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Thread: The Lounge of Terrestrial Wheelmen

  1. #5051
    Subaru Unimpreza SportWagon's Avatar
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    Arguably this belongs in "What are you watching", or even some automotive forum and thread. But it's tangentially related to cycling and at least one cyclist here, as will be seen.

    I happened to catch an episode of I Love Lucy where Ricky arranges to go to California for a screen test.

    Lucy rejects various methods of getting there; bus, train, plane.

    <obcycling>
    At one point Lucy points out that California has a real car culture. She claims that if you arrive at the state border without a car, you'll be turned back.
    </obcycling>

    They sort of decide to buy a cheap used car and drive to California, and Fred Mertz says he can get a great deal. He comes back with what they claim is a 1923 Cadillac, although I think it might have been a couple of years later. The cast (copyright date 1954) shows absolutely no reverence or respect for the 1923 Cadillac; it is just a junky old car. Actually it seemed like the studio in real life used two cars; one which was basically solid and runnable, and another which was more of static mock-up with doors and headlights and such which easily fell off.

    If I recall correctly, Fred bought the Cadillac for $300 and they sold it back to the dealer for $500. In those semi-criminal Lucy scams she phoned the dealer anonymously claiming to be a studio willing to rent the car for even more, if it was available. That was definitely the order-of-magnitude of the prices involved, anyway.

    I later caught also the episode where they really set off for California, also in a Cadillac convertible, but from the early 1950's. I never realized that the Riccardo's and Mertz's lived on Sesame Street. But the street scene of the front of their building was very similar.
    Last edited by SportWagon; December 24th, 2021 at 01:46 PM.

  2. #5052
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    I occasionally watch an episode of I Love Lucy very early in the morning.

    Yesterday I happened to catch it, and it was...

    https://ilovelucyandricky.fandom.com...s_Bicycle_Trip
    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0609293/

    Lucy's persuasion of the gang to do the bicycle trip was not very convincing. Everyone was saying it was a ridiculous idea, but then suddenly relented.


    At one point they had pretend bicycle racers going through the on-stage border crossing. They weren't very convincing by modern standards either.

    Lucy and Ricky had singles, but Fred and Ethel had a tandem.
    Last edited by SportWagon; February 16th, 2022 at 02:11 AM.

  3. #5053
    High Plains Luddite George's Avatar
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    ^ Tandems are faster, right? Gotta be, with two people pedaling.

    I finally bought an air compressor and accessory kit (hose, connectors, etc.). I haven't attempted to fill my still flat tubeless front tire yet, but it's all set up and ready to use. The tubeless rear tire is still holding air after hanging upside down from the garage ceiling all winter long.

    Our kids are growing like crazy and it's time for larger bikes for them. But, they're not fully grown, so I'm trying to find a balance between good and not too expensive if they'll only ride them for a couple of years. I've been watching craigslist again and thinking about hardtail 29ers, especially for the boy, since that's what most of his friends ride. I figure that's much more important to a boy about to turn fourteen than what his father thinks are durable and sensible bikes. I figure most 29ers are going to come with tubeless tires so the air compressor will come in handy.

    While browsing craigslist last week, I saw an ad for a bicycle swap meet on Saturday in Colorado Springs. There were lots of bikes of all kinds there, but only one that I thought might work for us - a medium/large bright red '90s Trek Antelope 820 with its original rigid fork, BMX handlebars, and a shiny new 1x11 drivetrain. My son would have loved it, but it had no price tag on it and the owner opened with a $500 asking price. I mentioned that was out of my price range, even if we did haggle a bit, but that I loved what he had put together. He said, "Well, why don't you just go to the Pedal Station, buy a frame, and build your own? That where I got this frame." I don't spend much time in Colorado Springs and had never heard of it.

    It turned out to be a very cool store that was half bicycles and half used sporting goods that were mostly skis and snowboards. Apparently it's two companies who share one retail space and it's all under one roof. They had tons of cool old bikes, all rebuilt and very clean, and some with cool mods like drop bars on mountain bikes and original suspension forks on old 26"-wheel MTB replaced with rigid ones from Surly with all the bikepacking mounts on them. I got to talking with one of the employees and he mentioned downstairs. Downstairs? Yup. There was a doorway leading to the stairs that I hadn't noticed.

    There were three employees (or volunteers) down there working on bikes, and there must have been a hundred bikes hanging from the ceiling in every state of repair or lack thereof, bins full of used parts just like the ones at the bike co-op in Denver, and a bunch of frames hanging from the ceiling also. One caught my eye and I bought it on a whim for $50. It looked like a large frame but probably not an extra-large. I guessed it was maybe a 19" or 20" frame, which I thought would be good for one kid or the other and a fun project for all. My son is particularly into mechanical stuff like bikes and cars and tools right now, so I figured he'd like something to work on. As I was paying, I mentioned to the guy that I had never bought just a frame before and I hoped it would be straight and true. He brought over a long tool I hadn't seen before and showed me that it was.

    It turns out the frame is quite a bit larger than I had guessed. Regardless, my son went nuts over it and we (mostly he) washed it, degreased it, waxed it, and repacked the headset bearings, which believe it or not was my first time doing that. We even used 0000 steel wool that I keep on hand to polish guitar frets to clean old hardened grease from the brake posts. When I came home yesterday and opened the garage door, the boy was in there putting a second coat of Meguiar's Cleaner Wax on it. The blue is so bright that it almost glows in the sun, and there's a cool "texture" effect with darker paint on the headtube and fork.

    Now father and son need to agree on a drivetrain. I'd install 3x7, 8, or 9 depending on what I could find at a reasonable price...or maybe just move his current 3x8 stuff to the new frame and sell or donate his old bike as a frame only. He doesn't have much patience with my preference for old stuff and wanted a 1x11 setup until he learned that 1x12 is the "new standard." Last night he was showing me SRAM 1x12 build kits for the low, low price of $400+ on the internet.

    I've been thinking about 1x10 as shown at this website, which even includes a parts list for 1x newbs like me.

    Before we took it apart for cleaning, we grabbed the wheels from his current bike and stuck on some other parts to get an idea of the size. Sitting on the saddle at that height, he can just get his toes on the ground. He can stand over the top tube flat-footed but just barely. I noticed from this picture that the Raleigh's slightly sloping top tube might fit him better and sooner, and the idea of setting up the Raleigh for him and keeping the Giant for myself has crossed my mind...



    And after a good cleaning:



    Ever the goofball, before I got home with it, I texted my wife that I had just purchased a giant iguana. She later said she never took me literally, but she said I had her wondering after I replied, "No, I am serious. There is a giant iguana in my car right now!"

  4. #5054
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    Hah! Nice blue.

    Although, I'm boggled that you did not purchase the parts you needed while you were there. Sounds like you could have built the whole bike.

  5. #5055
    High Plains Luddite George's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cam
    Although, I'm boggled that you did not purchase the parts you needed while you were there. Sounds like you could have built the whole bike.
    I agree. And I already have a spare 8-speed wheelset, stems, bars, seatposts, and some crummy old craigslist saddles, but obviously I need more than that to finish this.

    I thought my tale was long enough too long already, but here's the rest of it. My daughter was with me and she had just played (and won, ten to zero!) a softball game as the catcher, which of course is a more physically demanding position than most. She scored two of those runs also.[/proud dad]

    We went straight from the ball field to the swap meet, which was about a 45-minute drive. She likes riding bikes but has no interest in the differences between one and another, so she was bored to death as I made sure to see everything, talked to some of the sellers briefly, and then drove a few more exits down the interstate to visit the used bike shop that I had just learned of. By this time, she was hungry too. She was "done" before I even discovered the basement and just wanted to get the heck out of there. She was collapsed in a chair when I came upstairs with the frame and I knew it was time to leave.

    But, like the Terminator, I'll be back.

    Speaking of time to leave, today I went to the office to do one specific task and planned to leave early. As I have been doing daily lately, I checked craigslist but this time found one that looked right at a good price and it wasn't too far away, so I said to myself, "Oh, what the hell. Just do it!"

    I've tried to buy steel bikes over aluminum, and I've read you don't want a suspension fork for 26" wheels these days because they're all old and need to be serviced and parts are scarce. However, I rode this one and paid particular attention to the fork by pushing it down many times. I've only had one front suspension fork in the past, but this one seems to work as it should. It is quiet and smooth I don't see any signs of leaking. I don't know what else to look for. The seller seemed trustworthy (yeah, I know, but he really did) and he said the fork was in good shape.

    The bike is in excellent condition. It was probably hung up in a garage for the last twenty years. It shifts very well and stops fine too, although the front-end dive when braking made me wish for a lockout on the fork...which is probably wishful thinking on a fork for 26" wheels. Maybe it won't dive so much with a 110-pound rider on it instead of one twice that. Oh well, he'll probably outgrow it in a couple years anyway. The bike is surprisingly light, even with the fork, and it came with a good saddle, a pump, and two water bottle cages. Most sellers - especially flippers like this guy - don't include extras and install the crappiest saddle they have.

    I just got home and haven't told the boy yet. It's still inside my car with the front wheel removed. It's a 3x8 with triggers, not twist-grip shifters, which I think is a perfect setup. I suspect he'll love the bike but moan about it not being a 1x12 once he's over the surprise he's about to get.

    The CL ad is already gone but when I got home with my laptop, the page was still open in my browser, so I took a screenshot:



    Next: We're going to ditch the crappy twist-grip shifters and lousy grips that always seem to be sliding off the bars on his current Trek 920 and install the 3x8 triggers and Oury grips I got when we first bought that bike but never got around to installing. It will become his sister's bike, since it fits her pretty well. She's totally cool with it. I was prepared for, "Eww, no way! I don't want my stinky brother's hand-me-downs!" As I mentioned earlier, to her, a bike is a bike, and that's just fine with me. There is certainly nothing wrong with the Trek other than it having a 15" frame.

    And after that: My wife wants a step-through instead of her current mens-style diamond frame and her reasons are sound. The search continues!
    Last edited by George; April 4th, 2022 at 03:26 PM.

  6. #5056
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    Not bike related, but congrats to your daughter! That's awesome!

  7. #5057
    High Plains Luddite George's Avatar
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    Thank you. It was awesome, but then they got walloped fifteen to zip the next day. We had a great pitcher in the first half of the first game who struck out six batters in a row (I know because I was the team's newbie scorekeeper) for "three up, three down" in two innings. The next day, the other team had a great starting pitcher and we didn't. C'est la vie.

    Though I'd share these groovy brake levers. There is a rubber pad on the back of each brake lever, which is something I haven't seen before.



    Check out the Servo-Wave Action! I'm sure these would go for hundreds on eBay.


  8. #5058
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    For a second I thought Swervo is gonna wave at us…

  9. #5059
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    I think most of the cold weather is behind us, it being spring and all.

    Might be time to dust off the old bike and get pedalling again. It's just windy as fuck right now, and I had a medial branch block done the day before yesterday and it has given me some relief from my lingering back issues. Let's table the biking until next week, I think.
    Last edited by neanderthal; April 7th, 2022 at 12:54 PM.

  10. #5060
    High Plains Luddite George's Avatar
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    It's just windy as fuck right now...
    It sure has been here for the last two days. I thought my son would be hounding me to go riding, but that wind makes it seem much colder than it is outside.

    Well, I finally I found the story behind those Servo-Wave brake levers after searching websites like bikepedia, r/xbiking, completed items on eBay, and 20-year-old newspaper archives from the Los Angeles Times. It seems that two surfers calling themselves Johnny Wave and Tommy Servo had a small machine shop at Muscle Beach in the 1990s where they re-manufactured Shimano brake levers parts with modifications preferred by local BMX riders.

    These highly sought after brake levers were sold out of the partners' VW Bus at skate parks, Sublime concerts, farmers markets, and in back alleys all over southern California. Servo-Wave Action, LLC got their first major contract as an OEM supplier to GT Bicycles in 1997, two years before the bicycle pictured was made, according to internet sources.

    Sadly, the growing business wasn't prepared for Y2K. At the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2000, the duo's bookkeeping computer crashed and bills stared going unpaid. Receivables dwindled and they found themselves short of cash with which to pay their parts suppliers and the gang of local weightlifters who demanded protection money.

    To stave off serious bodily injury and impending bankruptcy, Servo and Wave staged a series of daring daylight bank robberies disguised with masks of former politicians. Legend has it that the quality of their products took a nose dive around this time. One source, a roller-skating guitarist who frequented the area, claimed he saw the pair picking up empty beer cans from the beach to make brake levers from as a cost-cutting measure after the Y2K fiasco.

    While fleeing on bikes after what would be their final heist in 2002, Johnny's brake levers, which were from their most recent production run, crumpled under his grip as he exited an alley at high speed. He rode into traffic on Pico Boulevard, where he was knocked down by a passing police car. Witnesses at the scene said the other suspect kept pedaling furiously and never looked back. Apprehended at the scene by LAPD officers Malloy and Reed, Johnny Wave is today serving a life sentence at Folsom Prison for armed robbery, income tax evasion, and impersonating a Canadian prime minister. Tommy apparently made a clean getaway and his whereabouts are unknown to this day.

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