Monday, May 20, 2013

Nor Cal on the Bianchi

Not too long ago I went on a team ride in Big Basin down near Santa Cruz on my early 80's Bianchi Sport SS. We took a short stretch of very rough dirt and the Bianchi came back pretty broken and wasn't ride-able until I replaced the wheels. As part of the re-fit I also upgraded to a Shimano 7 speed cassette and spun on some SPD's. That has collectively taken the old bike to a new level altogether. It's noticeably lighter, a little more snappy and responsive and is a better machine for climbing by far. I guess it's now a 14 speed and it looks less like a vintage bike with the alloy wheels and machined braking surfaces. It's old but reliable Ishiwata tubing leaves it squarely in the roadworthy category and well worth riding as it rivals many bikes built today. To look at it you might not guess it's a 30 year old bike but then again, a lot of it is no longer 30 years old.

Anyway, given the rebuild and an opportunity for a ride out of town, I struck out for Occidental and did some touring of wine country. It was beautiful weather and I got to drop in on the Union Hotel, one of the sponsors for the  St Patrick's Day Massacre Charity ride I did the photography for. The coffee was good and the peach turnover was great!

The bike is due for a new derailleur chain, bottom bracket and maybe a headset soon. I'll have to repeat the 70 mile ride, grab another turnover and compare.

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