Ride a bike, share your experience and love. When I go biking, I repeat a mantra of the day's sensations: bright sun, blue sky, warm breeze, blue jay's call, ice melting and so on. This helps me transcend the traffic, ignore the clamorings of work, leave all the mind theaters behind and focus on nature instead. I still must abide by the rules of the road, of biking, of gravity. But I am mentally far away from civilization. The world is breaking someone else's heart. ~Diane Ackerman

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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Kevin Reports on the Incomparable Centurion and a ride Around Bonelli Park

Another Great BicycleFriends ride minus the distinguished leader/founder

It all started as I responded to Jason, with copy to Meme, that due to family circumstances I would not be able to join them on their jaunt up Potato Mountain (as if I could make it at this stage of my recovery) . What followed was a request from Meme to ride Sunday, which suited me find.

I gave Meme three ride options and of course he chose the one closest to his house, Bonelli Park Road Ride. We decided to meet at 7:30 at the airport and at least three loops.

Meme brought his “vintage” 1970s era Centurion, which has been restored to looks nice, making Meme proud that it still runs with original “vintage” parts. Although, I noticed though that he had new 27x1in tires on his 27x11/2 in wheels.

“Lookin good Meme”

We took off heading clockwise around and through the park, with Meme dominating on the climbs and myself edging him out on the flats (at least that is what I want to believe). After two circuits, Meme wanted to stop to “check his wheel”. I thought maybe I had worn him out and he needed a break. Turns out my ego got the best of me, as I observed the bead of his tire bulging from his rim. He fidgeted with it, deflated, adjusted, them refilled it with a handy inflator. All seemed well.

We finished the third circuit, but were not finished. I took the opportunity to ride through the motor home park to find my brother in-law for a quick visit. At this point Meme’s leg cramped and gave me an empty victory up the steep climb into the park. A victory none the less (how do you like me now Meme?).

We visited for about ten minutes, then headed back out of the park to get to the truck and then to breakfast.

That’s when it happened.

“Oh $$!^” exclaimed Meme.

He blew the bead out of the rim again.

I began to plan to finish the last 1/2 mile and bring my truck back to pick him up.

Meme with great confidence exclaimed, “don’t even bother, dude. I can fix it!!!”. Earlier in the ride we talked about his metallurgical talents and his plans to weld a trailer hitch/bike rack. He pointed out that the lip of the rim was bent, making it wider and allowing the bead to slip out.

So Meme, since Meme only had his sunglasses with him, he finds a broken Miller High Life bottle with the perfect curvature to focus the sun on his rim. He explains to me the melting point of his steel rims was high, but we only needed it to be hot enough to soften and bend.


After a short ride, we make it back to the truck and then off to breakfast. There we discussed the options of fixing or buying a new wheel set. At first I thought “why not upgrade”. Then after careful consideration I chose to recommend “it would be a shame to put non-vintage parts on that Centurion”

You see, my only chance to beat him is when he has mechanical problems.

Thanks to Meme, Bonelli Park, and the incomparable Centurion for a much-needed, great ride.

1 comment:

GMR said...


Great story! I enjoy your adventures and the resourcefulness of fixing problems that crop up. Keep the posts coming!

-- GMR

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