16 Months…

16 Months is how long it took for my youngest son Chris (the same one that wrote the poem) to grow enough to ride a Bianchi Eros that I had. When I first brought it home he claimed it. Even though an older brother of his was already big enough, he said it was his.

I got her because she is just beautiful and I couldn’t bear to see her possibly get mistreated. So, she has hung in the rafters of the garage. Occasionally he would beg me to bring it down so he could try and straddle it.  Finally I told him that “when he can touch the overhead door track” we would try again.

I don’t know if it was all just growth or if the constant leaping he has been doing in basketball but, he did it. He touched that track. So, today I brought down that pretty little lady and aired up the tires. He walked her down the drive a little way and threw his leg over.

I could tell right off that there was no way I would get him off again anytime soon. He may be up on his toes a bit but he can ride that 26″ wheeled little beauty and there is nothing that will separate them now.

He waited 16 months for this day.

I am not sure who is happier him, or me.

 

Carl

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Baiku

ABC hand check
Flying down the street so long
Wind in my helmet

From my son.

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Stupid, stupid, stupid.

It has taken 30 minutes to figure out how to log in here again. Time wounds all heels.

Carl

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New addition to the harem

It seems that just when I decide that I have too many bikes and stop looking for another project. One will fall in my lap.

This “new” bicycle is a Raleigh RSW (Raleigh Small Wheel according to the late great Sheldon Brown) Compact. My assumption is that she is from ’68-’70 because of the bronze green color and she is all original but for the tires.

These are the before pictures I usually forget to take. I am very excited about this project! Thus far the only snag I have come across is that I can’t find a source for the white 16×2.0 tires.  I can find some that are knobbys but I don’t quite feel it wouldbe right. Schwalbe has the right size and tread but in black only. I’ll probably go that way.

I’ll try to keep abreast of the progress and post them up as I go along.

Carl

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Motivation

Tonight after basketball practice with my 3rd grade boy’s team I had imagined coming home and getting on the rollers for some real effort.

However, things changed. When getting our stuff together at the Rec center. I found that the basketball I have had since I was 18 was stolen. Needless to say I was mad, which killed my motivation.

So I am looking forward to tomorrow. Maybe I’ll get a ride in.

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I forgot…

I forgot I had created this Word Press blog until I had someone ask how and where they could make one of their own.

I see that there have been a few changes here. I think I’ll try and hang out here more often.

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Anthropomorphism

What is it about we humans imbuing inanimate objects with “personality”. We give objects importance. We have favorites, (bikes, guns, fishing rods, bats, gloves…” that seem to us to perform better than others for us. So we give them names and character and feelings.

I am currently working to restore, modify, so restomod is the word I suppose, a 1968 Raleigh Super Course. What’s that you say, you were not aware that the Super Course was made in ’68? Well according to the good folks at Bike Forums and my own research. It is likely the first year that it was made and furthermore this frame appears to be a Carlton Grand Prix rebadged as a Raleigh.

This was taken shortly after I got her. That saddle was from another bike and has since torn beyond repair, (sigh) it was a Wrights 34.

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This bike is now forty years old and now that I have her (see, I did it there) back on the road I seem to get this “feeling” of joy, of happiness at being ridden again. This is the point I am trying to get at. I know with my “logical mind” that this is impossible. But logic has little to do with the emotions involved with riding.

From 1968

From 1969

On Sheldon Brown’s Retro Raleighs web site. (from which I got the images) There are catalogs (catalogues) from 1968 and 1969 that show this bike. The ’68 catalog lists the parts accurately with the exception of the crankset which is a Stronglight Model 93 and was either a shop upgrade or done by a previous owner. I lean toward the in shop scenario. It is also interesting to see that in ’69 the Super Course cost $110.00. The 1970 catalog lists different derailleur’s than mine has. One of the reasons that I believe that she is a rebadged Carlton is that the serial number #110536 is on the left rear dropout. Carlton is reported to do this but at that time Raleigh did not.

My plan for her is a “randonneur” type of kit. With full fenders and bags, she came to me with a little rack attached to the front brake that is for keeping a very large handlebar bag off of the wheel and or fender, which is what, gave me the randonneur idea. The paint is really rough. She seems to have been stored outside for at least some of her 40 years. Still there are some areas that the original coffee color can be seen. I am still trying to sort out how (or if) I will repaint her. It appears that the method used was transparent brown over a copper or bronze metallic.

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As for the decals, they caused quite a stir on another forum. I did receive a graphic for the down tube Raleigh and I think I can make one for the seat tube from a picture of the headbadge. The top tube has Super Course in a script of some kind I might try to do a rubbing and see if I can get close. I’ll also need some sliver tape for the seat tube striping.

I am really excited about this project. I think that the beauty and grace that this bike displays is of the era it is from and something that some manufacturers are doing again, and either saying that it’s “new” or that they’re getting back some “nostalgia”.

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