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Old 01-22-11, 07:57 AM   #1
RobbieTunes 
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Every bike has a story.....

A retiring relative or a fantastic facilitator?
A perserverant pursuit, or amazing accident?

There are a milliion bikes in the land, and each one has a story.

How you got it, how the parts arrived, or what particular human interaction did it take?

Share 'em, one at a time, and maybe wait a bit and then tell another, eh? Benevolent BF themes welcome.
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Old 01-22-11, 08:19 AM   #2
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A few years back when I was first getting back into riding I wanted a bike but couldn't afford a good one. At the time my idea of a good one was the type of bike you'd get for $150.00 at xmart. You know the story, I wasn't sure I'd stick with it and couldn't justify the cost, so I put a wanted ad on freecycle for old bikes in hopes I could fix up something to ride. That was successful in getting me many xmart junkers to play with and I did get a bike to ride from that.

The other techinique I used, which is the subject of this post was to put an ad on Craigslist in the wanted section stating that I was wanting a bike to ride but really couldn't afford a good one but would pay more than scrap value on old bikes. This was in hopes that some scrapper would see it and see a way of increasing their profit. What happened is I ended up getting an email from a guy who offered to give me his old 78 Motobecane Nomade. He and his wife had gotten new bikes and he had not ridden the Nomade in a while. He saw my post and thought I'd make a good owner for the bike.

The front wheel had a dent in it, but other than that the bike was functional. Sure it was entry level, but it was also a better quality bike, and closer to my size than anything I had ridden. Even though it was too small, the rides I took on that bike over the summer were great, it was so smooth, it sort of reminded me of skating or when you catch that perfect glide on x-country skis. I tried so hard to make that bike fit me, I put pedal extenders on it, I put an extra tall stem on it, I even hick-a-billy rigged a bmx layback seatpost into it, and it almost worked but in the end I had to admit defeat. Of course this was only after I'd gotten my Fuji that fits me.

Still his gift lives on. After I began riding, I started getting my bandmates to take a pre-practice ride every week when they'd come over. One of them got hooked and bought a brand spankin new Huffy mtn bike. Not surprisingly he has had no end of trouble with it. So last summer I fixed it up with new cables and swapped the bars and gave him the Nomade. It fits him like a glove and he loves it.

The bike as I tried to ride it:



The bike as he now rides it:


Last edited by BigPolishJimmy; 01-22-11 at 10:33 AM. Reason: Chopping it into bite size paragraphs as wisely suggested by afilado
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Old 01-22-11, 08:28 AM   #3
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In the late 80s, an avid mountain biker in Apex, NC purchased a 1988 Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo for himself. Less than a year later, he purchased another bike for his wife, a 1988 Nishiki Ariel. The Ariel was purchased as a leftover. Both bikes saw quite a bit of time on the local trails. After they moved on to newer bikes, the pair of old MTBs were loaned out to the local Boy Scout troop during camping trips where they received less than loving care. Fast forward.
In 2005, my youngest son turned 13. Unlike his older brother, he did not take care of his things. Envisioning that a brand new $300 Trek MTB would be left outside and stolen I decided to look for cheaper alternative so that I wouldn't be upset when the bike was stolen or wrecked. After a brief stint with a used Wally World bike that was junk, I went to a yard sale where the two bikes mentioned above were for sale. I paid $40 for the two. I gave my son his choice and he took the Hoo Koo E Koo. The poor Nishiki was now relegated to a parts bike or back up when the Hoo Koo E Koo was wrecked or lost. That is until I took it for a demo ride after lubing the chain. One ride and I was hooked. After many years with only a few bike rides, I now started riding the Nishiki at least twice a week, sometimes every day. Eventually we took our bikes on trails and I upgraded the Nishiki from a rigid fork to a suspension fork, no small acheivement given that it has a 1" threaded steer tube. The seatpost, saddle and tires were replaced and the bike hit the single track again. Within a few months I realized that the old Nishiki was just outdated as a technical trail bike and replaced it with a new Rockhopper. However, the Nishiki is still one of my main riders as it is the bike I use when I ride the American Tobacco Trail, a packed gravel/sand rails to trails. Here is the latest rendition of the bike that's responsible for returning me to cycling. It's still one of my favorites due to it's smooth ride, I don't know if I'll ever sell it.

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Old 01-22-11, 08:53 AM   #4
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I visit Atlanta frequently since my wife's side of the family live there and we were there from 1991-2001. My niece and nephew love to ride, and it is fun to go with them when visiting. But they are 5' and 5' 5" respectively, so their extra bikes do not fit my 6' 1" 250+lb frame.

Several years ago, a month before heading to Atlanta for a week in February, I started browsing CL to see if I could find a suitably sized bike my nephew could pick up and store for me. I spotted one of the mid to late '80s aluminum Schwinn road bikes, and contacted the seller. After a few emails we ended up speaking on the phone.

Well long story short and I mentioned my Paramount, and he asked if I had seen the one he had also listed on CL. Then as the conversation progressed, we realized we knew each other from C&V. I was speaking to mrmw!

A few days later my nephew picked up my '83 Paramount from mrmw. It's been a great love affair ever since.



Needless to say, I couldn't bear to leave it in Atlanta!

Now I store at my nephew's an equally impressive '81 Raleigh Superbe with the gold-chrome finish, also found on CL.
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Old 01-22-11, 09:12 AM   #5
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I don't know the history on this bike, but how I came upon it was a story. I responded to a CL ad for a Fuji Del Rey that was cheap. I had to take a ferry over to get it, so the seller told me he would meet at the boat dock(so I could walk on the ferry to save money). Well, he shows up with the Fuji(which needed some love). I helped him get it out of his truck, and there were 3 or 4 other bikes/frames in there. Turns out he is a metal scrapper and pulled these bikes from the landfill.

Anyhow, he saw me looking at the other bikes, and asked if I wanted them. I was pretty uneducated on vintage bikes, so I didn't know what bike worth saving in his pile. The Peugeot looked like the higher end bike, so I paid him $8 for it& $35 for the Fuji, and walked back on the ferry with 2 beat up bikes(got a few odd comments as well). Now I have a new friend, and we do trade stuff on occasion. Very nice guy, along with a great wife.

Here is what my $8 bought: The wheels that came on it are from a 70s PX10(I saw the same set of skewers sell for $111 the other day)



I'm into it about $100 now, and it is the bike that holds the most sentimental value(as of now) to me. It would have been melted down by now if I didn't come accross it.

Here is the build thread: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ild?highlight=


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Old 01-22-11, 09:17 AM   #6
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I find it difficult to read - no, I don't read - stories where all the sentences run together for half a page. Please break it up into shorter, logically organized paragraphs to make it more approachable.

I don't want to miss anything.

J

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Old 01-22-11, 09:25 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by afilado View Post
I find it difficult to read - no, I don't read - stories where all the sentences run together for half a page. Please break it up into shorter, logically organized paragraphs to make it more approachable. I don't want to miss anything.

J


tldr

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Old 01-22-11, 09:27 AM   #8
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Please break it up into shorter, logically organized paragraphs to make it more approachable.
+1 thanks.

And Roger, that Pug looks fabulous!
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Old 01-22-11, 09:39 AM   #9
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BPJ, it has little to do with being too long. A good story, on the page, should appeal to the eye as well as the mind.

Anyway, I read that story first time around. You owe us a fresh one.

J

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tldr

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Old 01-22-11, 09:45 AM   #10
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BPJ, it has little to do with being too long. A good story, on the page, should appeal to the eye as well as the mind.

J
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Old 01-22-11, 09:48 AM   #11
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Old 01-22-11, 10:06 AM   #12
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Benevolent BF themes welcome.

Some here may have heard snippets of this previously. I put just a whole bunch of training miles on this excellent Centurion Elite RS last year. It turns out that the guy I bought it from in fall of '06 is a fellow C&Ver. He did a solid deal and it has been a joy to ride.

Thanks, Treebound.



(Of course, with temps at -5˚ yesterday, this scene looks somewhat different now.)
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Old 01-22-11, 10:29 AM   #13
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In 2008 while my wife was in Ghana bringing home our newly adopted daughter I got the hankering to buy another bike to put on the indoor winter trainer. I had just gotten back into cycling pretty hard that year, after a few off, and didn't want to abuse my only road bike year round.

I stopped by a bike shop 50 miles from my house while working one day and my eyes instantly went to a blue and yellow Gitane. I knew it was a decent bike, but wasn't real familiar with the brand. I had another appointment so I took a couple of photos and posted them here on C&V with a request for some input. 45 minutes later I headed back to the shop. The shop guys told me a man in his 70's had traded the bike and two vintage Bianchis (they were gone quickly) in for a hybrid at his wife's urging. His wife supposedly made him get rid of the bikes.

The price was $199 but would include a quick tune up and a new spoke for the rear wheel. I agreed to come back 5 days later to pick it up. I waited impatiently to say the least. The bike also had two sets of bars - the old "one piece" huge triathlon/aero style bars and regular drop bars. The shop would switch those for me.

When I showed up the following week the shop manager says "I told you $150, right". "Um, yeah" was my reply. I was a little disappointed to get home and realize they didn't fix the spoke and the Simplex SX 630 rear derailleur had a broken jockey wheel - but those were easily fixed.

The bike rode fantastically and started my love affair with French bikes all over again and accelerated my descent into the black hole known as C&V.



I put almost 1400 miles on the bike in 2009. The bike is now sporting tubular Mavic set up to save some weight and the original Module E's are hanging in the shop. It rides even better now.
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Old 01-22-11, 10:30 AM   #14
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I don't know the history on this bike, but how I came upon it was a story. I responded to a CL ad for a Fuji Del Rey that was cheap. I had to take a ferry over to get it, so the seller told me he would meet at the boat dock(so I could walk on the ferry to save money). Well, he shows up with the Fuji(which needed some love). I helped him get it out of his truck, and there were 3 or 4 other bikes/frames in there. Turns out he is a metal scrapper and pulled these bikes from the landfill.

Anyhow, he saw me looking at the other bikes, and asked if I wanted them. I was pretty uneducated on vintage bikes, so I didn't know what bike worth saving in his pile. The Peugeot looked like the higher end bike, so I paid him $8 for it& $35 for the Fuji, and walked back on the ferry with 2 beat up bikes(got a few odd comments as well). Now I have a new friend, and we do trade stuff on occasion. Very nice guy, along with a great wife.

Here is what my $8 bought: The wheels that came on it are from a 70s PX10(I saw the same set of skewers sell for $111 the other day)



I'm into it about $100 now, and it is the bike that holds the most sentimental value(as of now) to me. It would have been melted down by now if I didn't come accross it.

Here is the build thread: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ild?highlight=


Great story!! Wish i could run up on stuff like that, seems like around here in Redneckville, all you ever see for sale are cheapo mountain bikes and kid's bikes... =( The Pug turned out very sweet!!

andy
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Old 01-22-11, 11:19 AM   #15
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Several years ago, I opened an email and the contents included the question - do you know of anyone who would be interested in this old bicycle? There was a single picture enclosed...


To make this long story short, and you can read the long version, if you want to. The fellow gave me the bicycle for free and even insisted on paying for shipping to Duluth.

Well, I went to Duluth to pick the bicycle up and while there, for twenty dollars, I bought this early seventies Atala Record 101 Professional and a set of near NOS Cinelli old double logo criterium bars that are fitted to my mid seventies Marinoni to this day.

Now, that is my best "how I found the bicycle" story, the Coles version;-)
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Old 01-22-11, 03:35 PM   #16
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Probably the most interesting story I have to tell about classic bicycles happened around 2001. I had just gotten back into cycling after about a 13 year layoff. I started back trail riding with one of my old rigid fork mountain bikes with a soft-ride stem. Lot's of strange looks.
A year or so later i retrieved my Guerciotti team bike from my parents house. These team bikes were all custom painted by Ten Speed Drive in a unique neon orange & green paint scheme for our team in Gainesville Ga. The minimum order for the custom color & team graphics was 12 or 15 bikes. I was studying design at the time & designed the team kit. It was a fun project to be part of. The idea was to get noticed with the bright colors & that was the trend for the late 80's. In fact one of the chain department stores photographed one of our team riders in a race & used that image as the screen image to sell color TV's. Cool time for us! As we were trying to get the order together for the 15 bikes we ran into a snag. TSD did not have one of the Guerciotti's in a size that we needed. Somehow the owner & TSD worked it out to have a Tommaso, TSD's house brand, painted in the team colors with Guerciotti decals to meet the order.
Fast forward back to 2002. I posted my Guerciotti on the Campy Only website in the area for older bikes. Several months later I get an email from a fellow in the mid west saying he has a Guerciotti painted exactly like mine except it has T's engraved in various places. He says he found it on the curb in a pile of trash. He gave me the serial number, I called my friend who was on the team back then. He managed to kept a record of the serial numbers & original owners. The guy in the mid west did have the Tommaso / Guercioti team bike, the odd ball of the 12 or 15 original bikes & he found it on the curb. Kind of an neat story.
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Old 01-22-11, 04:27 PM   #17
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Years ago, when I was starting to tinker on Ironman bikes, I got a note from A.Winthrop, alerting me to an odd bird, an Italian-made Centurion with lineage that was fairly unknown at the time. It was in California, and a 52cm, but Ashley urged me to get it. With the auction ending at 4 pm EST and 1 pm PST, the odds of getting a decent price were good. The day I won it for $356 + shipping, I sold a 52cm Ironman for $300 shipped to a guy 8 miles from the "Italian" Centurion. If he'd have only known. He recognized me as the eBay buyer, and sent me a chagrined note.

The bike arrived, labeled Cinelli and Centurion, with the ugliest lavender Centurion decals I've ever seen. Still, the lugs were nice and the mix of Campy and Ofmega stuff made me happy. I cleaned it up, finding it to be in great condition. After several tries with 130mm stems and long seatposts, I had to give it up as too small. My brother-in-law had just had his 54cm Marin stolen, and was looking for a "decent bike." He was not a C&V fan. After a little persuading, he agreed to purchase it, "in case it really is Cinelli-made."

He took a lot of flak from an '84 SC owner near him, so he asked me about "re-doing it more like a Cinelli." I agreed, purchased an '89 Chorus group from Spinz here on BF, had it painted with Ferrari Enzo paint, decals applied, and 4 coats of clear. We still didn't know the exact lineage, but he loved it, and the SC owner gave his grudging respect.


In the meantime, my search for one in my size began and was about to evaporate. On the value inquiry thread, one my size pops up, and I give it a value, in mint condition, which the owner then offers to sell for. A.Winthrop and JunkYardBike chime in to correct his selling price based on condition, and I end up with the bike. It was done and re-done into a couple versions, ending with what I have now. Ashley got the wheels, Night Tiger the crankset, and a BF friend in Germany secured the NR mini-group. I can't remember the BF member who got the Volare saddle.


I invite my brother-in-law to ride on a century last spring in NC. We take off and he settles in at his moderate pace, while I ride ahead with lsdmt and a couple others. My brother-in-law is riding along, when a man comes up behind him and asks him if he is RobbieTunes. Taken aback, he says "no, but I know him," and the guy says "I know your bike from the internet." Made his day, and he'll not forget meeting norskagent. He now has 3 C&V bikes.

Since then, we've found the man behind the Cinelli-made Centurion Equipe. The lineage is pure Cinelli, and my brother-in-law feels validated when he calls it a Cinelli, and not a Centurion. I kept the Centurion on my headbadge, and ride the bike like I stole it, which is pretty much the only way it will leave here until I'm fish food.

All my C&V bikes have BF backgrounds. I wouldn't have it any other way, given a choice.
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Old 01-22-11, 04:28 PM   #18
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OK - I know a few people have asked for pictures, and in typical me fashion (very slow), here they are, along with the story.

How I fell into the Hetchins.

The story started here about 5 years ago. One of the relatively active members of C&V at the time was Sammyboy. Many of us watched him post a whole series of very interesting catches from his neck of the woods (in England). What he came across seemed quite magical, and I got the wild idea to ask if he might be able to find a British bike that might have been like one a club rider would have ridden in the 50's. He agreed to keep an eye open for me, and within a couple weeks, he found a few possibilities. They were kind of interesting, but frankly, I was a bit lukewarm about the possibilities. Despite a teeny bit of reluctance, we agreed on a deal for a fairly ordinary bike from a larger maker (I think it was an entry level Claud Butler). I was about ready to pull the trigger on it, when he posted a picture of a small, black bicycle of a make I'd never heard of before - a J.A. Holland. I sent him a PM, asked him "how much?" and about 4 days later, it arrived.

Here's a picture of the frame:



The bike was complete, and I built it up, and took it to Cirque, where despite it being a bit tatty, I put it on display. A handful of people took some notice of it, including a fellow who had driven to the event from Colorado who noted that in his youth, he rode in the same club as the builder of the frame.

Fast forward a couple years. I had made reservations for a Room at Cirque, and I saw a note from him on the Classic Rendezvous list. I asked him if he would be coming to Cirque, and offered to bring the Holland for him to ride if he was planning on coming (the Holland is the perfect size for him, and I heard him vow that he would never be driving to Cirque again). He responded, telling me his daughter was due with his first Grandchild at about the time of Cirque, and that he wouldn't be able to attend that year. I sent him my congratulations and regret (he's a really nice fellow, and I'd be quite glad to see him again), and thought that the end of things.

A couple days later, I received an e-mail from him requesting pictures and information about the Holland. I answered him and sent him pictures, a bit puzzled by the request. The next day, I received another e-mail from him. He told me that he had a Hetchins that was a little bit too large for him (and perfect for me), and asked if I would be interested in a trade. My mind set to racing, but I was a little bit hesitant, because I felt I would be on the advantageous side of a rather lopsided trade. I told him of my concern, and we agreed on me throwing in a rather modest sum of money to help compensate for the disparity. I could tell he was excited at the prospect of receiving the Holland, and he told me he had been looking for one off and on for several years without success. We packed the frames, shipped them, and received them on the exact same day.

The day after receiving it, he sent me pictures of the Holland, fully assembled, and he said taken right after a 50 mile ride. It was taken with red fenders, which looked rather out of place on the bike. After another couple days, he sent me another e-mail, and told me to be on the lookout for another box. It arrived a few days later, and it contained a set of red, Bluemels fenders, a Hetchins jersey, and a wool Hetchins cap. He also included a print of an eBay auction he won showing the yellow fenders he purchased for the Holland, and a short note. I couldn't help but shed a few tears - both of thanks for his generosity, and of joy, knowing that he was obviously very, very happy with the Holland.

I built the Hetchins up with the fenders, and have taken it out a few times on nice days. The gearing is rather high, but the ride is wonderful. I have made a point to ensure I will be taking it out a few more times this year than I did the last two.

Here are a few pictures that someone else took of it:









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Last edited by USAZorro; 01-22-11 at 09:09 PM. Reason: clarity and accuracy
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Old 01-22-11, 05:02 PM   #19
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The frame was built 1979 by Tim Isaac under a contract to USCF to build frames for the 1980 US Olympic Cycling Team. This particular frame was a spare and spent some time on the road travelling with the team for training before the Olympics. Of course it never made it to Moscow because of the boycott protesting the USSR's involvement in Afghanistan. Hmm.

When I started at Trek in later 1980, Tim had recently been hired as the frame designer for Trek. The frame was sitting in a corner in Tim's office, somewhat beat-up and bare except for a Super Record headset and shifters. I pestered him about it and eventually he agreed to sell it to me. Around the same time, USCF returned the other team frames to Tim for repainting, so he threw it in with the rest of them and it got the paint job in the picture above.

I originally built it up the same way the other team bikes were built: all Super Record, sew-ups, etc. Since then some of the Campy stuff has migrated off. I no longer do well with 53/42 cranks, so it now sports a Zeus 2000 crank and BB with 48/36 chainrings. Derailluers, brakes, headset, seat post and hubs are still Campy but the shifters are Simplex Retrofriction. I have two sets of wheels for it: the original sew-ups and another clincher set with Record hubs and Campy Omega rims. Handlebars and stem are still old-logo Cinelli.

It's a fantastic ride, too!
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Old 01-22-11, 05:12 PM   #20
bikenut2011
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These are wonderful stories!!!

andy
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Old 01-22-11, 06:10 PM   #21
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As I entered the house at the side door, his dog greeted me and we descended the steps together. There, he had been diligently and lovingly adjusting the brake shoes for me, and he had just replaced the bar tape, as he didn’t want his old gal going off in rags, or limping.

He had purchased it in July of 1983 from the original owner in Ann Arbor, and then rode it for the next several years as his only mode of transport. The bike was plastered with strips of reflective tape, in a rainbow of colors, because, he said, he wanted to be seen at night.

He turned his attention back to adjusting the brake, trying to get it “just so”. I could see that he was parting with a loyal friend, and I wondered why.

He told me that he was ill, and couldn't ride it anymore.

There was no doubt. He was entrusting his bike to me, so I gave him the money, and he wrote me a receipt, on the back of his original receipt from 1983. He had paid $370 for it then. - I was certainly getting off easily.

I thanked him, and as I loaded it into my truck, he struck up a conversation with his neighbor. I felt that he welcomed the distraction at that moment, the moment that I pulled away.

I got home and I got busy. I tore it down to the bones, and I cleaned every bit. – And I labored to remove every bit of that infernal reflective tape: I wanted it to look good – as good as I imagined it did when he first laid eyes on it.

The next day I photographed it. Nature cooperated ,and gave me the lighting that matched my mood. When it was done, I printed a set of 8x10 color glossies and mailed them off to his house.
I wanted him to know that I would be a good custodian for his bike.
A few days later I got an e-mail, entitled,

“Fuji -WOW!”

Hello Auchen,
Thank you for sending me the pictures. I was impressed and happy to know that you actually wanted that era of bicycle and weren’t going to part it out. It looks great, I just wish I had a reason to need the bike myself.
I do hope it stays with you and that errant automobiles and potholes are void of your path.
- A.


. . . It’s funny that he thought I might part it out. I s’pose us flippers grow horns after a while, and people see it, but this Fuji will indeed stay. It is MORE than a great ride and a beautiful bike.









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Old 01-22-11, 06:23 PM   #22
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My Fuji Pro Super Record has an interesting story. It has been shared before, so I won't go into length with it.



Scott, Scott's friend(William), and I have an interesting story that resulted in my 75 Pro, but I'll leave Scott to tell the full tale. (I think he has plans to do so on his blog in the near future.) The moral of my part of the story is a good pay-it-forward tale that ties back into the Super Record pictured above.


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Old 01-22-11, 07:14 PM   #23
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I guess my favorite bike story of mine so far is my Fuji America.

There's no long-winded story about the bike or its previous owner...its just that the build was special to me because of the huge number of BFers that contributed on some way. Read about it here:

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-consideration.
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Old 01-23-11, 09:06 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
...
. . . It’s funny that he thought I might part it out. I s’pose us flippers grow horns after a while, and people see it, but this Fuji will indeed stay. It is MORE than a great ride and a beautiful bike.



...
Great story, and a really nice bicycle. I love mine, and I know there's a growing list of folks here who have them.
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Old 01-23-11, 10:42 PM   #25
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Robbie, it looks like i accidentally deleted the story you wrote about my fiancee's ironman. if you still have it, please post it!
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