Monday, July 20, 2015

Car Spotting in Ann Arbor

With all of the bike stuff that has been going on lately, it may no longer be apparent that I am first and foremost a car guy.  Well, I have had some of these photos rolling around in the "New folder" folder on my desktop and it's about time I share some of the cars that have caught my eye over the past few months.  All of these were taken with my cell phone so please excuse the poor quality. 

I also managed to stumble across a car show so be prepared for a long post!

1980-86 Ford F150 short bed, 4-speed manual

Friday, July 17, 2015

Mr. And Mrs. Schwinn

It may or may not come as a surprise to those who are familiar with this blog, but my bike-fixing ventures have become somewhat of a small business.  It is neither big nor official because school is my first priority right now. This started out as me saving bikes from the dump and refurbishing them and in most cases, they were perfectly good frames that just needed a cleaning, lubricant, new cables, chain, and usually tires.  I would then resell them to new owners just so I could get my money back.  I never intended to make much of a profit from this; it just broke my heart seeing so many good 30, 40, 50 year old machines going to waste.  I wanted the old bikes to find a good home and ever since I started doing this roughly 9 months ago, 15 of these bikes have passed through my hands.

I have been posting ads for my bikes on the school's free & for sale site for some time.  Friends or classmates looking to either buy a bike or have one fixed started referring me to their friends.  Often times, I would tie my tool bag to the back of the Raleigh after work and be able to fix their bike on the spot.  I suppose they saw a benefit to working with me because they wouldn't have to be placed in line in a real repair shop and have to wait days or weeks for the bike to be finished. Additionally, maybe more importantly so, I didn't charge very much beyond parts.  I mostly just did (do) this for fun and to keep good bikes on the road.

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Holy Grail of Transportation Bicycles

This post was supposed to be titled "Raleigh DL-1: A Man Sure Can Dream" when I planned to write this article a couple weeks ago. I was then going to spend the majority of the post drooling over the '73 Tourist that Lovely Bicycle! used to own, talking about how historically significant these rigs are, and planning what modifications I would make with the DL-1 that I would someday own. Due to a roller coaster of events, the aforementioned title is no longer fitting and I'm not even mad about it! Why? Well, I introduce to you:

My very own 1975 Raleigh DL-1 Tourist! It's so long that it almost doesn't fit in my usual "photo frame area." Surprisingly enough, it lay comfortably in the back of my friend's '07 Ford Escape with the front wheel turned 90 degrees.

Friday, July 3, 2015


Because of shipping taking longer than expected, I have been waiting to write again about my Schwinn 3-speed.  Until then, here is something to keep y'all occupied:

As you may recall (if not, look on the menu to the left), I built myself a heavily modified 1979 Raleigh Superbe at the same time that I was building an also-heavily-modified 1976 Schwinn Varsity for one of my good friends.  Tonight after work, I went to dinner at the Fleetwood Diner as I do sometimes.  I spotted the unmistakable white tail of a classic Raleigh 3-speed across the street as I was waiting for my food. Praying that it didn't move before I finished eating, I kept my eye on the street corner, ready to run out to chat at the sight of the owner unlocking it.

Fortunately, the Raleigh stayed in place.  I made my way over expecting it to be one of the 3-speeds that I've already seen parked around campus.  To my surprise, it was a Superbe, essentially a Sports that came standard with a Dynohub generator, fork lock, and rear rack.  Not only that, but it was the same color as my own! It looked to be an early-mid '70s British model, made when they still came with the Brooks B72 saddle.  The headlight and chain guard were gone, but I hope the owner knows what he or she has.

On top of that, there was a mid '70s Schwinn 10-speed parked right next to the Superbe in the same color as the one I built for my friend.  I didn't feel it right then, but I am now in utter disbelief.  Somewhere in Ann Arbor, there may be another me and another Yoon rolling around on another "bronze green" Raleigh Superbe and another "flamboyant red" Schwinn 10-speed, both from the '70s.  The only major difference is that theirs are almost bone stock and ours are very clearly not.  I stuck a note on the Raleigh saying something along the lines of "Yo, we have the same bike! Are you into bikes too? [...] email me if you wanna chat! Cheers" Fingers crossed that the owner of the Raleigh responds; if he or she is indeed acquainted with the Schwinn's rider, the four of us will have to meet up.