This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

You might say I am into leather.

The subject comes up time after time when people look at my bikes.  I really like leather.   Not only saddles, but the handlebars as well.  It started about 7 or 8 years ago when I ran across some Brooks bar tape on closeout.  It was marked down below $50 and I bought it thinking it was the most wasteful and indulgent purchase I had ever made (little did I know I would later buy my cats a water fountain).  I had no idea that I   would become hooked.  I don't think of it as an expense anymore.  As I recently explained to somebody, once you put it on, it's there, you won't wear it out.  Not only does it provide a sensual pleasure, it's really practical.  The original roll of leather tape I have on my old Trek is still there, still looks and feels great,  and during that time I would have re-wrapped the bars with cork perhaps 5 times.
   It has now come time to re-wrap the leather again, but this time, because of leather's indestructible attitude, I will just re-wrap the same tape.
   I had gotten one side rather bunched and stretched out of place because  a brake caliper had loosened
so I un-wrapped it, readjusted the lever, cleaned up all the adhesive, dirt and stains on the handlebar

 made a layer of adhesive on the bar using Scotch double sided tape and re-wrapped the rest of the bar.
After that I wound some more twine over the end to finish it off, gave the new and old twine a coat of shellac, and for good measure rubbed the handlebars and saddle down
 with Mink Oil Paste to freshen it up a bit.
There is one spot I will have to massage into place but it looks and feels as good as new again.
I've been using VO Elkhide covers on my other bikes and like it, but the Brooks tape does have an luxurious feel and look to it.  A lot of people worry about getting leather wet, but I have time after time without any problems.  I just wait for it to dry thoroughly and rub it down with Mink Oil Paste to bring back the color and give it some more protection.  It's a money and time saving upgrade from which anybody can benefit.

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