Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bike Of The Week: Karate Klunker


Since I am not riding any bikes until my hand/arm is better, I might as well post a couple of bikes to geek out on. This one is one of those that the Salvation Army people just would not sell me. They must get their asses chewed if they don't hang on to merchandise and refuse a sale or two. So one day on my lunch hour I went in to look around and see what else I could find. I asked again for the millionth time if they were ready to sell me that old bike out in the fenced in donation area. A resounding "No" was all I ever got. So on my way back to my car I noticed that the Salvation Army truck was backing up to the back door. Thinking that the bike might be in their way I jokingly said to the guy in the truck, "Hey man, why don't you talk them into selling me that bike and you won't have to work around it anymore." The driver looks at the bike, looks back at me, and says, "Why don't you just take it and we'll forget it was ever there." Nanoseconds later I was wheeling it into the back of my Volvo and headed for home. It sat in my garage for a solid 18 months before I even looked twice at it, but that is the way of these things. They call out to you when it is their time to be ridden. When this one finally found it's voice I was amazed at the condition, or lack there of, that I found it in. Someone had done some screwing around with this bike and stopped just in time, before doing harm. It had a spray job of gray primer all over, and red enamel on the fork and rims. Now I'm not a fan of spray painting old bikes by any stretch. I like the original paint. Fading, peeling, scratches and all. If you can tell that a bike has had a few rides in the trunk of a car, then you know that it has been around. How many miles do you suppose were clicked off in the trunk of some old Bonneville, with the lid chattering on the top tube? Many of my bikes have these tell-tale signs of alternative travel and that's the way it should be. There is a hole about the size of a Milk Dud in the non-drive side chainstay from a bent crank arm rubing over the many miles that were undoubtedly ridden on this old Hawthorne. Also, every bearing cage and cup in this bike was clean and dry. No grease in the headset, bottom bracket, or either wheel. I promptly fixed this near death situation and since the bike was torn down and looked like hell, I decided to paint it. I considered many schemes for the paint, including a Van Halen "5150" red/black/white, and a blaze orange, but landed on camp stove green since Kelli had bought a can at Dollar General to paint a couple of chairs that sit on our porch. I wasn't about to get all hung up on beautiful paint and perfect surface prep since I hate painting bikes anyways, so I just shot some white first, let it dry, and put some vinyl lettering on the tube. Shot the green over everything and peeled off the lettering to reveal painted-on graphics. Blacked out the rims/hubs/spokes and wrapped them in 2.3 Tiogas that I dumpstered from BW Ames. Needed a little chi-chi so I put the bottle opener on for the hell of it. Believe it or not, that seat is actually quite comfortable. I took this bike out for a run through Jordan after I had put it all back together and it rides decently. This would turn out to be my last ride before the surgery I recently had. I love that it is a skip tooth drive train, but it also has a slipping forward gear that will require some tinkering someday. But with my current bike count at 42, there are other things to do! Comments ifnya gottem! Later! Travel Gravel!

6 comments:

Paul said...

I like that one Greg.

How is the hand? Will you be riding within a couple months time?

Travel Gravel said...

I should be riding by April, I hope. My hand is still atrophied around the meat of my thumb/palm, so not able to put much pressure down on it now. Once the upper arm is healed a little more I can at least ride one handed or no handed, so there is hope! Each day feels better. Happy Training! Later!

bluecolnago said...

i like it too. it has a "stealthy" look to it. It's pretty sweet what you do to "recycled" bikes! heal up quick!

Travel Gravel said...

Thanks Blue!

Squirrel said...

Your 10 up on me right now:) I too dig this old rig...and the story...well everyone loves a story like that.

Peace and see you in April..

hangeng said...

Aber argumentiere ich, dass entweder Match-Methode, schmuck thomas sabo die Partner sollten die Integration zwischen kulturellen thomas sabo glaube liebe hoffnung Ressourcen zu betonen, nach dem Markt und ihre jeweiligen Vorteile, entwickelte eine bestimmte thomas sabo shop geografische Gebiete oder Kundengruppen, den Vorteil der thomas sabo charm Kulturphilosophie andpandora Schmuck psychologischen Vorteil des Geistes angebote thomas sabo der Pandora Unternehmen Kultur. Regionale Kultur, der nationalen Kultur anhänger thomas sabo und der westlichen Kultur, die Kombination der traditionellen schmuck thomas sabo ketten Kultur, mit der modernen klassischen Kultur, thomas sabo schmuck Unternehmenskultur, kulturellen Bereich, etc., thomas sabo ohrringe abschattende Kombination aus neuen Kapazitäten und Pandora braeletproduct thomas sabo schmuck günstig Entwicklung kombiniert.