I have always wondered about the appeal of fixed gear bikes and thought it may be an experience I enjoy. My noticeable lack of hipster friends, and the only single speed rider I know living for the time in Tuscon, Arizona left me few options to satisfy my curiosity. Purchase an overpriced fully assembled fixed gear bike new from the local bike shop, purchase an overpriced fully assembled fixed gear bike used from Craigslist, or use some old frames I already owned to build my own. (I never consider department store bikes viable options.) Considering that the fixie movement is largely based around personal expressions of creativity and ingenuity, of course the only logical choice was to build my own.
I used the frame from a 1960 Hercules 3-speed I received from friends who were demolishing a barn near Albany, purchased a few key components new, and the final result is a surprisingly fast, incredibly light weight, nice looking bike. It may seem like a big endeavor to undertake for an experiment, but as suspected, I thoroughly enjoy the fixed gear riding experience. To me it feels like the striped down version of the behemoth that road or mountain biking has become today. When we were children there was no component specs or gear ratios, no cycle computers or tight fitting spandex, there was only the bike. That is what fixed gear riding reminds me of.
Here is how it went:
In September of 2011 we moved into our new House.
By that December, encouraged by the spacious garage I now owned, I had already accumulated a number of bicycles in various states of entropy. The intent, as with all good things, was to obtain broke bikes for cheap, fix them and sell them. Riding them in the interim was the chief perk. This past weekend, (March 2013), I have completed the first full restoration.
I have been trading, buying, and selling bikes, but none that I parted with had been restored by any great deal. The Sportsman was different. I took every nut, bolt, and washer off this bike and thoroughly cleaned, greased and reassembled. This is a photographic account of that process:
After First Rinse
Dissembling the Wheels
The Sturmey Archer 3-speed Internal Gear Hub
Hub Partially Reassembled
Hub Ball Ring Assembled
Hub Mechanism on Axel and Hub Housing
I am sure this will mean more to me than to the rest of you, and this may seem like a strange way to break a rather long silence, but I view it as a rather significant milestone:
I finally finished the Ryanverse series by Tom Clancy!………(with caveat)
As explained in previous posts, I have been making my way through the lengthy saga for several years now and since I began the series there had been no new novels, until 2010. In the past two years Clancy, with assistance from other writers, has published three additional novels, two of which extend the Ryanverse universe. I have made the decision that since these novels are not “pure” Clancy that I will consider my accomplishment complete.
Of course I plan to read the additional novels, but with the vast myriad of books and genres available I find it more difficult to restrict myself to this narrow focus.
The Ryanverse Novels, by Tom Clancy
Thank you Tom Clancy, it was a memorable experience!