Long Week!

Gunnar’s folks were on a work trip in Norway this last week.  My mom and Hill were at a conference/workshop.  So it was me and Gunnar.  It seemed like a good time to build him a bike.  He’s not very big.  Most of the commercial offering for people under 4 feet tall is pretty paltry.  Bikes made out of scaffolding pipe with tin parts hanging from them.  What parent wants to spend a lot of money on a bike that their kid will grow out of in a year!?  But that’s short sighted.  There will be other kids!!  So.  Gunnar will be the first owner of a bike that gets passed around the family, and neighborhood.

8 hour days in the shop making bikes is pretty tiring for me.  Doing it WHILE looking after an 8 year old (“hey.. uncle Ezra..  What if this thing was a bazoooka and it had knives attached to it and…  “) is another thing entirely.

“gunnar!  seriously.  I’m trying to figure out how to bend your chain stays so they’ll make it around the tire!  I have to concentrate.  Can’t think about Bazookas”

“oh. .  .  .  .  .     uncle Ezra.   Do you want to hear the whole first scene of Romeo and Juliet?”

It had been my intention to document the whole thing.  Maybe even film some of it.  But I found that my brain was spread SO thin that JUST getting the bike built was about all I could do.  A little preview of (“Two households, both alike in dignity,  In fair veronna where we lay our scene.. “) what it will be like to be a stay at home dad who builds bikes, while Hill is out in the world PHD-ing things.

“Can I have a PB and J”

“Another!?”

“Yes”

“Well.  Can I have another cup of coffee?”

“No.  Not until those..   What are those called?  are brazed to that thing.”

“Midget task master!”

By day three we were really starting to hit our stride.  We made a playlist of story songs that we listened to more or less on a loop.  Gunnar learned the lyrics to just about every song.  (“Like my eyes ain’t green and my hair ain’t yella, it’s more like the other way arooouuund!!“) My brain expanded a bit and I was able to focus a little better on multiple things.  Juliette’s suicide by dagger, and brake caliper clearance vis a vis seat stays simultaneously (try that, Janus).

“oh man, Gunnar..  That was a stinky fart!!”

“wasn’t me.  I think it must have been you..”

“Gunnar.  Seriously.  In my particular condition, you KNOW it’s pretty obvious when I fart, and that the smell stays in the bag!”

“Well.  It wasn’t me .  .  .      find him, bind him, tie him to a pole and break his fingers to splinters..

We had a good time.  Managed to finish the bike just in time to have a bit of a ride before he packed up to go visiting grand-parents in Minnesota.  Of six or seven races around the park, I only managed to win one.  It may have been the 98 degree heat, but I feel like the finish line kept moving (G was the official course setter,naturally).

Somewhere in the shuffle of things, between the bottom bracket and the headset, I think, Hillary left for a conference in North Carolina.  She’ll stay on after for a week or so to visit family.  Gunnar took off to the airport at 4:30 this morning.  My Sam will be leaving for the summer on Sunday.  Suddenly it’s a little quiet around here.  Just me and Em until Tuesday, when the Italians arrive..

13 Responses to “Long Week!”

  1. megan

    your super lovely life. sounds like you had a good partner in crime. so glad for you. keep at it. you are fantastic.

  2. RC

    Reading your blog brings happiness to my heart. I love your way with words. Gunnar is extremely lucky to have you as an uncle but I’m guess you feel the same way about him being your nephew.

  3. Mark Lin

    Awesome awesome awesome!

  4. Tyler

    That is a really sweet bike. He’ll ride the snot out of that thing. Beautifully done.

  5. ashley

    I LOVE posts like this. Love. It.
    Fun in the shop:)
    Any chance you could tell us what the top pose has to do with measuring bikes? Er… hang the frame around your neck and point your pistol to the left?

  6. Heidi

    “Preview”? Is there something you forgot to mention to your dear readers? :-)

  7. Isaac

    Ah! My little brothers are in this phase, too, where bike shopping is a little tough, but just as exciting for me being able to tinker with their new whips. Dual discs on a bike that small? Talk about stopping power…

  8. Mikkel

    I’ve been following your your work, pictures and bikes for a while now. I’ve felt glad when things went right for you and sad when they didn’t.
    The difference in tone and subjects of the latest blog post have taken a turn towards more positive news, and the entertainment value is difinetely escalating.
    Also, disk brakes on a kid’s bike – I was going to say that Gunnar is going to be unstopable, but that is oximoronic. Quite surely the most awesome little bike ever built!

  9. Alicia

    Uh, oh… the Italians are coming. I kinda expect this to be something big.

  10. Matt

    Hah, excellent! Gunnar must be thrilled!

  11. Ren Evets

    So what DOES happen when you fart?

  12. penny

    whoa. Gunner is LUCKY. I have twin 10 year olds and we’ve been looking for a reasonable, well-built bike (we get hit double time in the pocket book) for both of them and it’s not an easy task. I think they would side with Gunnar that that beautiful bike would really be complete with a small armory attached.

  13. Torsten

    Sweet. Guns AND bicycles AND farting, all at the same time. I assume there was open flame during the brazing, too, which means that all was well in BoyLand.

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