on 2 NEW tires @10.00 each, 2 inner tubes @ 3.00 each. The first cash I'd spent on the bike since buying it for that mere $10.00. So I was now into my bike for only a total of $33.00 cash out of my pocket.

Sat. Intro to Bikes
Intro to Bikes. I was the only student. My teacher was excellent. I had a complete 'one on one' learning the 101 for bikes! The class ran almost 2 hours long. I learned a lot.

Sun. Women/Transgendered Safe Space
I was the only one there except for a '20 minute-fill the bike tires-girl' who came in. Ann spent the entire 3 hours helping me and doing most of the really tricky finagling work as I learned and watched. I picked out a used rear and front derailleur from the used bins completely on my own (yes, it was 'period correct' and suntour.) Ann confirmed my rear derailleur was an excellent choice, so no need for the EBay or Craigslist derailleur I'd been considering at 8 times the price. Ann had these friction shifters she'd stashed away for another project bike and decided to let me have them. We ran out of time (darn French bikes and their bolt threading!) I still have to do the brakes, but I wanted to take my bicycle home for Christmas. I rolled my bike out of there and walked home in the rain. Happy.

(Ann - Teacher at Bike Church)

(I spent the next few weeks doing a green clean on my bicycle. Bike Church was closed so what better time to invest and really clean her up. Still, I was so anxious and excited to get brakes on and actually ride my Motobecane.)

Sun. Women/Transgendered Safe Space
I was so glad Bike Church was open again! I decided to work on my bicycle only during the Women/Transgendered Safe Space on Sundays and which only occurs once every three weeks. I like it because generally it has a whole lot less people vying for help and attention from the teachers, plus it has such a really cool vibe! Ellie helped me put my brakes on. (new brakes pads $4.00) She found used color coordinated cable housing (blue of course) for me. She also is the one who said I just had to go with cork grips ($8.00) and to be sure I shellacked them. I totally love Shellac now; I ended up shellacking my thrifted bicycle basket.

I rode my bicycle for the very first time out of Bike Church! I was thrilled and ecstatic!

Sun. Women/Transgendered Safe Space
MY TEACHERS: Ann and Ellie.
I brought my Motobecane with the new cork grips and basket in because I wanted Ann and Ellie to first of all see my bicycle all finished and pretty and also because I was having difficulty shifting. Turns out the shifting 'problem' required a very minor, minor adjustment. What I really needed was more practice with 10 speed shifting, not that its rocket science or anything, it's just that I've always ridden cruisers or a 3 speed. What a noob I am sometimes.

(Ellie - Teacher at Bike Church)

The bike collective is a way to find out where to find a bicycle coop near you OR how to start one in your own community. Thanks Ann for pointing out to me where to find this information at!

Some before and after pics of my Motobecane....

(before pic taken at Bike Church the day I bought my Motobecane)

(after or rather midway pic, the brakes, front derailleur, cork grips & basket added later)

I received requests to explain how I came by my Motobecane... So I hope everyone enjoys this back story behind my Motobecane 'Belle'. Thanks Bike Church!!!!!