Over the next month more people will attempt to sober up than the rest of the year. Usually January 1st and 2nd are our best days. It’s a good time to be in the business of helping people navigate early sobriety, which tends to be brutal for them. It’s our job, those of us who have recovery, to comfort the new people and help them through those first several months. There is no better person for this task, because we do it freely because someone did it for us. It’s a labor of love.
I read a post yesterday, the author of which, whom I’ve followed for some time, questioned why he’d been saved and why so many others aren’t. This is always a tough question for us to grapple with; why us?
The only answer that’s ever given me relief is that I’m good at helping people, and not even in the traditional way. I truly believe that I was spared to do what I’m doing, right this very moment. I believe I was meant to write this blog, it’s as simple as that. My task was first figuring out how I could help, and then to do it.
Sure, I indulge in the cycling a lot, but when I am hit with the inspiration to write a post like this, I don’t pass it up. I don’t fight it, I don’t question it, I just start typing and the words flow as they enter my melon and make my fingertips move.
And invariably, I’ll get a comment from someone saying what I’d written had helped them. I can’t count those who don’t comment, but close their browser a little better for the read. I don’t write for adulation, money, or notoriety.
I write about cycling because I enjoy it, I write about recovery because I’m inspired by my Higher Power. It’s why I was saved from a miserable, depraved existence and I figure it’s best I do what I’m supposed to do and help others, lest God look for someone else who pays attention a little better.
And that brings me to the important point of this post: How to increase your chances of survival in recovery… and your happiness. This is very simple.
Find a way to work with others in recovery. Get out of yourself and your problems and help others with theirs. This works better than anything else I know of to keep me grounded and happy in recovery.
How to Rebuild a Road Bike From the Ground Up; Part Six. The Final Touches, the Paint and Accessories.
I was planning on touching on the headset in this series, as I had a new one installed when I had the frame painted, but it was a pretty simple operation; I told the shop I thought I needed a headset when I was unable to adjust out what caused a speed wobble at 40-mph (thankfully, not a crash), and they agreed after looking at it… it was a rusted mess. The local shop installed a new Chris King. It was simple, but only because the shop dealt with it. I didn’t have the tools to remove or install one, or even the knowledge to pick the right one. Point is, when rebuilding a bike, check the headset to make sure it’s operating smoothly. If not, either install a new one or have your local shop do it.
The paint and accessories will make your bike yours. I picked the colors and decals that I wanted – and opted to refrain from the gaudier Trek accessory decals for that vintage. Instead, I kept it simple by just sticking with “Trek“, a “Made in the USA” decal, and a “Velocity Wheels” decal (because Velocity Wheels are awesome). The point is, this is the one time you’ve got to make the bike entirely yours. My 5200 is now one of a kind:
I had it painted by the techs at our local shop. All I had to do was strip it down and take it in. They did the rest. The cage in the photo above was fused to the boss. They drilled out the bottle cage and epoxied in four new bosses (you can actually see how shiny the new one’s are in the photo). Also, note the new headset.
Now, one of the more finicky decisions I made had to do with the seat post collar – this gets down into the minuscule details on a bike, but they make a big difference when it’s all done. The original seat post collar was brushed aluminum. It blended in to the red frame just fine, but on the black, it just looked off. So I ordered a black one:
Eventually, I got around to putting some decent bottle cages on the bike, too; black and red, of course:
And the cherry on top was a red Punisher decal:
Now, I took a lot of things into consideration when I had my frame painted. First, I had to choose a color scheme. The only question was black on red or red on black. I chose the latter, but I had to think long and hard about it. With the bike finished, blacked out simply looks awesome with the red decals. Well, that and red on black is a bit of a theme in my stable:
The thought was, for the Trek, maybe to go fire-engine red on black, just to change it up a bit, but in the end, I just couldn’t do it.
Almost all of my bibs and jerseys are, as one might expect, red, black and white. Having the Trek set up like the rest of my bikes meant I wouldn’t need different kits for each bike. Of course, one isn’t beholden to go to all of this trouble, it just looks fantastic when one does.
And that’s the whole point.