Monday, 10 February 2014


Whilst my current student status provides me with the luxury of lounging in bed until lunchtime, drinking until 3am with no regard to tomorrow's hangover, permission to slouch around in jeans and a beany all day and not comb my hair as well as to have an unadulterated love of value baked beans, it does have its financial downside. As I start to approach the end of my studentship my bike-fund coffers have well and truly run dry.

Having already exhausted the "I'll be earning soon so will be able to afford x" justification - that covered the three holidays / foreign bike races booked already for this year - I have had to resort to other measures to fund my new steed.  OK, I confess, it's actually going to be two, but the principle is still the same and the need more pressing. 

And so the n+1 rule of bike ownership is gone.  

This has been, and in fact still is, one of the singly most faffy and torturous things I have done.  And that includes trying to write up my PhD.  Here's for-why;

1. Any volunteers please raise your hand
First issue was to work out what stayed and what went.  Two frames were on loan from Cotic and AQR so they were first up.  I also accepted that I am unlikely to ever ride again what was formally my best bike but never felt the same once it had been nicked, showcased on eBay and generally bastardised before we were reunited.  And finally, I decided get rid of my former ride-all-the-time training bike in favour of sticking some less fancy stuff on my lightweight version of the same for marmalising in the winter crud.  This would leave me with two bikes for the time being and eventually a four-out, two-in scenario with me feeling amazingly virtuous at levels of bike-quantity restraint.

2. Pick and choose
Knowing what was going and (almost) what was to come led me to several hours of switching and swapping bits on bikes to keep and sell.  Future compatibility was key as was the opportunity to get rid of hard-to-sell (crap) components on a bike build in the hope potential buyers wouldn't notice.  This wasn't the most efficient process - I spent a few hours re-building the aforementioned training bike just to dismantle it again a few days later when I agreed a sale on the frame as no-one appeared interested in the bike.

3. Make hay
I took this as an opportunity to gently suggest that the other-half should clear out some of his hoardings.  He says retro, I say old and knackered.  If anyone knows why you should need five not-quite-working front mechs please let me know. 

4. Girls on film
Clean part, photograph part, re-photograph part as light rubbish, upload photos onto Flickr, re-upload photos onto Flickr as it's playing silly-beggars, look up description of part, attempt to look up value of part, prepare bike forum 'for sale' post, post said post, notice errors in post, re-post.
And wait.
And repeat.
Answer queries.
Don't get annoyed with people who you agree a sale with then never bother to come back to say they've changed their mind.
Resign yourself to eBay.

5. EBay
This is painstaking. And laborious. And tedious. And they charge you for the pleasure. 
However, it never ceases to amaze me what stuff people will pay good money for and sadly, what good stuff people wont pay money for.

Progress so far
Over half the funds needed for the new bike, three bikes that neatly hung on the wall in the garage gone, several boxes of bike components from three bikes on garage floor still to sell, one more bike to rebuild and sell, absence of bike riding and daylight due to spending last two weekends stuck in garage, the OH's mid-90s Hope brakes selling for nearly double what was paid for them (the price tag was still on the box), £80 and counting to the Post Office and couriers, constant amazement at how many 'one day' spares the OH owns and testing of CRC and Wiggles' 365 day return policy (with 6 days to spare).  Oh, and in the meantime the new bike has been funded courtesy of an interest-free credit card.  Thank you Mr Santander.