My bikes (foot- and pedal-)

Triumph bicycleMy first bike was a 1950’s Triumph with 24″ wheels, a front rim brake and rear coaster brake. It was kelly green with white fenders and red tires. (“Go gay,” from the catalog pic at right, meant something totally different than it presently does, at least in 1950s Bogota, New Jersey – not that there’s anything wrong with that!)

Orange-crate scooter picOrange-crate special Homemade in the prevailing style of my neighborhood, an orange crate on end, bolted to a 2″x4″ length of wood; underneath were two halves of an old-fashioned roller skate. The crate held horse chestnuts, which we kids used as currency, and which heretofore had to be dragged about in red wagons.

1960-schwinn-racer1960 Schwinn “Racer” Red men’s version – inherited from my father (photos linked to from this page, except for Orange-Crate Special, Specialized Crossroads, Free Spirit, Kickbike, Footbike and SportPed, are generic examples or catalog shots). Learning to tinker with bicycles, I changed the handlebars, painted it several times, put on a coaster-brake and then a single-speed freewheel

1972 Camel 10-speed Green. Bought new in NYC while Bobby Fischer played Boris Spassky in Reykjavik. Cheap all-steel bike from China – Camel bikes have disappeared into history). Sold to cousin-in-law, from whom it was stolen

Raleigh Record1972 Raleigh Record White with white plastic aftermarket fenders added by the Ossining, N.Y. bike shop and orange seat-tube stripe. First halfway-serious bicycle, bought new. Changed steel cottered-crankset for a Sugino alloy cotterless set, which was a big deal for me; it finally wound up as my first fixed-wheel bike

1978 Fuji Fixed-Wheel Urban Bike White – marketed in NYC as pseudo-track bikes for the street in the 1970’s & ’80s; were popular with messengers on a budget. I had fallen in love with fixed-wheel bicycles (fists) after the Raleigh Record

Ron Cooper1978 Ron Cooper Yellow; first really serious bike. Bought off-the-rack new in NYC; it was too large (a typical tyro mistake); sold it and bought properly sized Raleigh Professional (below)

Cuevas1979 Cuevas Track Bike – bought black bike (Campagnolo/Cinelli components, Columbus SL tubing) in 1980 from Stuyvesant Bicycles in NYC. No markings save the Columbus decal; Francesco Cuevas himself gave me a signature decal for the rear stay when I visited him with it. Had front fork drilled for an ultra-short-reach brake (plump tubulars wouldn’t even fit under the very tight fork crown of this bike) after losing my chain going downhill in Central Park. Sold c. 1985; it was stolen from new owner

Raleigh Professional1980 Raleigh Professional Mink blue, Campy/Cinelli/Brooks – the whole package. Beloved bike, raced during 1980-1981, then stolen

Raleigh International1981 Raleigh International Silver (earlier model shown) – replaced stolen Raleigh Professional. Climbers used to like long-wheelbased bikes – and if I had a specialty at 123 lbs., it was climbing

Raleigh 3-speed1970’s Nottingham Raleigh Sports 3-speed Silver (as 1976 model, shown) – bought new from Stuyvesant Cycles in NYC with single-speed freewheel rear hub installed, for a street bike. Eventually with knobby tires became a pseudo-mountain bike (which were just catching on at the time) for use in the interior woods of Central Park with my friends. One of the great bicycles of all time; had I known that then, I wouldn’t have had the rear hub replaced. If I ever find another example, it’s mine! Bua-ha-ha! Still have recurring fever-dreams of setting up a G3 Kickbike City Cruiser as one (the Raleigh also came in yellow) with the handlebars, fender, front fork, 26×1-3/8″ wheel and badge, of course (it will at least appear as a Fantasy Footbike sometime in the future).

Bob Jackson frame1983 Bob Jackson Criterium Bike Bought frame used from a friend; built up with Campagnolo Super Record gruppo and Cinelli stem, bars & seatpost. Extremely tight geometry (1-1/2″ toeclip overlap); Reynolds 531 SL frame; finally wrecked in a race (and not because of the overlap). Seen in use here

Cannondale mountain bike1984 Cannondale Mountain Bike First purpose-built mountain bike; bought used from friend who had put Browning (the arms manufacturer) decals on it. Rear wheel was 24″

1987 Diamondback Mountain Bike Blue (1987 model is shown)

Specialized CrossroadsC. 1994 Specialized Crossroads All-’rounder commuter bike, has gone through dozens of permutations. Still on the road as a fixed-gear commuter

Kickbike2006 Kickbike City Cruiser Beloved first kick-scooter, still my main ride; Kickbike™ brand

Footbike2008 Footbike Street model Second kick-scooter; first Footbike brand bike

Free Spirit1970’s Sears Free Spirit Brittany 12-speed Bought used in a flea market for $35! Said flea market being in my work complex, I saw this very well-kept old roadster one day going into my office, part of a matched pair, each on sale for $40. I inspected them; they were all-steel, but well-cared-for and with only a little surface rust here and there, which later succumbed to a little steel-wooling and naval jelly. Bonus (for me): metal fenders, a lugged frame and a steel rack designed for the bike. When the price went to $35 I could contain myself no longer and marched over to cop one. Got it home, took off the dead dynamo and kickstand, put on handlebars, brake levers and bar-end shifters from my extensive old-parts collection and bought new cables, brake pads, chain and a pair of excellent cream-colored Schwalbe Delta Cruiser tires. The rest I’ve left stock, even the steel wheels (which produce a nice soft ride that I’d forgotten). It’s not much heaver than a Sherman tank, but rides as sweet as a nut.

Customized KnowPed picScooter-SportPed, a customized GoPed KnowPed, originally in the style of NYCEWheels’ KickPed, with further tweakage.

Advertisements