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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.” -Oscar Wilde

OK, so...why didn't anyone tell me this stuff EXISTED!?!?
I can only assume that everyone out there has their own favorite kinds of foods, or those that hold memories of youth, or special occasions.  I myself, have been fortunate enough in my life to be exposed to Epicurean delights that provide both for me, as well!  My earliest memories being that of my Mothers Molasses cookies, possessing fond memories of the assuredness of home .  The delight of a rare treat of Maple Candy (not the hard stuff, but the soft little piece of  maple sugar, delightfully molded into shapes of maple leaves or the profile of the "Old Man In The Mountain") when my family and I would go on the rare outings.  As I grew older, I was occasionally treated to the even more scarce opportunity to dine with the family at the "1686 House" in Kingston NH, where I would ALWAYS dine on a fresh batch of marinated mushrooms and (PETA forgive me) Veal Parmesan!  Then, after meeting my beloved, I gained an entirely new appreciation for Kraft Macaroni and cheese, with Philly's cream cheese.  Suffice to say, the significance of this dish, and it's true meaning, is shared between Angela and I alone. As Angela had grown up in a home with a Southern Mother, her level of exposer to a myriad of incredible recipes far surpassed my own, limited pallet, and I was blessed to have her reproduce some for me!  Her pearled onions topping the list, with her amazing Santa Fe Chicken running a VERY close second!  Not only that, but I have her to thank for introducing me to something I always squirmed away from, Sushi.  Oh, all the years I lost having refused to try THE perfect food!  And by extension, the euphoric masterpiece of Wasabi! 
But, perhaps it was Demeter herself, who withheld the discovery of this most wonderful of creations until my adult taste buds had matured enough to fully appreciate. 
As yesterday was the first day of our new summer hours, are normal evening routine was shunted a tad askew, and we had neglected the dinner menu.  As it was pushing seven O'clock, when Angi and I had asked the question "What do you want to do for dinner".  A normal, almost comedic duet, where we both press each other to make the final declaration as to what we will be dining on.  As it was too late to secure and cook anything, in order to assure adherence to bedtime schedules, we opted for "Sandwich Night".  Now here is where Providence stepped in.  Last week, some of our shop friends were returning to Canada, and had donated the contents of their refrigerator and cabinetry to the family.  I brought the large box home, hardly poking through it, and Elijah put the contents away.  As I was helping Angela finish up meal prep after my quick shower, we were down to our plates.  Roast Beef and Swiss on Onion bulky.  I prepared hers, with the prerequisite mayo on one slice, mustard on the other, and she went to the table.  As I set about preparing mine, I went to the fridge to get my mustard (the zest of Guldens as opposed to the rather bland French's).  With all the condiments littering our fridge (6 half used jars of Mayo, 3 of Mustard, and 4 of ketchup) I had to dig for my lone jar, and happened to have to move aside an unfamiliar one to get to it.  As I held this strange sauce in my hand, I absent mindedly denoted the name...
"zesty horseradish mayonnaise"!
Zesty, hunh?  Lets give that a sniff! 
"Ohhhhhhh....that's GOOOOOD!!"
With a healthy dollop on my creation I sat at the table, dug in and Immediately discovered what the food in Heaven must taste like!  Perhaps, it was this culinary masterpiece that inspired many to write of the dangers of Humans eating "Fairy Food", as the moment they took one bite, they would become enchanted and enslaved by it. 
Oh yea, I am SOOOO enslaved!
OK, on to other things! 
I have to rectify an oversight from yesterday, as I failed to send a "Shout Out" to a fine gent from up in New Port Richey.  We text back and forth on Sunday, as he had a bevy of old rides littering his yard, and wanted to know if we were interested in them and can we come there and grab 'em.  Unfortunately, as we are NOT car drivers, we had no way to get there.  Apparently, this dedication to the life style impressed him enough that he loaded up all the goodies and brought them down for a donation!  THANK YOU SIR!  Several of them were, sadly, beyond help but we did manage to salvage the majority of parts.  One, however, a sweet vintage Raleigh Capri Road Bike, was WELL worth the effort to rebuild.  With original paint that was in real sharp shape, we took the majority of parts off the Fuji we had had donated from the day before (all alloy Diacomp), a replacement set of alloy 700's and turned it into a SWEET five speed!  Why a five speed?  Well, I thought of going single, but we've been doing a lot of those lately, and I really like the cool looking thumb shifters, and wanted to use at least one!  Check this peach out below, along with the Specialized Hard Rock we finished up!  Speaking of which!
As promised, our newest pet project is done and done!  As a new twist we're going to give away a few trade secrets!  So, without further preamble, let's jump right into it! 
First up,  the "before" condition of this sweet old Specialized!!

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Sorry for the first Pic being a tad bit fuzzy, but the other pics clearly show the level of wear and decay this poor soul endured.  Denoting the close up of each section, you'll see several areas of surface rust, pitting, chips and general ICK!  Breaking out the tools, we do with the tear down!

next step is to thoroughly clean the frame.  You want to be able to differentiate between what is simply dirt and grime, and what you'll have to tackle a little more aggressively.  We do this simply by spraying the ride down first with a healthy dose of PB Blaster, then while it's still lubed up, hit it from top to bottom with a common green pot scrubber.  Here's what were up against.

After this, we hit her with some 409 to brake up left over lube and grease, and wipe it down first with some Lysol Degreaser wipes, then paper towels and finally using the air compressor, dry it all off.

Now, we know where we are going to have to touch up the paint.  I'll take this moment to comment on just how much I LOVE black bikes!  They are, by far, the simplest to touch up.  First, taking some 80 grit, you lightly buff out any rough patches, smooth out pitting, and get rusty areas down close to bare metal.  Once you're satisfied it's smooth to the touch (no pock marks or ridges in the sanded areas) you go back over with a finer grit to really smoothen it all out.  In the case of this ride, I want to do whatever I can to retain all the original graphics.  And don't worry too much when you are using the finer grit, you can actually make a few light passes over them, if necessary, to get any imperfections in their areas if need be. 

Here's where it get a wee bit tricky.  Set yourself up with the following: some mineral spirits and a thin rag, or in our case, more Lysol wipes,  wringing out as much of the cleaner as we can.

 We use automotive FLAT black paint to do the touch ups (this one helps to retard rust).  We use the flat, because it's easier to control, and in the case of most of the paint finishes on bikes, as they age and weather the paint oxidizes and fades.  So the original gloss black, aint so glossy anymore!  Using a gloss black paint, is heavier, and is prone to alligator peeling or thigh cheese, and even after the final clear coats, will NOT blend well!!

It takes a little bit of practice, but you'll learn how to mist the paint, so there are no real obvious "stop" marks, where your spray ends.  Holding the can about 12 inches away from where your aiming at first, but some close, quick swipes in tight areas.  Have no fear, that's what the Mineral Spirits and wipes are for! 

On this ride, some of the nastier patches were real close to the graphics on the bottom tubes, so we pass over with the paint in light dustings, not wanting to build up to thick a layer, until it is thoroughly coated.  Don't worry about overspray at this point, as we're going to deal with it shortly.  Once everything is coated, take your CLEAN cloth or wipe and give it a little mineral spirits.  It's actually better to alloy the paint a few minuets to set, almost dry, before you do overspray clean up.  If you do so while the paints really wet, it's going to create a bead, and really look like crap.  Gently rubbing the graphics, (gentle is IMPORTANT, as a more aggressive wipe, while even on a dryer paint line, can create the aforementioned bead) until the overspray is cleaned. 

You will, more then likely, get this halo, but don't worry, we take care of that in a second.

Give the ride a good once over, because if you missed anything, going back after you clear coat it, can be a real pain to fix!   I wait until the paint is dry, wipe it down again with a wipe (the mild abrasive quality of the wipes is not unlike a final wet sanding with a fine grit paper) then, drying it with the compressor I'm ready for a final clear coat.  We use a high gloss Acrylic clear coat, that happily blends the differing shades of black almost perfectly!!

NOW!  On to the build!!
During all the wait time on the painting process, I use that time to get the parts ready!  On this beast, the majority of the components were just TOO far gone!  Once rust has permeated the metal, on say, a derailleur or brake caliper, it's scrap.  We don't want to take the chance the metal is weakened as it will most like give when the rider is ten miles from home!  SO, we opt to deck it out with as close to original parts as we can muster.  Of course, NEW cables and housings, along with a fresh set of tubes, but as luck would have it, the original owner had already decked it out, recently, with a nice set of meaty Specialized 26 X 2.25 tires, so we stuck with them.  The original wheel set MAY be salvageable, but in the interest of completing the project, relatively quickly, I stuck on a real sweet set of classic Araya alloy rims!  Also, had a choice set of Shimano Alivio derailleurs, that really compliment the ride.  The one, slight, alteration to the stance of the ride, was to go with a different set of bars and neck, giving the ride a bit of lift (someone's wrists will thank me) and, in keeping with "using what we got' a clean set of simple Shimano grip shifts.  The bike came with Falcon Shifters (!?!?) which I doubt were original equipment, anyway.  One other little trick, where a fine grinding wheel comes in REAL handy.  Those little plastic pieces on some brakes, that can oxidize as well?  A light pass over removes the film, bringing back the original color!!

After the paint was (relatively) dry (if you're doing this, you may want it to be COMPLETELY dry) went on to the assembly.  That, is self explanatory! 
The end result is as follows!  A gorgeous ride (if I may say so myself) that'll get many more years of road time! 

ONLY $155.00!!

That's it for "This Old Bike" and hope to see you next week on "Cranky Yankee Workshop"!

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ONLY $165.00!!

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