Sunday, October 17

Watch out, Sweden...

...I found a bike. Good ol' address-knowing, looks-like-Charlie-from-Lost neighbor let me in on this thing called Blocket (basically the Swedish version of Craiglist). I muddled my way through the website with Google online translation, and this cheap ad caught my eye:
Click here if you want to see what I was facing at that point. (And don't worry, those aren't in dollars!)
Well praise the Blocket gods (and the help of this website), it turns out the ad was posted by a dude in our same apartment complex! Jason & I met him at Willy's the next morning (of course Willy's, you guys know how I feel about that place). The bike only had one working tire, but we shelled out the couple dozen bucks and lugged it home.

Now, this is definitely not a titanium-framed speedster we have on our hands. It weighs the amount of a small car, and every surface has surrendered to the elements in brown, flakey rust. Google should have translated "Retro" as "completely oxidized."
At this point we had several name candidates:
Trusty Rusty. Iron Maiden. The Rusticator. And last, but not least... Ferrous Wheels. (We really crack ourselves up.)

Finally, Jason suggested "Rustito." Although there's nothing "-ito" about this thing, the name stuck to the bike just like all the magnets within its ten-foot radius.

I've had several concerned friends and family members ask me if I'm up to date on my Tetanus shots, just in case. Let me assure you: very few souls make it through Architorture school without a T-booster. Scale-model construction inevitably leads to the savory blend of 1) hallucinatory sleep-deprivation, 2) double-digit espresso shots, and 3) frantically-wielded exacto-knives.* (The university nurse will roll her eyes as she preps the needle and correctly guesses your major.)
*(Just kidding potential employers!!! I'm as punctual as a Nazi meter-maid and never, EVER abuse stimulants. You can also stop reading this blog now.)

Ahem... So having named the bike and confirmed it wasn't going to kill me, I needed to repair Rustito's back tire. The entire internet unanimously recommended (tell me how often that happens) that I'd best sell this bike to a museum rather than track down the needed part. I ignored this benevolent rationale and instead sent my dad a desperate plea for help an email, titled: "rare-foreign-bike-part scavenger hunt YAYYYYY!!!" ...Immediately after which I got an email from Jason, saying his friend had the valve piece I needed. Sorry, dad.

Riding around town, I'm discovering that this bike might not have much of an advantage over walking. If there's any sort of incline, I immediately break out in sweat trying to lug half my weight in iron up the... curb. If there's any sort of decline, the "pedal backward and pray"-style brakes fail against Rustito's massive momentum (p = m•v, my amigos, and there's a lot of 'm').

Those of you who know me (and my beloved car, Mrs. Sputtersworth), understand that all this only makes the bike more endearing to me. I'd check it as luggage on the way home, if only it were under the 50 lb. weight limit.

Here's Rustito in his home with the other bikes. Apparently they think he suffers from bike leprosy. Or they have a healthy fear of Tetanus.
Oh, Rustito. You and I will have many adventures together, during which I will grow the quadriceps of a Himalayan sherpa.


Kristie said...

There's a saying that all bikes weigh 50 lbs: a 20 lb bike needs a 30 lb lock; a 30 lb bike needs a 20 lb lock; a 40 lb bike needs a 10 lb lock; and a 50 lb bike doesn't need a lock. Sounds like a winner to me!

Samantha said...

I too have a "vintage" bike. Layla is the bee's knees. My strategy for going down hill is to start pumping the break at the top of the hill. Miss Layla is so low to the ground (she's got me on my knees) that I can put my foot down and stop myself like I'm on a skateboard. I love my hunka hunka burnin' junk. God bless you and your new friend.

April said...

you guys CRACK ME UPPP.

Sam, I'm going to have that song stuck in my head all day now. Not that I really mind : )

Kristie, it actually does have a key-lock type thing attached to the wheel (The key has to be in the wheel for it to turn.) Damn that tiny little key, I lose it every. Single. Day.

Your Grandmom. said...

Hope I'm not too late in posting this comment, but since I'm basically a shy person, maybe it works out. Thanks very much for saving it. You two are adorable, and I'm so glad you made it home safely! Lots of love, Gmom.