Tales from Rental Hell- assemblies and more assemblies

About every three weeks I’ve been receiving a shipment of bicycles from Jamis.  Usually 36 or 40 at a time.  A few have been personal purchases for management and board members of the larger planned unit development the rental company is located within.  Since I had finished all the 2010 rental cruisers off season refurbisments, I started on building the 2011 bikes that have been delivered.

Many of these bikes have been a Jamis Explorer 1, a seven-speed comfort pathway bike.  We rent these at a slightly higher price then the usual coaster brake equipped beach cruisers.  The company is also selling these as new retail bikes.  Out of the 40 odd that were purchased, we’ve sold one.  About half of these bikes had the seat post/saddle assembly put together backwards.  No big deal, except the clamping bolt had been stripped out by over tightening at the factory.

Then there were 30 little 16″ bikes with training wheels.  The training wheels add what management considers an unacceptable amount of time to assemble, but essential.  Thankfully my son’s English class required he learned how to assemble something, then write an instructional paper about what was assembled, then the teacher challenged the kids to find something original.   I instructed him how to assemble the training wheels, saving me the “unacceptable” extra time.  He and I assembled 20 bikes in 7 hours!  He assembled the training wheels perfectly every time!  He received a 105 on his paper, which included a 15 point bonus for originality.

Ever seen a Fuji Shakalaka?  It was a premium beach cruiser sold by Fuji for a few years.  A frame found its way into the junk pile at work, supposedly destined for recycling.  The frame was missing the wheels, chain, seat, and seat post.  I brought it home, after some roadside scrutiny from the Bluffton police department, and went about restoring it.  The frame cleaned up nicely with WD-40.  I then put a set of Ritchey 26″ x 2.1″ Moby-Bite tires on a set of cruiser wheels I had laying about.  Those tires are completely slick with no tread design at all.  Installed a new chain, then a cup holder, and finally the borrowed the seat and post off my wife’s beach cruiser, and voila, a nice looking beach bike for myself and maybe my son.

If the cold doesn’t kill me, the utility bill will.  Never thought I’d see a heater freeze up in the winter, but I had one do that when it snowed the day after Christmas.  It is a heat pump that prone to freezing up below 25°F.  I’ve also seen a navigable, salt water, tidal river have a coat of ice on it, with ice on the bridge over it.

That’s all for now.