Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
VeloBase is a great database/resource for researching your restoration projects. They have photo libraries organized by subject matter. My Apollo didn't have a headbadge when I got it but now at least I know what one looks like. Anybody know where I might find one?
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Dave Wages over at Ellis Cycles was doing some repair work on a 1972 Schwinn Paramount when he took this picture of it's gorgeous Nervex lugs. His original was in colour but I tweaked it and converted it to monochrome (thanks Dave!). You'll find a nice little article about the history of Nervex lugs here.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
A year ago I was 55 years old, had just quit smoking and had just left a 6-days-a-week job that afforded me very little time or energy for biking. I had just discovered the wonder of riding fixed but my saddle time was limited. All of which is to say I was in pretty lousy shape. The doctor said I was doing great, nothing wrong, blah blah blah but I knew I could and should be more fit than I was.
What a difference 13 months makes. I have ridden one of my two fixed conversions almost every day for the last year. The ratios are 73 and 78 gear inches respectively so I ain't pulling no granny gear. And it's hilly around here. I'm not training for anything and I don't have a computer on either bike to log the miles or the speeds. I'm just riding. For the fun of it and also for errands and occasionally to and from work. Often, I invent a reason to ride. The more I do it, the more I feel like a 12 year-old with a spanking new Schwinn and somewhere important to be. And the more I feel my body responding, which brings me to yesterday.
There are a couple of hills in my neck of the woods that have always forced a dismount, no way to conquer them in 52x18. But yesterday afternoon, I rode up not one but both of 'em. My legs and my lungs had what it took and I stayed on the bike all the way to the top. There was no one around to cheer me on, nobody snapping photos like they do at the big races in Europe, nobody to notice at all. But I didn't give a rat's rear end about the lack of attention. I knew what I'd done and what it meant and that was all that mattered.
Next spring I'll turn 57, just three years shy of 60. An age I once considered "old". But I believe I'll be in perhaps the best shape of my life when the big six-0 arrives. Of course I know there'll come a time when my knees will give out and I'll have to rehang a derailleur on one of these road bikes and go back to shifting but til then, I will test my mettle on a daily basis with a direct drive bicycle and a smile on my face.
A note about the picture: I don't remember where I found it but would like to acknowledge the photographer who is obviously very talented. So if you know who's responsible for this image, please drop me a line so I can give credit where credit is due. Cheers.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
The Chicago Tribune ran an article recently on the no brakes urban hipster thing. You can read it and watch the video here. I'm neither urban nor hip but I ran my Apollo fixed gear conversion sans brakes for most of this year (just added a front brake recently) and did not feel that I was a menace to society in any way. But then I wasn't doing any trick riding nor was I cruising with a pack. To each his own I guess. I'm just happy to see young people on bicycles for whatever reason. Trends and fads come and go but once the bike bug bites, one tends to stay bit.
Photo by Brett Reed, bike by Nagasawa