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Bikes with stories...

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Bikes with stories...

Old 06-07-13, 12:45 AM
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I'm loving that homemade toolkit! I think I should make something like that to organize all of my junk!
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Old 06-07-13, 04:14 AM
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Bikes with stories..?

How many stories would you like. I have hundreds of neat, "how found" stories, but I will share this most recent one with this group.

The other day my son was looking for something to do. I suggested that he go find a vintage bicycle. He looked at me, sort of stunned, and asked what I meant. I told him to go ride up and down back lanes in the neighborhood and see what he could see. Incidentally, that is one of the How To Find Vintage Bicycles procedures I include on my website. They work!

In less than a couple of hours, he found seven vintage bicycles, six of which were old road bikes and one very old CCM Blue Bird roadster. When he told me of the bikes, I jumped on the GT Karakoram and went to see what he had found.

Ended up buying this old Mercier which was less than four blocks from my house...

"98% of the bikes I buy are projects".
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Old 06-07-13, 03:42 PM
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I got into cycling a few years ago. To be exact it was four years ago this fall. I was introduced to mountain biking by my sister's boyfriend, at the time my mountain bike was an early Gary Fisher, rigid frame bike. I forget the exact model but it was a blast to ride, I didn't put that many miles on the bike when my dad drug home a Trek Y5 from 1998. I put probably around 300 miles on that bike over a year, when i came across another mountain bike. At this point I had sold my Gary Fisher, which looking back I wish I hadn't. This new mountain bike I've had for a little over a year and I've put 400 miles on it. This bike has a computer which is how I know.

During this time as I got more involved in mountain biking, my dad who is my cycling hero, started dragging homes bike from Goodwill. For the course of 2 years he brought home a Peugeot PX-10, which he fixed up for himself. He brought home a Fuji Allegro, which we stripped down and repainted and rebuilt with better components. This bike I have had for about 2 years and I've put about 400 miles on it.

Some other bikes he has drug home are a Schwinn Super Sport in mint condition, and others that have since left our house and my mind. Since we got more serious about biking we have probably had 60 bikes come through our door to either stay or to get passed on to someone who will enjoy it more than we will.

This past summer I, with my dad's help built a fixie that I took to school and use to commute most days. I have put over 300 miles on that bike since I built it last summer. And this summer I am currently working on rebuilding a Schwinn Traveler, this built is going to be custom painted in dedication of my college (Purdue) and will have custom decals, for my own use, because who says you can't have too many bikes? My current collection is five bikes strong with plans to add two more next summer. I hope that I stay involved with biking and helping others out. I hope that one day I will that inspiration to someone to start biking and change their lives, especially with how high gas prices are getting.

Oh by the way my dad still has Nishiki Olympic that he bought new 40 some years ago.

Last edited by aciresi132; 06-07-13 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 06-07-13, 06:19 PM
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Ron Cooper by djk762, on Flickr

This Ron Cooper was originally purchased from A Bicycle Odyssey in Sausalito CA. by Melissa Gold. I have heard that in her mid-forties Melissa was racing women half her age. Melissa’s son Ari Gold made a film about his mother, their family, and Melissa’s death - “Helicopter”. Very interesting woman.

From the NYT:

Melissa Gold, who was active in various civic causes, including help for earthquake victims in San Francisco and was a companion of Bill Graham, the rock music impressario, died Friday in the helicopter crash near San Francisco that killed Mr. Graham and his pilot. She was 47 years old and lived in San Francisco.
-October 28, 1991

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Old 06-09-13, 10:55 AM
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That tool kit is even more wonderful than the bike -- and the bike is fine.

One question, does the bike come close to your size?

Whatever. It's a great bike with the great story. Do the serious cleaning and waxing. A bit of period correct restoration is okay, but I'd pass on the original Simplex derailleurs. It's why they are long, looooong gone. But upgrade of the cranks (to a less beat up Stronglight 93!) is okay. Same with cables, hoods, wheel bearings, etc. Great bike. What he wanted was loving care, not perfect restoration. Fabulous story. Thanks for sharing.

Here's another great tool chest -- but yours has a particular story with history for you!

Originally Posted by ascherer
I visited Don and came home with riches...the Peugeot:

Saddle, stem, crankset and brakes are original. Closeups will show the combined effect of 85k miles and a decade+ in the shed but overall this bike could be ridden pretty much as-is.

One of six logbooks he kept since 1971 detailing weekly mileage and every bit of maintenance:

His custom-made toolkit:

..along with boxes of parts and bits, a junior-size Raleigh Grand Prix (24" wheels, it was for his kids) and other goodies. I'll be starting a thread about my process of cleanup on this unique bike. It shows lots of wear when you close in on it, so advice will be welcome.

I also found out that this was his commuter ride, he also owned a Dawes Galaxy in the '80s - 90s that he put some 35k miles on - one of his children got that one. And I saw photos of him with his 9-speed Rudge conversion (SA hub and Simplex derailleur with triple cog) that he bought in Germany in the early '50s when he was in the Air Force stationed near Constanze. He rode that all over the mountains there...so this fellow must have logged around 150,000 lifetime miles. He's my hero.
1959 Hilton Wrigley Connoisseur (my favorite!)
1963 Hetchins Mountain King
1971 Gitane Tour de France (original owner)
* 1971 Gitane Super Corsa (crashed)
* rebuilt as upright cruiser
1971 Gitane Super Corsa #2 (sweet replacement)
1980 Ritchey Road Touring (The Grail Bike)
1982 Tom Ritchey Everest
(replacing stolen 1981 TR Everest custom)
1982 Tom Ritchey McKinley (touring pickup truck)
1985 ALAN Record (Glued & Screwed. A gift.)
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Old 06-09-13, 01:50 PM
Fat Guy on a Little Bike
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I've told this story before...

I'm sure it's history with Steve Bauer is fascinating, but I don't know much except that it was one of his racing bikes, not training bikes, and it was a hill stage model (753).

I had just bought an SLX De Rosa and it had a fairly low end mish mosh of parts. Needless to say, that could not stand. I didn't really have the bike slush funds available for the expensive parts upgrades, so I posted a CL ad. I had a Kona Jake the Snake which I found myself riding less and less as my stable quality began to improve. I found myself enamored with the C and V more than the modern, and the JTS became expendable.

The ad was a hail mary pass...I offered the JTS, which was 2 years old in model year and had been ridden lightly for a season...for a bike with c-record. I never expected anything to materialize. Eventually I ended up buying parts from some forum folks and built the De Rosa up as a record-ergo bike. A few weeks passed, I'd forgotten about the ad...and I got an email. Would I be interested in trading for Steve Bauer's Eddy Merckx from the Motorola team?

It came equipped with a c-record-record ergo mix, including delta brakes (one De Rosa panto'd). It needed a LOT of work..the PO tried using Shimano cables in the ergo levers. Still...how could I not trade a JTS for Steve Bauer's bike? The more I learned the cooler it was. It's Reynolds 753, not the TSX claimed on the badge and the Merckx factory confirmed it was built for Bauer. It had been ridden for a few years (92 and 93...maybe 91) so it was clearly one of his favored bikes.

I was able to track SOME of its history. It was sold as a frame set through a store in the North West and had a decal from that shop on the chain styay. At some point it had been built up with Campy instead of Shimano (I far prefer the Campy, despite its not being the "correct" group). There is a gap in the history here but it next shows up in Philadelphia being ridden as a commuter to Temple University. I suspect the owner couldn't afford to fix things as they broke, and he made some errors in repairs he couldn't fix (like the shimano cables). He abandoned it. It remained locked outdoors at Temple for several months, and by some miracle no one stripped it! The Temple grounds manager is an avid cyclist and he brought the bike, which he planned on restoring, to the local police.

Months went by and no one claimed it...so ownership reverted to the Temple grounds manager. The manager then broke his commuter, a cross bike, and wanted another. Though he loved the Merckx, he needed something practical and saw my ad...the Merckx was found money to him and the rest is history. I had help from a LBS restoring it (mostly removing those cables) and I made an up grade or two and brought it around to my tastes.

There will be more to the story - I'm returning it to original Shimano and have everything but the wolber rims and tires.

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Old 06-09-13, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by LeicaLad
That tool kit is even more wonderful than the bike -- and the bike is fine.

One question, does the bike come close to your size?

Whatever. It's a great bike with the great story. Do the serious cleaning and waxing. A bit of period correct restoration is okay, but I'd pass on the original Simplex derailleurs. It's why they are long, looooong gone. But upgrade of the cranks (to a less beat up Stronglight 93!) is okay. Same with cables, hoods, wheel bearings, etc. Great bike. What he wanted was loving care, not perfect restoration. Fabulous story. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks, LL. I've decided to stick to cleaning over repainting, but there are a few bare spots I will need to touch up. And no, the frame is honestly too small for me but as shown it's not unreasonable. Besides, given my history with it, fit is secondary. As for the Simplex derailleurs, I've had 'em so I know what I'm getting into (especially the front - ugh). I have a Prestige kicking around but will probably look for a Criterium. Somehow a PX10 with other than Simplex/MAFAC/Stronglight just doesn't look right to me.
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Old 06-09-13, 09:54 PM
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just picked up a pair of Humber Sports today- a ladie's and a gent's. They were originally purchased in Scotland in 1954 by a local couple from here in Minnesota. They rode them about 5000(!) miles on their honeymoon, all over the British Isles. Those old, idyllic advertisements of touring on British 3-speeds are apparently true.

For the last 30 years they have resided in the rafters of their garage here in St. Paul. There was a map of their honeymoon trip on the wall in the garage as well (I'm trying to see if that might still be around). The bikes were donated to the Center for Victims of Torture here in St. Paul only just recently, as the couple has moved into an assisted living facility. The person that runs the bicycle donation program for the CVT is apparently a 3-speed fanatic. So apparently I am the 3rd owner, if you include CVT. The sale of the machines like these helps fund the donation of other (less collectible) bikes to refugees who have arrived here with little more than the clothes on their back.

Both bikes have enclosed chains, SA dyno hubs on the front, lighting and Brooks saddles. The men's model is a 4-speed. The ladies bike is ridable now- and once the light surface rust is off the men's bike it should be ridable shortly thereafter... photos to follow.
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Old 06-09-13, 11:04 PM
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My '84 Masi Gran Criterium hung up in the ceiling of a bike shop in the Walnut/Diamond Bar area. I was racing (and crashing) and triathloning my first '86 Schwinn Peloton back then, but I was still a growing boy and the Peloton was a little small for me. This 62cm Masi was just my size, but I was making $4.35 bagging groceries in a miserable supermarket, and the frame was $1100.
So I always averted my eyes whenever I was in that shop. It was just to painful to want something clearly out of reach. I enlisted in the Army, continued racing in Central Texas (Fort Hood, blechhh), bought a Zinn Ironhorse in my size, made Cat3, and tried to forget about the Masi, reasoning that someone must surely have bought it.
I came home on leave on Xmas 1988, stopped by the old bike shop, and when I saw that Masi dusty and still hanging from the same spot on the ceiling, I had to brace myself on the glass parts counter, because I was so happy I had a head-rush and nearly blacked out. That $1100 price tag had preserved her for me!
I bought that Masi and it was my primary transportation and racer during my 3 years living (and getting my butt handed to me) in Holland, Germany and Belgium. Being an American, I was compelled to race in the International class, against Olympians from other countries.
At some point, I snapped a rear drop-out on a cobbled road in Belgium and found an ad in "Winning" Magazine for Cyclart.
Fast-forward to 2009, I wind up living & working in Carlsbad, and decide to give my old Masi a refurbishment at Cyclart. I'd completely forgotten about sending it to them back in 1992, but when I took it in, Greg said, "We've had this bike before. Did you get this from a guy in Europe?"
Haha--I was the guy in Europe!
Greg then told me to check the serial number in the online database, and it turns out my Masi was made right here in Carlsbad too. Chuck, the bearded retro-grouch of Pacific Coast Cycles was working for Masi back then and he's pretty sure my bike is one of his.
So now the Masi has come full circle and decorates my office. I seldom ride the old girl anymore, but I smile at her almost daily.
I still love my Pelotons, and my Look, but some of the happiest (and hardest) days of my youth were spent on this Masi.

Last edited by calamarichris; 06-09-13 at 11:08 PM.
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Old 07-20-13, 05:02 PM
What??? Only 2 wheels?
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RobbieTunes says every Centurion comes with a story. I just finished this build.

See those dents and indentations on the chainstays? They show a curious pattern. I got this frame from top506, a Maine resident. Hearsay reports on the bike's history indicate that it was owned by an eccentric Ironman competitor from Maine who once challenged his competitors that he could do the swimming leg while carrying his bike with him. One day he attempted to make good on his boast and swore on his soul that he'd beat his personal best while doing so. So he entered the Gulf Of Maine with the bike and was never seen again. The bike was later found washed up on the shore. Analysis at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute suggest that those indentations on the chainstay match the tooth pattern of the great white shark. His bike helmet was found three days later, cloven in two. No trace has ever been found of the wheels or drivetrain, but exactly one year later a great white shark was caught off Nantucket which had several links of bicycle chain and a Powerlink in its stomach.
Real cyclists use toe clips.
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