Episode 201. Projects 2022.

 One month in and it's probably a bit late really to start babbling on about the projects I have, and plan to do during this year, but better late than never, so here we go. When it comes to bicycle projects, I've got far too many. Infact, when it comes to projects in general I've got far too many. I seem to just take them on before finishing the project in hand, the problem with this is that I never seem to get around to finishing anything. If you read my other blog, you'll know that I have car projects on the go, some of which I started the best part of thirty years ago! I genuinely wonder if I'm ever going to get around to finishing some, or even any of them. Then there's my flat, it was in a terrible state when we moved in almost a decade ago, has it got any better? Erm, no, not really, and that really does need to change. But for the moment lets try not to dwell on my other failing projects, and concern myself with the problem at hand, bike projects. I've got bikes that I bought several years ago, fully intending to do, and to tell you about here in my little blog of babble. But I've not had the time to fiddle with them, and I've not had the time to tell you about them either. As I look out over my garden of projects I find myself thinking that whatever I do, it should not involve buying any more bikes...

It was at that point that I found myself 35 miles from BelongaClint at the field of dreams! I'll be honest, I wouldn't have just gone there, but as I was passing I figured that I might just call in. The problem was that my Kalkhoff Mountain Bike project has stalled. I'd taken it all apart to clean it all, and modify it slightly, but in so doing I had found that the front forks had got a slight bend to them, they felt a little bit notchy when I was riding it, but I figured that the bearings probably just needed replacing. But once apart I could see that it was a little bit more than that, and as the forks didn't appear to be the original ones for the bike I thought that any old mountain bike forks would probably fit the bill. I'd been through my stash and found nothing that would quite fit, the problem being either I didn't have forks with a long enought steerer tube, or if I did, they didn't have mounting for the cantilever brakes. I'd kept an eye out at the tip, and although complete bikes came in that had forks which would do the job, I didn't really want to buy a complete bike to break it up just to fix the Kalkhoff. I'd also hit fleabay, where of course there were loads of forks that would work, but at £15 + postage for the cheapest ones I figured it was time to look in the field of dreams.

Pretty quickly an incomplete Apollo mountain bike that was heading for the skip was accquired and put in the back of the Navara along with a complete Townsend mountain bike that I don't need and a Fixie that I also don't need, but am interested to find out what it's like to ride. With my haul loaded into the Navara I headed off back to BelongaClint to try and put them in my own field of dreams without Mrs Clint noticing.

As I look over my own field of dreams it's pretty evident that I have a problem, there's no two ways about it, I'm some sort of addict. A quick, and rough count up of the bikes in my back yard reveals that at home, I have 76 bikes, I know that sounds bad, but about three months ago my Dad counted 106 in my back yard, so actually I'm improving, as the count is down by 30... But then, if you look a bit deeper into my collection it actually gets worse as I know that I have almost 40 stored at work, and lets say 15 in various garages. So this means that in total I've still got the best part of 130 bikes all in all. Maybe I should start my own museum of crap bikes! Then again, maybe it's time to sell a few and raise some funds for my other projects. I mean, just how many bikes does a fella need?

The thing is, I reckon a great deal of the bikes I have are bikes like this Raleigh...

I got it either because it was part of a job lot of bikes I bought on Fleabay because there was one, (or maybe two) bikes in the lot that I was interested in. But then, when I've got it home fully intending to re-sell it, I just dont. Or, I saw it at the tip and it just took my fancy so I bought it and never rode it. I reckon that maybe 50% of my bikes are like this, pretty much ready to ride, and definately ready to re-home, so why haven't I advertised them and sold them? Lazyness! Well, that and the thought that I might want to ride it someday! Nope, they've got to go really, and they need to go soon Mrs Clint wants her garden back.

Then of the remaining 70ish bikes maybe 50% of them are slightly incomplete projects. Some were bought incomplete, and I wonder if what I should do here is either, sell them off as projects, or as a job lot. Or perhaps if I have the time, maybe see what I have exactly and then create complete bikes from all of the incomplete bikes, and once I have complete bikes, sell them off as complete bikes. That being said, of some of these incomplete bikes, some of them I'd like to keep. I seem to have no end of bikes that I've built over the years which I have for whatever reason just stopped building. For some reason I have so many bikes that are complete all except for the cables. Long time sufferers, erm, readers might remember the 23" Raleigh Mustang I was building back in 2017. Well it's complete, and has been for almost five years except it has no brake or gear cables installed. Everything else is done, install the cables and it'll be good to ride (hopefully). Why haven't I done this? I honestly dont know why this stops me every time. The Kalkhoff that I bought in November is like this, all done, just needs the cables doing. Worse still is that I've got atleast a dozen bikes in this condition, and I've got easily two dozen complete cable kits, some of them are even hanging off the brake levers of the bike they're destined to be fitted to, still in their packets. I need to get this done. Perhaps I should gather them all in one place and spend the weekend fitting cable kits to bikes, that sounds like a fun weekend!

Then theres the stuff like this Indi Release 29er...

I actually bought this junk a year ago yesterday from the tip. I bought this because it was the first bike with 29" wheels that I have seen at the tip, and I really fancied having a bike like this. When I got it I didn't think it had seen a lot of action, infact I'd say that it's barely been ridden because nothing was really worn out, but everything was seized solid. Well, after sitting outside in the garden for a further year it hasn't improved. It is rusted solid. The good news however is that the frame and wheels seem to be in good shape being aluminium, just everything thats bolted to them needs to go. Will it ever get fixed? I'd like to think so, and so when her Worshipfulness goes to bed tonight I plan to drag it into the lounge and completely strip it down to a bare frame, and evaluate what needs to be done. The plan is to ride this bike this Summer, so stay tooned!

Then there's this, the real rubbish...

Bikes that have either been picked clean to provide spares to other better bikes, and have just ended up being bare frames. Or just frames that I've found and liked, so I've dragged them home to turn them into complete bikes, and then never bothered. This is just the frames I've got at home, I think I've got another 10 to 15 frames at work. most of these need to go, especially the girls frames as I find ladies bikes are quite hard to sell, and so nine times out of ten I find that if I have a ladies bike that doesn't sell I'll often end up stripping it to build up a mens bike frame. That ladies Probike bike thats missing it's saddle in the middle of the frame? It was rideable and it's been up for grabs for just £10 for ages, but with no interest. So the other night it donated it's saddle to the Reebok Evolve project I've got going on, and tonight after her worshipfulness has gone to bed it too will be stripped down in the lounge to provide parts for one of those mens bike frames you see in the picture which I'll probably end up selling for three or four times the price that I wanted for the ladies bike.

So anyhoo, thats my plans for my bikes and bike building for this year. I'd like to think that I'll end the year with far fewer bikes than I've currently got. Hopefully I'll also end the year with all my project bikes complete. Will that happen? Well, I guess only time will tell. But with plenty of time on my hands right now I really should atleast get dug right in and make a start, bikes to build and sell, and the remaining rubbish to take back to the tip. Incidentally, It seems that I have quite a few ladies mountain bike frames that I'm just going to dump, which frankly I hate. So if for whatever reason you find that you need a ladies mountain bike frame, then hit me up on my farcebook page and as long as you can come and collect them, then you can have the frames for free.