“Some Assembly Required” Doesn’t Scare Me

I recently bought a new tandem bicycle. No, I didn’t drive a long distance and finally find a shop that had one for around what my car is worth. I bought it on eBay. And about a week later, this Object came to Hand:

Hmmm. I needed a couple of open-end wrenches, screw drivers, Allen wrenches, and some patience. You cannot clearly tell from this picture, but the rear fender was bent into uselessness. After I got the front wheel and handlebars and pedals on, and the rear seat and handlebars, I had to remove the fender and use my metal-smithing wiles on it.But it was not worth keeping. The steel fender weighed more than the carry rack I put in its place. A few hours of inexperienced labor later, it was essentially ready to ride.

Then this bike needed a bit of adjusting. You get what you pay for, and I didn’t pay for assembly, tuning, and testing. I had to modify a couple of parts — like the front chain idler that refused to hold the chain — before it worked reliably. And of course it needed bottle holders, carry rack, paniers, more reflectors, bell, speedometer, and different saddles. But now it works quite well.

Unlike my other tandem, this one folds to fit on a standard trunk rack. That’s actually why I bought it:

As of now, I am still making regular adjustments. It is not that the ride makes it wonky, but that it isn’t yet completely tuned up. I am, after all, but a dedicated dilettante in regards to cycling. One can tell that from my earlier post: Unsafe Safety Signs.

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