Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
In the tradition of the old bike blog, I'm responding to an old post. I used to mountain bike exclusively, this was mainly because CHP (http://www.climbonline.org/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?board=cunningham) in NYC was two minutes from my apartment. Now I live in Tacoma, WA and the nearest mtn. biking requires a car ride. Due to this I've sort of re-discovered my love of bicycling and bicycles in general.
Concurrently I saw a 1936 Rollfast at a garage sale this summer for $25. It was beautiful and I had to have it, so I coughed up the cash and brought it home. Searching on the Internet I began to learn about vintage bicycles, antique bicycles, balloon-tire pre-war bicycles, etc. etc. My search led me to blogs such as this and exploded a new interest/hobby/obsession within me.
I also discovered that to totally restore it to it's original state (won't even discuss the paint job - it appears new) will cost me several hundred if not thousands of of dollars for parts on e-bay. I bought this bike because it looked beautiful, and would love to see it restored to its original condition, but not at that price! I have lovingly taken the whole thing apart, cleaned rust, grime, and dirt off of metal parts, re-lubed many parts, purchased ball bearings, bearing grease, cleaning agents, rust removal agents, copper wool, wire brushes. Halfway through this process I discovered a new hobby/obsession, but also new that I don't have the cash to restore the bike all the way. Nor do I want to. I want to learn from it and ride it (actually make it a b-day present for my wife to ride.) I don't have the cash to re-chrome fender braces, trusses, chain-rings , and the handlebars which somebody painted black; I can't justify the $75 for a tank that's currently on e-bay, or the cost of a NOS light and generator. And on and on... So I'm compromising.
I'm going to clean and fix the best I can. New white walls, tubes, rim tape. Going to purchase (gasp) white spokes (one extra expense) because they will look cool with the red/white paint scheme, gonna teach myself how to true a wheel and then re-build the wheel with the newly cleaned New Departure Hub and white spokes. I got a cheap rack off of e-bay, which I will put on even though it's not an original 8-hole style rack. I got a set of non-painted black handlebars really cheap too, going to add those.
So in the end the Rollfast will be a present to my wife. It will have given me hours of enjoyment learning how older bikes were built, it will have the feel and look of a fat-tire vintage bicycle, some new parts, some non-accurate parts, some old cleaned parts, and some rusty, not shiny, not beautiful parts. For an original investment of $25 I'd say that's a bargain.
Wow, that's a lot. The point is I don't believe historically accurate restoration is for me. I don't have the patience or the money for it. I want to ride, ride, ride. Not collect, restore, and display. I'll leave that to others better equipped for it.
I'll send you some pics of the Rollfast, along with the 1975 Schwinn Suburban (rootbeer color, $15 at a garage sale), 1968 Women's Columbia Rambler ($35, still has sparkly purple-pink paint), Centrix Cruiser ($20 have no idea what this is or where it's from) and all the other bikes I pick up along the way.
Thanks Thom for an excellent and informative blog!!!
Monday, December 8, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Suspect Arrested in Fatal Hit and Run With BicyclistALPINE – An Alpine man suspected in Tuesday's fatal hit-and-run collision with a bicyclist was arrested Thursday night after he went into a bar in view of the victim's friends and family at a candlelight vigil, authorities said. Relatives and friends of Edward Costa, 30, of Alpine were gathered at the spot on Alpine Boulevard near East Victoria Drive where he was killed, California Highway Patrol Officer Brian Pennings said. About 6:15 p.m., some in the group saw a white Ford F150 pickup with front-end damage drive past and pull into the Liars' Club bar parking lot, Pennings said. He said the witnesses, knowing the CHP was looking for a truck of that description as the hit-and-run vehicle, called the county Sheriff's Department. Deputies found Travis Weber, 44, in the bar and detained him for the CHP. Pennings said Weber was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving to the bar and on suspicion of felony manslaughter and hit-and-run from Tuesday night's collision. Pennings said the CHP received hundreds of tips, and Weber was one of several people mentioned by tipsters as a possible suspect in the case. Investigators had been trying to find Weber and the others named. Pennings said officers are confident that Weber was the driver behind the wheel of the Ford pickup, which was towed Thursday night as evidence.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
"Just needs a little TLC," read the hand-lettered cardboard sign taped to the top tube. "Looking for a good home." A sloppy two-tone paint job and an acute, framewide case of rust didn't leave me swooning. But when I picked up my find I understood the owner's urgency. The bicycle wasn't only feather light but was also exquisitely balanced, fluid almost, like the bones of the wind. I recalled an early 20th-century advertisement I had once seen of bicycles with wings, of riders gliding like blue-sky gods. It was almost dark, so I drew the frame closer and, even with my relatively uneducated eye, I saw things: ornate lugwork, Campagnolo components, an old, English-made Brooks saddle.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
My favorite part is the chainring with the letters "NR", which I can only assume stands for "Nottingham Raleigh" (Update: nope, it's R.I.N. for Raleigh Industries Nottingham; the "I" is a bit hard to see). I haven't been able to find any other examples on the intertubes of this particular chainring design (wrong again--apparently common for brands taken over by Raleigh. See this thread at OldRoads.com, about 2/3 down the page, as well as this bike).
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I'm pleased to announce a new periodic feature on the Old Bike Blog, written by Shelly from Riding Pretty. Shelly will be guest-blogging about green products and methods for cleaning and fixing-up your old (or new) bike. I'll be returning the favor by guest-blogging at Riding Pretty about some basic tasks to confront at the beginning of an old bike refurbishing, including changing tires and tubes, adjusting saddle and handlebar height, chain care, brake maintenance, and lots of other things.
Both features will be aimed at helping new cyclists get to work on that old Schwinn or Huffy that's been collecting dust in the garage, but more experienced gear-heads might benefit too, especially from Shelly's green tips and tricks. So, watch this space over the coming weeks for Shelly's guest posts, and check out Riding Pretty for my bike care basics.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
The scan of the logo:
And my ham-fisted rendering (with full, pouty lips):