amanda told me this morning of 2 used bikes in their backyard that i could have for free. i borrowed the car and went to pick it up a little bit after noontime. elias was working from home and helped me load the bicycles. he also invited me to go see the latest x-men movie at the harvard loews.

the first bike is a 1975 raleigh men 3-speed. in the cafe basement exists a 1973 women raleigh 3-speed. i've never riden that bike before because the hub gear is stuck and i never took the time to learn how to fix it. this 1975 raleigh didn't seem to be in that bad a shape at first, other than the 2 flat tires and some cosmetic rust on the fenders and handlebar.

closer inspection revealed some trouble spots, all having to do with the wheels. the tires have long since detached from the rims, allowing water to seep through. this bike sat outside for many years, and during that time, the inside of the rims have corroded away to the point where the rust comes off in flakes. not only that, but spider and moths have laid eggs as well. also at least one of the spokes was broken on the rear wheel, creating misalignment in the tension.

other issues: entirely missing the rear brake, even though there are guides on the frame where the brake line is supposed to be. maybe the hub gear has coaster brakes, i'll have to look into that; the bike seat is torn up in the corner; the rubberized handlebar grips have cracked and are ready to fall off; the handlebar gear shifter has no readout (although not entirely necessary, since there's only 3 gears).

the one good thing about this raleigh is the hub gear still works and seems to be in surprisingly pristine condition considering how rusted the rest of the bike is. to get this bike in working condition, i'd have to replace both wheels (rims, tires, tubes). the back wheel would have to be custom-built (lacing my own spokes) in order to reuse the hub gear. i'm not sure how much it'd cost but it might be cheaper just to buy a used raleigh 3-speed instead of trying to restore this one.

the 2nd bike was a trek 850 women mountain track. it belonged to the ex-girlfriend of the guy who lived below amanda and elias (he since married his new girlfriend and moved to the suburbs). this is the same bike model that my former roommate pau was riding during his stay here (his borrowed bike was a men style and taller frame); i remember it from its distinctive 3 cable guides on the top tube. the 850 is in amazingly good shape considering it'd been sitting outside for at least 6 years. the wheels don't even any rust on them! nor the frame! the only part that's rusted is the handlebar.

just from looking at it i can tell this was a working bike. it has all its reflectors, a bracket for a headlight, and a rear light i still attached to the seatpost (although no batteries and the casing has fallen off). it even has a rear rack (although for some reason the mounting screws are missing). the shifters are also fancy, indexed with windows.

the only thing wrong with it is that the chain has rusted solid. i can probably work it free with some WD-40, or the worst case scenario is i break the chain (that's probably a good idea to replace the chain anyway).

once the trek 850 is fixed, i'm tempted to make that my everyday bike, because it seems like a better fit. the 800 i'm riding now is okay, but it's actually just a bit tall for me. i don't like the 26" x 2" mountain bike tires though; i might want to replace them with thinner 26" x 1.75" cruiser tires.

i returned the car to the cafe, where i had my bicycle. i rode to belmont to replace the front shifter cable on the ross 10-speed. i was hoping to run into my mother before she went to work so i could fix the bike and she should ride it, but she left before i got there. changing out the shifter cable was easy since i didn't need to spool the cable through any indexed shifter (the ross has lever shifters). i also didn't need to cut any housing, just reusing the old ones. my sister came back home and made a late lunch of dumplings and xiaolongbao, which i had some (i hadn't eaten all day, by then it was almost 3:00). when my father came home we did some test runs with the different bicycles (not the ones i got today, which were still at my place waiting to be fixed).

i returned home around 4:00, bringing back some singaporean rice noodles my mother had made (and gave to my father to give to me). after a shower and some news, i left for harvard square around 6:00. i took the bike, knowing i might want to come back quickly so i could watch the end of the stanley cup finals.

i bumped into elias after i bought my ticket. we met up with his friend meg and her boyfriend scott. some more of their friends showed up, followed by amanda.

x-men: first class wasn't a movie high on my list of films to see this summer, but i'm usually receptive to scifi movies of any kind. i'm not a big fan of the original x-men trilogy, felt like it dumbed down the story for the summer blockbuster crowd. i would've much rather preferred a more serious treatment (like the dark knight), but how serious can you get with costumed mutants fighting evildoers? x-men: first class seems to be more serious, or maybe it just looks serious because it takes place in the 60's, during the height of the cold war. james mcavoy and michael fassbender definitely amps up the acting pedigree, playing charles x and magneto respectively. i sort of wish they didn't cut short their friendship so soon, maybe carry it into the sequels (which i can't believe there won't be). i'd watch a whole movie with just professor x and magneto hanging out. i'm still on the fence about jennifer lawrence casting as mystique. i like lawrence well enough, but i don't know if she's the best actress to play mystique. likewise, january jones as emma frost? was it because they wanted an actress who seemed frigid? or just one who can't act very well? were they out of sexy blondes in hollywood the day they were casting? as for the other mutants, did the writers screw around with marvel comic canon? i've heard of havok and banshee, but were they members of the x-men? and i don't remember a girl with fairy wings from the comic, or any mutant named darwin. the film has its good parts and has its bad parts as well. since it's marketed to a mass audience, everything has to be explained multiple times in case you weren't smart enough to infer the relevant info. the movie explanation of the cuban missile crisis is especially heavy-handed, featuring military figures (both US and soviet) standing in front of massive maps and pointing to targets.

after the movie i excused myself from partaking in some shared frozen yogurt experience to go back home and watch the stanley cup. turning on the tv, i was anxious to see the score...1-0, boston! it was still the 2nd period. the bruins then scored again. and again. 3-0! the closer we got to possibly winning, the slower time seemed to creep along. even at 3-0, it didn't feel safe. the bruins played so poorly in vancouver, i was waiting for the momentum to shift. and since boston hadn't won a single game in canada during the finals, why should it be different now? the bruins ended up scoring again with less than 3 minutes left in the game. 4-0! and then it was over. the bruins had won the stanley cup, completing the boston quadfecta of having every major sports team (red sox, celtics, patriots, now bruins) winning a championship within the past 6 years.