Unfinished project bikes

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I can now see why people give up on their bobber projects.

It starts out with a lot of energy, challenge and fun. The expectation of tearing the bike apart and creating something different and cool is energizing. Even when things don’t go right with the build, it’s expected and understood that that’s part of the project.

It’s not the nature of the build itself that grows old. Things change and time is lost. When that happens, the project can become a nag.

A nag is one who nags as in to be a constant source of anxiety or annoyance. Probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse gnaga, to bite, gnaw.

I think that is when people throw in the towel. Nothing’s gained by constantly fighting the tide. When obstacle after obstacle makes it hard or impossible to simply find or make the time to do the work, it becomes a drag. Momentum is lost. Parts lay idle on the cart for days, weeks or longer. When there is time to get something done, it inevitably turns into a head scratcher—where was I? what is this part for? did I put this assembly back together completely? damn, I need more parts and so on. I can’t speak for anyone else but, when I work like that, it’s no longer energizing. Instead, it becomes a thing that saps energy as the bike constantly screams for attention that can’t be given.


This bike was supposed to be complete by July 4th. When Independence Day came and went, I figured it would be on the road easily by Labor Day. I’m now staring Thanksgiving Day dead in the eyes and I still don’t see it being wrapped up. What follows Thanksgiving? Why Christmas, of course, with the marketing and commercialism to buy, spend, buy as much as possible…and all the other made up hype.

At this point, I’m looking at some time in 2016. In the meantime, I’ll do what I can (or what I have energy to do). Cold—not chilly or cool—weather in Pennsylvania is around the corner which, I’m sure, will provide an energetic boost…not.

Having said all that, I’ll never read another “project bike for sale” ad on Craigslist with the same sense of scorn or skepticism. I get it.

Next: Emptiness

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