Do it Yourself

Been riding my beloved Colnago for seven years now. In that time I’ve bought new tires photooccasionally. Replaced the chain a few times. Had to replace the rear cassette once, because I waited too long on a new chain.

I check the tires, and lube the chain once in a while. In winter, I charge up my light.

The little purse that holds the spare tube? Never give it a think.

But a couple weeks ago I noticed it was loose. One of the glorified rubber bands that holds it to the saddle rails had broken.

I’ll think about it later.

A few days later the second strap broke, the remaining fastener on the seatpost trying to decide whether to cry “uncle”.

Of course I could buy a new satchel. Probably about $20. But I come from generations of fixers and make-do folks. Grandpa Delbert and Grandpa Fred both had baby food jars full of every screw or nut you’d ever need. And many more you’d NEVER need.

My mother-in-law took pride in figuring how to make do with what was at hand. Once in a hotel room she ate leftovers using the butt end of her toothbrush as a spoon, grinning all the while at her cleverness.

I studied the thing. I could loop a stiff rubber band through the saddle rails and around the purse brackets. But I’m fresh out of stiff rubber bands. Head scratch. My eyes fell on an Apple shopping bag. The sturdy nylon twine handle is more durable than a rubber band.

But it’s white.

The satchel and bike frame are both black.

There, ready for the discard heap, was another shopping bag, this one with a black twine handle.

Must say I felt proud of myself.


About Karen Ray

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