Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Mary Winkler Bike

On March 22, 2006 Mary Winkler shot her preacher husband with a shotgun while he lay sleeping. The reason she said was he made her dress up in slutty clothes for undesirable sex acts. The following bike is the functional equivalent of Mary Winkler.

Hi There,
This is my 30 year old Trek sport/touring frame that I finally fixed. I tried converting it to a single-speed with a tensioner kit a year ago, but that was horrible. Finally bit the bullet and fixed it proper. Now it's rock-steady fabulous!
The frame is one of Trek's early efforts - a double-butted 25.5in Reynolds 531 from 1977 or '78, with a 531 replacement fork that I got after I bent the original T-boning a dog that ran in front of me. Didn't hurt the dog at all. This frame was too tall for me when I bought it, but tall was normal back then. Stretch to fit, you disco punk!

Hey Baby, I know you're not NOS and after 30 years you’re more like yesterdays news. But in your day you were one hot mama; 531 and Campy, man I couldn’t keep my hands off you. But I’ve been thinking, you know that single speed thing we tried a while ago? Ya, I know you felt cheap and all, but this is different. It’s all about feelings and getting back to basics; back to what we were when we started.

I gave it a lousy sand-down and spray-can touch-up paint job because I wanted to keep the original decals. The tubes look fatter in these flash photos, but they're all about 1&1/8in and very spidery with nice lugs. It actually looks pretty sexy in the daylight.
It's ridiculously tall (we're talkin' near-zero standover clearance for my 6ft+ bod) with a long wheelbase and 23.5in (57.7cm) top tube. I still have a crappy 27in front wheel on it so I can use my Ultegra 600 brake. Some day I'll build a matching front wheel if I can find a 700c fork with a long enough 1in steerer. Or maybe I'll just get a long-reach brake.

Okay, so maybe we weren’t the perfect fit when we started. You were always head and shoulders above me and my big ideas just didn’t measure up. But I told you I’d make it work, I’d change the parts that didn’t fit. But now I’m asking you to freshen up a little. I’m thinking black stockings, it will give you that "spidery" look. You know I don’t want to change what that beautiful frame says about you, but something that going to hide the cellulite and look sexy in the daylight. No, No, you don't look fat. That's just the camera; you know it adds a 1/2 inch of tube diameter.

Parts include my original Campy Strada triple crank with a 42 Stronglight chainring, Soma 15 1/8 cog filed down to fit a 3/32 chain. Ritchey MTB pedals. Mavic Open Sport rim w/Nashbar flip-flop fixed 32 spoke hub (huge thanks to Peter @ Performance in Cary for the refresher course in wheel building!). Front wheel is aforementioned Genuine POS 27incher with custom black and green paint job to cover up rust and oxidation. Campy headset, SR stem and Sakae Custom Road Champion bar. Ultegra 600 front brake. Ugly but solid-alloy generic seatpost with my well-worn Selle San Marco blue USPS saddle. Nice and cheap Hutchinson Excel kevlar rear tire. Nearly dead generic 27in front tire will hopefully last until I build the new wheel.

Look at this baby; Nashbar! Yeah the real thing! Laced to Mavic Open Sport! Almost a really good rim. And you know that rust under your front spokes? Green polish baby! Oh Yeah! Oh you know what turns me on. You know how I like it. Don’t worry about all those old parts, its patina baby, it’s what sells. Like that fat ring I got you that didn't fit with your other ring and chain, I just filed it down to make it fit; I'm so darned good with my hands. I’m ready to ride you all the way.

I finished it in time for day-1 of the MS-150 ride on Sep 9, where I rode it for the first 15 miles before switching to my geared bike. I wish I'd ridden it the whole 100 miles, it was so fun. But this is my first fix and I didn't want to be a menace to the pace line. No worries, it feels wonderfully solid and precise, though a little noodley in the front end, probably because of the crappy front wheel. And I'm sprinting and climbing with old narrow bars, dragging along my 200lbs of old wide geezer flesh.

Oh baby that was the best. Sorry I didn’t last as long as you would have liked but I'm not the man I used to be and face it, no matter how I dress you up, you're still my same old girl. And Gearie, oh you know she means nothing to me. The only reason I spend any time with here is because she’s easy. You’re my first love and you’ve done so much to try and keep the magic alive. It’s you and me baby, forever.

Note to self: unload shotgun in closet tomorrow.


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