Cruising Along

Last year I fixed up a simple cruiser for my daughter to ride.

It is a Huffy of indeterminate age. Mostly I cleaned a lot of rust although the chrome fenders were in good shape. I did replace the fender stays and the handlebars, both of which had no chrome under the rust. I repacked the wheel and headset bearings.

The seat and grips were new along with the white wall tires. I added the Wald Grocery basket on the front and it makes a nice ride.

I did a lot of cleaning. The decals were pretty messed up but the blue metallic paint was in good shape. So I used a heat gun to get the decals off and a Black & Decker rotary tool to remove rust and plush the finish. My other favorite trick (found on the internet of course) to remove rust is to put some diet soda on the area and rub it with aluminum foil. You can use regular soda but it makes a sticky mess because of the sugar.
My daughter seems to like this bike pretty much. She rode with me to a local farm to get some vegetables. It is 15 miles round trip and there are some pretty decent hills. She tackled them pretty well on this single speed. On one particularly steep section she walked, but she got back on before the top when the slope eased off a little. I think she would have made even the steep section but the swept back handlebars don’t give the best leverage for standing up and climbing.
If you are thinking of tackling a project like this for a commuter or errand bike, I would encourage you to go for it. I didn’t spend much money and got a lot of satisfaction from the finished bike.
  • rapunzel

    Best of luck, TC!  I know that gripping fear quite well.  Except in my case, it didn’t have to do with a race but was wrapped around climbing 3 of taller peaks in GA.  (I blogged about this experience, too.) For now, just know that you’ve already by-passed the single biggest fear that stops so many riders:  The “I can’t do it; so, I won’t even try” fear.  Now, you’re on to the “what if I can’t do it” fear, but be sure to acknowledge the other almost hidden fear of “what if I CAN do it”.  This one can affect you just as deeply, but most don’t give it the awareness it needs in order for it to be neutralized.


    Most of all…strange as this might sound… give yourself permission to fail.  B/c by doing so what you really do is give yourself permission to succeed.  Also, that “permission to fail” helps you more broadly define what success is.  So in the end, you’ll be happier, and you’ll enjoy the experience of these races more.


    Btw, yes, I did end up climbing those 3 dreaded mountains.  (Boy, was I ever surprised!)  Afterwards, I realized that it was my willingness to be “okay” with “failing” that ultimately gave myself permission to succeed.  You, too, might surprise yourself!  That, in itself, is a really cool feeling.  So, blog on.  B/c after the season is done, you’ll have the ability to look back and realize just how far you’ve come.