I’ve been meaning to get fit. I’m not the kind of person who has the discipline to go to the gym (Fitness First? No thanks, maybe if it was called “Fitness Second” I’d be keen!) so choosing a “sport” that I could “get into” was cruicial. I tried to get back into skating again a few years ago with Ash, but after falling on my tailbone real hard at Maroubra Skate Park I called it a day.

A few weeks ago I found this under the house (literally). It’s not THAT old, a 1996 or 97 Specialized Hardrock. I do remember buying it from Woolys Wheels and I always intended to use it just to get around but I never did use it that much. I used to be super into bikes as a kid. I did the Sydney to Wollongong twice (4hrs 14minutes was my best time) and I also competed in the Bell Nationals (Mountain Bike comp) so getting back on the bike seemed like a good idea.

I cleaned up the Hardrock a little bit and decided to take it to the local bike store for a service, when they saw it they were more excited than I was! I thought it was pretty dead, rust here, there and pretty much everywhere but they thought it was in mint condition for it’s age. They even called it a “vintage” (which made me feel vintage).

Whilst it was being serviced I found myself doing what I do best… getting obsessive compulsive with it! A new hobby! Yes of-course! Those who know me know that I don’t do things in halves. I found that new bikes have come a long way since the 90’s. I couldn’t even get a new stem for this bike as the systems have totally changed. I started hunting down vintage parts on eBay and at the same time I started planning something different.

When I got the bike back it was riding well, but of-course I wasn’t happy with it as is. I love modifying cars, and modifying a bicycle was going to be a natural process for me so I bought a bike stand, some bike tools and got busy dissmantling (now that was fun!) and more importantly researching.

Whilst I knew that I could buy a decent modern bike new for $500, none of them appealed to me, if anything I’d buy one and put another $500 into it to make it my own. So I decided to spend about $500 on the old Hardrock, have some fun on the way and see what comes out of it.

And fun it’s been! I think about bikes when I put my head on the pillow at night. I’m driving Christina crazy. I have a mate Jing who’s just as obsessive comulsive about bikes at the moment as I am (always a good thing to have a mate to dive into a new hobby with), I’m active on a bicycle forum and the bike itself has turned into something else.

It’s a true juxtaposition. It’s old and new, built up from many 2nd hand garage sale goods, eBay junk and a few new bits in there too. It’s a work in progress which I am documenting here. I’m also up to my usual shit stirring, a vent always helps to release the pressure and have a laugh :)

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