Apr 18, 2010

Peace Ride and Cycle Chic?

Let's Match!
Originally uploaded by Snak Shak
I did the first ever Peace Ride today. This was affiliated somehow with the larger Colorado Peace ride and got posted on MBL; I also put it on Facebook to try and drum up some more riders.

Ours was a humble but pleasant ride; about 25 people showed up to ride the Grand Rounds, more or less (with about 5,000,000 other people because the weather was so nice). In fact, the weather was perfect. The Grand Rounds route was quite good - I even the part where we got hassled by the kids in North Minneapolis who chased after us and accused us of stealing their bikes (those skamps!). One guy on a sweet vintage Bianchi had a drive-side spoke failure and ended up walking to the nearest coffee shop, but otherwise the ride was uneventful.

I didn't shoot a single photo on this ride (which is unusual for me) until I was almost home and spied the lovely young ladies above wearing almost perfectly matching outfits. That was too weird; I had to take a picture.

Following my previous thread on Cycle Chic, I happened into a 1968 Raleigh Three-Speed today for an insanely good deal (I owe you one, Ted). It's a very sweet silvery gray bike with good paint, but it needs some new rubber, has some rust here and there, and has plenty of dust and grime to compliment the dried up old Brooks saddle.

I think that I am going to take my time restoring this bike and really try to do it right. The saddle is fairly dry and has some light surface cracking, but I think it's really very sound and can be brought back to good condition with a little time and TLC. The underside of the saddle got one light coat of Prooffhide this afternoon and I am now in the market for pure carnauba wax (whatever that is), for the top side of the saddle.

The bike shifts well enough, but like learning the mysteries of ancient leather restoration, I'll need to start dipping my toe into the mysteries of the Sturmey-Archer 3-speed hub relatively soon. If all else fails, we happen to have some real experts in 3-speeds at the ready and close to home, so I am not concerned about getting up shit creek without a paddle. Yet.

My plans for the bike are a bit hazy at this point, but they generally involve a deliberate restoration/education experience followed by leisurely rides in the evening with my bride to ice cream shops, coffee shops and other civilized activities. Tweed rides and a 3-speed tour might be in the offing as well. We'll see...

Photos to come. In the meantime, God save the Queen!

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