Thursday, January 31, 2013

Le Tour

Right after I got it, tires flat and not yet ridable.
Haven't blogged in a while, not really much since I was in a near fatal van on bicycle accident. It wasn't so awesome but both I and my favorite green bicycle survived(after a little rebuilding on both counts). I've got a backlog of fun things and projects to write up and I'm carving out time to do so.

I'm not often one for kitsch but this is a pretty awesome ad. 
One fun project has been the unearthing and repair, not so much restoration, of a 1974 Schwinn Le Tour road bike. I picked it up at a garage sale for next to nothing and put in a lot of elbow grease along with some bike grease and hours to end up with a great looking bike that is fun to ride and more suitable for longer rides than my Globe, more on that as well. My original plan was to use it for randonneuring but it's become more of a special occasion and weekend bike for me so my quest for a randonneur worthy bike continues. 

After it's first(and my first since the accident) bridge crossing.
It was pretty grubby when I got it after sitting in a garage in Russian Hill since 1976. The tires had practically melted over the years but other than that and some rust here and there it was/is about as stock and complete an example of this iconic ride as you'll ever see. I've replaced the seat and swapped out the wheels from another vintage bike but it's essentially as purchased back in the 70's. Thanks to this handy site for Schwinn fans I was able to pinpoint exactly what I had found. 

So far it's made a few rides across the Golden Gate Bridge up to Muir woods and around Marin as well as making appearances in San Francisco from time to time. I had planned to really change out a lot of things and update the bike but the more I ride it the more I like it just the way it is and I may do a randonneur race on it yet. Definitely one of those bikes that just sort of grows on you. 

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