I scoured craigslist armed with about $100 and very little knowledge of what constituted a decent used bike. Eventually, I found one that looked decent. I took it for a test spin and coughed up $100 for it. I can't even remember the make or model now. I took it in to Velo Cult to have it tuned up and they immediately found a whole bunch of bad news (bent fork among other things). I called the guy back and, not surprisingly, he didn't feel bad about selling me a junked bike. Burned, but lesson learned. I came back to VC to look for a used bike that would get me around and found Walt. He is an 1984 or 85 Raleigh Marathon. Nothing fancy, but he had a classy air about him: lugged steel frame, friction shifters, mustache bars and friction shifters mounted on the stem.
|Walt's near original configuration.|
The next modification I made to Walt was to splurge on a Brooks B-17 and abandon the cloth tape for cork which I find to be much more comfortable. With those two changes and a pair of shoes on my feet all the points of contact with the bike were dialed in and I started to rack up the mileage, really only using my Vanagon for hauling stuff that can't fit on a bike. Some creep stole the Trek, so Walt became my do-it-all...road rides, commutes, brevets, shopping trips, camping. You name it, he could do it.
|Walt taking in the scenery.|
|Walt the Franken-Riv|