Sunday, July 22, 2007

life at the orphanage: junkyard dogs

new and old, reclcying, adoption, giving new life...
it's what we do here at the orphanage.
still floating around in a raccoon-induced stupor,
i trekked to iowa city saturday morning.
finally, i'd be able to see my good friend, former orphan, and
president of the mostly reverend's fan club,
g. pickle. he's wrenching nowadays at the broken spoke,
a quiet little bike shop on dubuque street south of downtown.
it's the only bike shop that i can recall
that features a street corner view for the mechanics!
the shop had become a repository for my latest orphan,
a 1984 cusom-made trek track bike.
he not only wrenches, he helps and sells!
. . . . .
built to showcase shimano's first-generation aero group, shimano ax,
this frameset features aero tubing throughout:
skinny little fork, flattened and ovalized main triangle, and
skinny little flattened rear stays.
it was spec'd with, and came with, the aero ax seatpost.
i have hanging in my basement an old 24" front wheel,
built for the 80 olympics and finally used in the 84 LA games.
it is a tubular, built as a radially-laced wheel for 1984 time trial bikes.
it came with a panaracer sew-up, which makes me believe
that this track frameset came from the same builder as
panasonic's top-of-the-line pearl white with blue accents ax-600,
which featured the same style aero frame and componentry.
my friend joe in mason city bought this bike from lakeside cycles,
and we were all so impressed with its cool centerpull brakes,
and the very cool low-platform quill pedals.
i bought my 24" front wheel from michael's cyclery in ames,
where michael had EVERYTHING, and stories about each,
and is in my mind the model for how a good bike shop should be run,
at least in some repects.
i learned a lot from michael, and continue to realize and marvel
at the depth and knowledge of that man.
. . . . .
[michael, if you're reading, i hope you're well,
and i hope to run into you on the roads around ames soon.]
. . . . .
here's how the bike looks so far:

i've thrown on some wheels for photo purposes.
it came with a like-new dura-ace track crankset, 165 mm,
but also with a new 53-tooth chainring.
i'm shopping, but i'll keep the nitto 110 pista stem and bars,
both stamped njs.

head-on view
stand-out features include half-wrap benotto tape.
ubiquitous at the time.
there is some label visible but not legible under the right-hand tape,
and i'm dying to know what it says,
but not so badly that i care to disturb the wrap job.
it's all about proper respect, you know.

rear view
it is about as thin and aero as dmitri, my staghound.
both are in better shape than my 69 ghia coupe.
this morning, i added my 1974 campy quill pedals,
which now feature soma track toe clips and double toe straps.

1 comment:

the mostly reverend said...

thailand, india, united kingdom, ontario, texas and elsewhere--howdy, and, as always, thanks for reading!