Life Is A Series Of Bikes

Posted on April 28th, 2019 by Jeff Whitfield | Comments

Journal


Marin Nicassio

They say that life is a series of bikes. I don't know who said it...but I'm pretty sure it was a cyclist. I've owned a few bikes in my lifetime and every one of them has a story. The bike I own now has a story. In fact, it has many stories already and will continue to have stories (of which, over time, will post on this blog). One story in particular ended up being the impetus for the creation of this blog.

In November 2018, I purchased my first road bike, a Marin Nicassio. I've owned other bikes but never a road bike. The primary reason for purchasing this one was a single goal: to complete a century ride! 100 miles! Lofty goal, especially for someone who, just a year ago, was struggling just to complete 5 miles. But after nearly a year, I worked up my fitness to where I could easily complete a 20 mile ride. I found that I enjoyed long rides and sought to do even longer ones.

You see, my feelings for cycling runs pretty deep. The reason is because I have Crohn's disease. It's something I've been struggling with for nearly 10 years now. Cycling is a way to battle that. So, yeah, you could say I'm pretty passionate about it. In many ways, my bike is my life.

Upon getting this bike, I made a point to do all the maintenance and repairs myself. I bought some tools, got some books, and read up on some of the things I would need to know.

One of the first things I wanted to do was replace the stem with an adjustable one. I knew that I needed to raise the handlebars a bit but didn't know just how high so I figured an adjustable one would do the trick. However, after purchasing and installing one something wasn't right. I thought I had it right but, while moving things around in the garage, I noticed that the front forks felt loose. So, I figured I just needed to tighten up the top bolt on the stem. Ended up stripping out the top bolt completely! I was so upset with myself. Damn near in tears at this point.

Off I went to Performance Bicycles to see if they can help me fix my headset issue. A very nice older gentleman helped me. I’ve seen him several times before. This was the first time though that I’ve had him help me with something. He was so nice and went to work right away in removing the top bolt on the headset. We both worked on it together and, with a little work, he managed to remove it with a set of channel lock pliers. I was so relieved! 

Even though this was brief moment, in many ways the bike tech was like a mentor to me. He explained where I went wrong. Basically, I needed a small spacer to ensure that the headset would be fully secure with the new stem. I learned something from him. Much of what I have learned patterns how I learned just about any other skills I have. I learned how to use a computer by making so many mistakes. No doubt I’m going to continue making mistakes with my bike but, just as the bike tech said to me, there’s not much that I can do wrong that can’t be fixed.

But what really did it for me was what he said in the end. 

I asked how much I owed him. He said, “Don’t worry about it! You’re one of us!”

“Us?”, I asked.

And with a smile he said, “You know...A bike nut!”

Driving home, it really hit me what he meant by that reply. When I came in, I think he could see that I was pretty bothered. He could also see that I was passionate about my bike. So, yeah, I suppose I’m now in a club of other bike nuts. :)

Later on, the idea came to create a blog about this and many other experiences I've had as a cyclist so..."bike nut" became "velo nut" and thus VeloNut was born! Thanks for being here! Hope you enjoy what you read!  :D