The WOB (Weird Old Bike) is my new ride. A Japanese (Nishiki) imitation of an old-school European style commuter, the WOB has its original fenders (with a few dings), original cranks and three-speed rear hub, and original handlebars. The folks over at Rock On Wheels rebuilt it from the frame up, with new bearings throughout and a shiny new black powdercoat (it was originally yellow). I have no idea what year it originally hit the streets, but to this old bikie it looks and feels very 70s.

Three-speed rear hub with oil port

Ancient twist shifter

I've ridden it a bit - both last night and to work this morning - and I've decided to make some modifications to it. Cruising through the dark streets last night I realized that riding a black bike with no lights or reflectors on poorly-lit residential streets while dressed from head to toe in black clothing might not be the best of plans. So I'll be adding a front and rear light, and maybe some side reflectors (if I can find some of the appropriate vintage).

Riding it to work today helped me remember something I learned over 20 years ago - messenger bags suck! Baggage should be strapped to the bike, not to me. I'll be adding racks and panniers to it soon so that my lunch, work-out clothes, and other necessary bits can come to work with me comfortably.

Since I'm on this topic, the League of American Bicyclists are promoting May as National Bike Month. May 14th through May 18th is National Bike to Work Week, and May 18th is National Bike to Work Day.

I know that after reading this, many of you are hoping that your coworkers will join the bike to work campaign - so that it will be easier for you to find a parking spot when you screech into the lot three minutes late. This is not the optimal attitude.

Instead, you should break out your old Schwinn and relive parts of your childhood. Not the part where your cousins smeared peanut butter on various parts of you and then held you down while the dog licked it off - no, the part where riding your bike was FUN. I will confess to jumping a curb or two this morning, rolling through a few stop signs, and generally ignoring the rules of the road in the way the fastest urban cyclists do. I got to work much more quickly than I would have driving, and I got primo parking about 10 steps from the door of my office.

Incidentally, peanut butter is not really good for dogs. Also, be sure to use smooth - chunky can be quite unpleasant in certain areas.


His Sinfulness said...

Ok - so on the first day I rode the WOB to work, we get a mix of rain, sleet, and snow.

Conincidence? I think not.


Flynn said...

You were smited...

Mark Travis said...

thanks for the visual on the dog and peanut butter there.

His Sinfulness said...

Just one more service we provide, Mark...

Modig_Bjorn said...

K, just hear me out...HSBP action figure (with excommunicating action) with stealth-cyle.

I'd buy one.

Post a Comment