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Old 08-16-09, 08:56 PM   #1
calamarichris
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My Two-Wheeled Bride (Masi)

When I was a junior USCF racer in Walnut, CA in 1986, this frame hung up in the shop for years, growing dusty. I asked how much she cost, but back then I was only making $4.35/hour bagging groceries at Albertsons (which was a miserable job, but excellent preparation for a life of drudgery in the killbot factory.) I can't remember the name of the shop, but I spent the night in early November 1987 before I left for boot-camp working in that shop on my Schwinn Peloton. This memory is vivid to me because some smart alec said, "Man, if I were leaving for the Army tomorrow morning, I wouldn't be in here; I'd be in Hollywood trying to catch social diseases!" Perhaps our perversions are the only things that make us unique:


I was so overjoyed when I came home on leave for Christmas the following year (1988) and saw her still up in the corner near the ceiling. Really. I distinctly remember getting light-headed and reaching for a wall or a counter to steady myself. I paid $1100 for the frame, even though my Army pay as a PFC was about $680 per month.


I raced my Masi at many USCF races around Austin, TX when I was stationed at Fort Hood and placed in enough races to eventually become a Cat-3. Killeen, TX is a miserable place and I couldn't even afford a car, but still considered myself a rich man with my Masi next to my bunk in the foot-smelling barracks.


Then I was reassigned to Limburg, Holland's southernmost geographical nutsack hanging boldly between Germany and Belgium. My Masi and I got dropped in many races there, and we had many memorable adventures, including a trip down to Luxemburg in which it rained constantly and I was soaked by muddy pig-manure from the farm roads. (Haha, that would have been pretty miserable even if she had fenders, which she didn't.) While riding in Valkenburg, I snapped the right drop-out, so I had to mail my Masi to Cyclart. They did a pretty good job and also added a second set of bottle-cage bosses.


Sharp eyes may detect the faint dent in my Masi's seat tube, and the fact that the drop-outs are no longer horizontal. This is because we ate a guard rail while riding with the UC-Santa Barbara cycling team. As a GI-Bill Baby, I wasn't making enough money to buy a new bike, so I paid this arrogant guy named Bob to replace my destroyed rear triangle. I was too busy studying to keep up with the news, but while waiting in the shop, I heard about this guy named Pantani that everyone was so crazy about.


Cyclart did such a great job the first time, that I took my Masi to them again 15 years later. When I took her in, they told me that she was actually made back in 1984 (which is when I was a highschool freshman) right here in Carlsbad where I live now, which is only a bizarre coincidence, I promise. When I turned 36, I finally caved in and bought one of those fancy new carbon-alloy Felts, but by that time I'd been riding this Gran Criterium for almost exactly half of my life.

I'm glad I can finally afford to adorn her in finer jewelry than when I was younger. We've ridden tens of thousands of miles together, some were pure happiness and others unfortunately introduced me to the profoundly memorable taste of pig manure. No mere possession, she; more the light of my life and fire of my loins. Perhaps it's unhealthy to get so much joy from a vehicle, (or even a 'handsome rolling device') but sickness is a mere epithet by those who don't understand.



Last edited by calamarichris; 10-07-15 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 08-16-09, 09:21 PM   #2
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wonderful story. wonderful bike. Many years and stories to come, i'm sure.
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Old 08-16-09, 09:22 PM   #3
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beautiful bike!
nicely said...
that is very cool!
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Old 08-17-09, 02:18 AM   #4
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Fabulous! Thanks for sharing this with us, a pleasure to read.
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Old 08-17-09, 02:40 AM   #5
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+1, great story behind the evolution of your Masi. Sounds like you have had a lot of great times with that one. Do you have any old pictures of it?
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Old 08-17-09, 03:22 AM   #6
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Best bike picture novel of 2009! Hands down!

So does your profession now have something to do with writing, photography, or both?
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Old 08-17-09, 03:29 AM   #7
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That was absolutely beautiful--the photos, the story. You should really expand that into a short story or novel. You have a great writing style.
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Old 08-17-09, 04:50 AM   #8
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You do realize a lot of guys will be hitting on your gal, right?

Very cool pictorial. fwiw - that's the only Masi I've ever seen with a Brooks saddle. Every other one I've seen has a unica nitor, or similar.
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Old 08-17-09, 10:11 AM   #9
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I blush at your kind compliments. Thank you!
I was feeling pretty giddy after my first ride on her yesterday in several years. For the last year, I've been buying parts on Ebay and trying different things, (including C-Record Delta brakes, which I learned require a 22mm rim to give the proper leverage to the scissors-jack actuation (which is another reason felt compelled toward hybrid-vigor over making her purely Italian.))

I've got a few pics from the old days, but they're film and not the best quality. I'll see if I can dig them up.
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Old 08-17-09, 10:25 AM   #10
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Oh and the time we ate a guardrail was pretty funny. All these guys on the team had stopped and were freaking out and yammering questions like, "What's your mother's maiden name?!?!"
Then when I answered, they looked at each other, then back and me and said in unison, "Wait, is that right?"
I'd crushed my lycra-covered Giro helmet and little white styrofoam balls were falling out of it. I jokingly said, "Oooh look you guys, it's SNOWING!" which only made them more nervous; (apparently they didn't see the little balls and therefore didn't get the joke.)
Hahaha-what a hopeless fred I was.
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Old 08-17-09, 01:47 PM   #11
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thanks for the great thread
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Old 08-17-09, 01:53 PM   #12
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Just awesome.

The stories behind these vintage bikes make it so fun and interesting to read.
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Old 08-17-09, 01:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calamarichris View Post
Oh and the time we ate a guardrail was pretty funny. All these guys on the team had stopped and were freaking out and yammering questions like, "What's your mother's maiden name?!?!"
Then when I answered, they looked at each other, then back and me and said in unison, "Wait, is that right?"
I'd crushed my lycra-covered Giro helmet and little white styrofoam balls were falling out of it. I jokingly said, "Oooh look you guys, it's SNOWING!" which only made them more nervous; (apparently they didn't see the little balls and therefore didn't get the joke.)
Hahaha-what a hopeless fred I was.
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Old 08-17-09, 02:11 PM   #14
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great thread and beautiful bike! i really enjoyed "killbot factory" ;-)
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Old 08-17-09, 05:32 PM   #15
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That's one big bike. Mine is an 89 that I bought new in 96. Has about 22,000 miles on it. It sat in the garage for a few years while I rode my Merckxs but I resurected it this year with Ultegra 10 and I'm glad I did.
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Old 10-07-15, 06:46 PM   #16
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Officially re-bumping this great thread. What a gorgeous Masi, and what a man-bike love story. I too entered boot camp in 1987, and ended up with one of my few barracks possessions being a road bike, a Trek 560. I was a Marine and took that thing around the world, eventually selling it like a fool...A Fool!
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Old 10-07-15, 06:53 PM   #17
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Glad you've kept the bike running all these years, and you have gotten a lot of enjoyment.
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Originally Posted by calamarichris View Post
Then I was reassigned to Limburg, Holland's southernmost geographical nutsack hanging boldly between Germany and Belgium. My Masi and I got dropped in many races there, and we had many memorable adventures, including a trip down to Luxemburg in which it rained constantly and I was soaked by muddy pig-manure from the farm roads. (Haha, that would have been pretty miserable even if she had fenders, which she didn't.) While riding in Valkenburg, I snapped the right drop-out, so I had to mail my Masi to Cyclart. They did a pretty good job and also added a second set of bottle-cage bosses.
I laughed pretty hard at that nutsack comment.
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Note to you BLOWHARD MORONS out there: The fork is not bent. Most PEUGEOTS of the '70s forks DID NOT line up with the head tube angle. This is normal. The last pic is from the 1972 Dutch catalog showing this EXACT MODEL in diagram. Keep your comments to yourself......
It's pronounced, "Co-burn."
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Old 10-07-15, 06:55 PM   #18
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I loved the one about pig-poo covered bike lanes in Luxembourg. I recently spent 3 years in that awesome cycling country, but every fall the bike lanes are used by farmers to lay manure...my first year I learned to use the roads in Oct through December!
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Old 10-07-15, 06:59 PM   #19
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Very Very Cool!!!
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Old 07-28-16, 03:38 PM   #20
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The Masi saga continues...

So my '84 Gran Criterium (that hung from the ceiling of my USCF racing team's shop until I bought it on Xmas 1987) has been mostly a wall-hanger with the C-Record crank, AX brakes (utterly useless, hahaha!)
So I've been compiling an NOS Ultegra 6400 tricolor group over the past few years (just noticed in this picture I accidentally acquired a second set of brifter levers, oops-dang) and am going to build my beloved old Masi into a rider, hopefully in time for the Masi 90th Anniversary celebration this weekend in Carlsbad Village not far from where my beloved Masi was built just over 30 years ago.



Here's what she looked like last night. Those ugly fast wheels are just place-holders until my C24s get in (of course now Wiggle just ran out of them and won't have them back until mid-August). Just got her back with freshened BB threads for the Phil Wood Ti bottom bracket. Sticking with yellow cable housings for brakes & shifters.
Will post more pics during the build-up. Might have some questions too.

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Old 07-28-16, 07:56 PM   #21
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Great tale, beauty of a bike!
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