As promised, I have been working here and there, with help and advice, putting together two wheels, a frame, handle bars, cranks, brakes, tires, tubes, pedals, seat post, saddle and pieces of bicycle to create and know a new bike. The frame arrived on my birthday; yes, truly and unforgettably on the actual day-made-even-lovelier-day of my birthday, in the very early part of summer. As the summer has been ticking by I have been living with the frame in various parts of my house. I have been eying it after road rides and more than eying it after work. The other bike parts, the same. Before I started building, I admired the different pieces day after day, took them out of boxes and moved them around on different tables, all with anticipation. Admittedly, it has been slow finding the time, and even more importantly the right sense of time, to begin putting it together. But here it is, coming together weekend-like at last.
This is a project not to be rushed. In putting it together, there has to be time to just love it, in every minute. Unlike my road bikes, the Sweetpea is a leisurely bike. I am experiencing it coming together with the same generous amounts of time I hope to spend riding it around my town. With this bike, I will not be counting miles or miles per hour– although there is endless fun in ticking off and beating time, in knowing the push of time and the tautness of body needed to lose the slowness of office weeks and boring commutes that require a car. The light speed of my road bikes are incredible machines in and of themselves. And a dirt and gravel road ride that will be gritty and tough is just ahead, a week from now. That ride on hilly and rocky terrain–at a good speed given the amount miles that will have to be covered–will not be for the Sweetpea.
But the Sweetpea is a perfect counter point. A bike in which there is all of time. In the stand as it is now, I walk by it everyday in my basement. As much as I am looking forward to finishing the build and that first ride, knowing it piece by piece for the time being is exactly what an eye needing the sight of beautiful lines embodied in anything craves. The repetition of seeing it again and again, creating and re-creating the sight of it with daily visits up and down the basement stairs is a way of enjoying it timelessly for awhile. It is a wonderful creation there. Each piece. And the whole beautiful machine together soon. Emily Gresh
2 thoughts on “Pieces and Wholeness: The Bike As the Perfect Timekeeper”
I am so much looking forward to competing my fixie – almost 2 years after I dismantled it for a respray