Friday, March 24, 2006
Ready for Travel
A month or so ago, I bought a pair of rigid Raleigh Mountain bikes for $60.00. One of them went to a co-worker as his commuter bike, his only bike, in fact. One of my goals is to get as many other people riding to work as possible and Charlie says he'll use it to ride to work, to church and the coffee shop.
The other bike, I decided to keep, at least for awhile. We're planning a European trip this summer and I wanted a bike that I could ride over there and sell on the way out. With approximately $50 invested in it, I can take it over there, not worry about bike theft. (Very prevalent in Amsterdam, where we're headed first.) Of course, I also love tinkering on bikes.
One of my thoughts, last summer in Chicago, while riding my brother-in-law's old Specialized HardRock, was that this bike was a great city rider, if only it had a set of Albatross Bars. The straight mountain bike bars just weren't comfortable for all day riding. The Raleigh M-60 has comparable geometry, tons of braze-ons for racks and great clearance for fenders and huge tires. We had a set of smooth Panaracer 26 by 1.5" tires we got as door prizes from the KCBC banquet.
Just changing the tires delighted me. The fat smooth tires just made me smile when I put them on the bike. I took it to Acme along with the other one and found a set of used Wald upright bars, which I installed upside down. I had also cut and filed off the shifter pods off the brake levers and replaced them with thumb shifters.
Things got even more interesting when I found an abandoned AMF Nimble 3-speed along the road. It had fenders, a chainguard, and a set of upright handlebars. I've added them to the bike for free fenders and they do coordinate nicely with the champagne gold of the bike frame.
The bike has assumed a new personality. I may hate to leave it in Europe.