Saturday, January 7, 2012

Hunqapillar Touch-Up and Epic Crazy Bobcat Story

As you may recall from a previous post, I experienced the worst horror an owner of a new bike can possibly experience. Yes, my beautiful Hunqapillar was brutally scratched for the very first time. The villain in this most heinous crime, as you may recall from that previous post, was the evil chainsuck, which left behind a most hideous scar:

Damn you, chainsuck!
Fortunately, it's in a place where it would only be noticed if you're really looking for it. Nevertheless, it is still a painful sight.

After giving myself a couple of days to recover from the anguish, I knew I had to look at it again, assess the damage, and push forth with some sort of treatment. You see, the Hunqapillar frame is made from fine quality steel. Fine quality steel provides a wonderful strength, durability, and ride quality that help make the Hunqapillar the amazing bike it is. However fine the quality, though, steel is still steel ... and what does bare steel do when exposed to the elements? That's right ... it rusts. So, to prevent such a calamity, fine quality steel must be covered with a protective coating of paint or powder coat. The Hunqapillar is hand-painted, and an excellent job was done on my frame. I didn't want even the slightest possibility of any scratches to open up the steel to oxidation, especially since I ride near the ocean virtually every day.

So, after sobbing one last time in a fetal position on the garage floor, I picked myself up and begged my better and more attractive half to accompany me to the local hardware store. She had things to get, too ... and our only car belongs to her, since I sold mine to be like David Byrne, who rides bikes but does not own a car (photo courtesy of Bike Snob NYC).

According to Bike Snob NYC, this man does not own a car

The hardware store had a small selection of rust-preventive enamel paints, including one that was labeled "Medium Gray", so I grabbed a tiny can of that, along with a set of artist brushes to apply it.

Yeah, that's right ... I'm gettin' ready to get artistic and stuff
We then got the paint supplies needed for my better and more attractive half's office project, for which she chose a very artistic white primer and fine-bristled foam roller. Then we browsed the tool section to ogle the various socket wrenches, rubber mallets, and bench vises, then checked out and proceeded to the local Ralph's, where we were charged for 3 boxes of Kleenex when we only bought 2, but were not charged for the special bottle of eucalyptus shampoo. We then returned home. Is it just me, or are some of my sentences getting very long?

Well, after sending my better and more attractive half off to the office with a nice snack of organic oatmeal with greek yogurt and blueberries, and providing the hungry dogs with food and a nice walk, I set out to the garage with my paint and brushes to tackle the task at hand ... touching up the Hunqapillar scratches with some rust-preventive paint. I selected a brush, opened the can of paint, stirred well, sobbed one more time while looking at the scratches, and was ready to begin.

My chosen brush and nice shade of medium gray ... stirred, not shaken
I applied the paint to the scratches and admired my work. Perhaps "admired" isn't the right word ... more like saying to myself "It's a good thing you didn't want to be an artist."  In any case, it was done, and although the paint color isn't a great match (or even a good one), the Hunqapillar frame is protected.

After touch-up. Paint always dries darker, right?
Bikes get scratches ... it's just a part of life, unless you never actually ride your bike. Grant Petersen, owner of Rivendell Bicycle Works, who made my Hunqapillar, has said (paraphrased from memory) that a bike with scratches is a sign of a bike that is loved and used well. I believe that to be true, but still this first one was difficult.

Usually with scars, there's some kind of interesting story of an epic event to accompany them. Although I've documented my epic chainsuck incident, I think if anyone asks, I'll offer a more exciting tale ... something like this:

"While riding along the trail one hot summer day, I spotted a crazy bobcat who began to chase me.
No, not this kind of bobcat ...

Yeah ... THIS kind of bobcat!! Look at his crazy eyes ...

I sped up, pedaling as fast as I could around the curve of the trail, heading toward the creek where I knew the bobcat wouldn't follow. He was gaining on me, but I raced on. I could see that he was eyeing my possum wool socks, thinking they might be small animals attached to my ankles, making a nice mid-day meal. Just as he was about to attack, I lifted the handlebars as I shot out over the creek to safety. The bobcat managed to get one razor-sharp set of claws out to my leg, but missed and instead clawed the chainstay of my bike, which resulted in the scratches you now see. I made it safely away on the other side of the creek, but my bike bears the scars of that close call."

Yeah ... that's the ticket ...

See you next time!

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