Friday, July 1, 2011

I want to ride my bicycle...

Well, some of you were asking where in the world is this Papa fellow? To bring all of your concerns to rest, no, I didn't lock myself in the toolshed, instead I have been a busy with school work (Finals). Now that I am done and the summer heat settling in, I have had a bike bug eating away at my skin. As you may have already insinuated, we are a bike family. Thérèse has been on a bike since she was one and "bike" was one of the first signs she learned how to sign. (Momma has more to share on that subject in the future) Here is Thérèse on her first bike ride, child seat by WeeRide, check out their infomercial, it is quite humorous.

So, back to the killer bug, that has now inserted itself under my skin, sounds like a great start to a Sci-Fi B- movie. I wanted to build or restore a bike, either for me or to overhaul and sell again for more $$$. This hasn't been the first time I have attempted building bikes for recreation. Let me show you my small arsenal of bikes. 

This bike came to me from Craigslist, I found this man who had a shed full of old Schwinns that he had restored and was planning on restoring. He was selling a few rusty and dirty bikes, the one pictured above, which I believe is a Collegiate and a women's Schwinn Suburban, being brought up to get good bargains, I snagged both for $40.  Anyways, I low balled on this build and turned it in to a fixed gear, sold it after I rode it 60 some miles from San Bernardino to Huntington Beach on the San Andreas River Trail, with some of my favorite people.  

After that build, I wanted to have a utility bike. So I scoured Craigslist once more and found an orange bike. It was rattle canned by the previous owner but judging by the style of the frame I guessed it to be a Peugeot. 

I rode this bike to and from college from my parents house, through a place called Muscoy, sometimes at night. Over the years it has accumulated more stickers and not much of the orange shows through. The awesome front facing rack purchased from CETMA Racks

Then I found my Raleigh! Craigslist $35 for the frame. Turned it to a fixed gear. If Arisa would let me showcase this bike on our wall, over our bed, I would. I just want to apologize for the most horrific picture. When I finish projects whether it is day or night, I get overly excited and before you know it I am in the street under the street light taking this picture. 

Well, anyways it is the same bike pictured in our blog title picture. I don't ride this bike much, mostly just look at it and envision it with some high performance components on it and a Brooks saddle

Due to my limitation in bike knowledge, I have done some simple modifications to the bike's I have worked on and some help from local bike shops. Never had I taken a bike and restored it to its former glory, mainly because derailleurs and gears scare me. 

Flash forward to present day and I have just finished a restoration of another Raleigh. I found a Record Ace, with all original parts, Suntour components, original Raleigh cranks, Weinmann brakes, and original Raleigh Racing tires. Came across the bike on, yep you guessed it, Craigslist. An older gentleman was selling his old bike that he used to ride in college and to work, that he had kept all these years in a shed. And best of all, he wanted $30 for it. I saw a great deal under the layers of dirt and grease, that has been sitting on it for over  thirty years. 

Did I mention that older gentleman was about 6 feet tall. So obviously I could never ride this bike. Yet, I wanted to restore it. Luckily, for me my brother-in-law, who is currently living in Los Angeles, needs a means of transportation to and from work. He fancies himself a great photographer, Joseph Aaron. Kudos goes out to him for shooting our bike family picture. Hope you like your new bike. 

So, here she is in restored to her former glory. 

I wouldn't have been able to finish this restoration though without my newly acquired bike tools. I am overly pumped about getting more bike tools because I am that much closer to never having to take my bike to a bike shop for maintenance. Arisa was nice enough to allow me to buy them for my birthday, so happy early birthday to me!! I will be posting for those interested in finding old beater bikes, what to look for, when to spot a gem or a $$ sucker.

Enjoy your Fourth of July Weekend! 


jennru said...

The other day, I saw some guy merrily riding his bike down Telegraph. I wish I could of snagged a picture, but I didn't want to backtrack to take it. He kind of looked like this...

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