Bike Building

One of my friends recently built me the bike you see above.

He undercharged me by about 900% so I won’t tell you how much I paid him for it, but I will tell you how he made it.

He said he got the frame from a guy on Craigslist
The basket he snagged on Amazon.
The wheels and tires he already had. (I guess he has rubber trees in his backyard?)
The brakes he stole off his irritating 5-year old neighbor’s tricycle.
The handlebars he picked up at a local shop.

I asked him a few weeks ago when in the process of building if he enjoyed gathering parts and crafting them together for me and he said, “I love it, I wish it paid.”

When I went to his house to pick it up there were bike frames in his garage, tools scattered everywhere, and whatever you call the things the chain goes around hanging on pegboards on the wall.

See you can say you love something, but what you might really mean is that you actually love what doing that thing gets you. You love the result.

You love running because it gives you a good body.
You love reading because it makes you smart.
You love writing because you want blog readers.

I would argue that if you don’t love the raw act of doing those seemingly boring activities, then your progress isn’t sustainable. You can’t just fall in love with the end result because your work will be shoddy or, even worse, you’ll give up before you get there.

You have to love the rhythm running brings. You have to love getting lost in books. You have to love molding blog posts and essays. You have to not care about the end game.

I learned this from my bike maker. He loves making bikes even more than he loves having made them.

And to you, my wife, I love riding our figurative little marriage bike every once in a while (after all, it IS our logo). But I’ve loved the art of building it more. And I love tweaking it more. And, usually, I love repairing it just as much, if not more.

So thanks for being patient, for the process might not be pretty, but it is more than worthy. And I’m in love with it.

And, no, he didn’t really steal the brakes. That I’m aware of. I don’t even know if 5-year olds ride tricycles…


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I'm an aspiring freelance writer and blogger (which doesn't make a ton of sense when you think about it). I started a blog called Our Marriage Project and one about OSU called Pistols Firing. I love both of them, and I love my wife. And I love Kevin Durant, Explosions in the Sky, Tim Riggins, Blue Moon ale, Twitter, and the state of Georgia.

6 thoughts on “Bike Building”

  1. 5-year olds tend to ride regular bikes with training wheels…and just for the record, tricycles don't have brakes, so don't worry that anyone will send the child police after your bike building friend.

    This post was a beautiful analogy for marriage. I appreciated that you said that you love repairing it just as much, if not more. It really made me think about my own relationship and how we grow, how sometimes our brakes fail and we come tumbling off but we fix the problem, get back on and try again.

    Great post, Kyle!

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