The frame has since been stripped and sealed, reassembled and test ridden- all systems are go except a very nasty wobble in the front wheel. I messed around with truing it a little last night, but some kind soul had already rounded off most of the spoke nipples I needed to turn. I have plenty of spoke nipples, but by Sunday night I had run out of motivation and needed to get my laundry done besides. Perhaps tomorrow or Wednesday, I'll get to the wheel.
Before I describe the trials and tribulations of this project, why put all this work into an old beater? Well, first off because it's for Nick and more importantly it's for Nick to pull his son Sam around in. And Nick's a pretty cool guy, who hasn't ridden a bike since he last put down his BMX when he was 12. Riding this bike in its initial state could be a whole other turn off to biking, and you don't get that many chances to give somebody a good impression of the sport. Besides, we want Nick on group rides sometime soon, because he's easily a head taller than the rest of us- we'll put him at the front to pull, and the rest of us can draft like motorpacing a semi.
So, what have the trials and tribulations been? Well, first off, this thing was covered with obnoxious stickers, which needed to come off, and the paint was pretty dinged up underneath, so it had to come off too. Out came the stripper, the steel wool, and the wire wheel on the drill. Once that was done, then came paint- clearcoat in this instance, mostly because I thought it looked cool and also because it gave a certain "Mad Max" look to the rig (pictures of the assembled beast soon, I promise). The Mad Max (Beyond the Thunderdome) reference is also relevant in that it's how Nick and Sam were referred to (as Master/Blaster) at my 30th birthday party last fall, when Nick had Sam up on his shoulders in one of those baby backpack things while we played Bocce in the August sun. Ok, back to the bike: the front derailer (red underline it all you want, Google, the spelling's good enough for Sheldon and it's good enough for me) cable had been sheared perilously close and was a real bugger to tension properly, especially considering the giant triple crank it is supposed to span. The cantilever brakes came apart when i took them off, and it took a while to figure out that there was indeed both a right and a wrong way to put them back together with the springs oriented properly. Oh yeah, and despite the obvious presence of a master link in the chain, I still had to use a tool to separate it somewhere else (OK about two links away) because I didn't notice it was there. Not necessarily a problem but it made me feel silly.
So tomorrow I'll swallow my pride, unmount the front tire from the rim and true it right, and hopefully soon we'll all be out on bikes together.