Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Blast From the Past

Check out my first video! With audio too!

From Antelope Island, of course!

Hi All,
Sorry for the delay in posting, been working in the garage, commuting to work, and we had houseguests for a week! What was I doing in the garage? You might ask…
Two weeks ago, I was leaving the driving range at Valley View Golf Course, and a fella pulled up in a pick-up truck full of junk and assorted stuff. What caught my eye and gave me goose bumps was the sight of a very distinctive bicycle decal, and a very familiar color frame. Emerald green, and the decal said: Peugeot.

I couldn’t believe my eyes at the sight of such rare treasure. You see, in 1974 I was the proud rider of the same model emerald green Peugeot. I rode the lovely steel bike everywhere, over hill and dale, racing my dad the seven miles to church, (he would drive, I would run all of the stop signs and beat him), and enjoying the bike as my primary mode of transportation.
The bike and I parted ways in the early 80’s after getting into two accidents, one, being rear-ended by a VW Beetle, and the second getting pitched over the bike after some idiot riding opposite to me on the wrong side of the street ran into my front fork. The bike was never the same, and then a few years later when we moved to Utah, the movers finished the job of making the bike unserviceable.

Cottered Crank Arms, An adventure in getting those off!

So, you can imagine my surprise and finding this bike. After speaking with the owner, he told me that the bike was actually in very poor condition, and that after his golf practice session, the bike was headed to the dump. Well, I couldn’t let that happen, and after long negotiation of about 10 seconds, the bike was mine.

…The bike is mine. That was the good news. What’s the bad news? Well, the bike had been either in a shed, or stored outside for a many years. There is rust, corrosion, worn out oxidized parts, the rear derailleur literally crumbled in my hand; the tubes were filled with solidified Slime!

Well, it used to be leather!
I instantly began making a plan of action to resurrect the bike, and return it to duty. But in what form? For what purpose? Parts for an old French frame are hard to come by, and I wanted to make the bike usable again for as little cost as possible. I decided to strip the bike down to the frame, saving all critical parts, and rebuild the frame to a single-speed commuter. With good advice from Pete in Australia, Mark at Saturday Cycles, and the use of tools at Biker’s Edge in Kaysville, I have managed to strip the bike all the way down to the frame.

All cleaned up, ready for rebuilding...
As of this update, the frame is down in Centerville while Mark searches for a bottom bracket, and I am refurbishing the handlebars and stem. If both of those tasks are successful, then the rest is a piece of cake. Soon, the bike will be in service, riding from my house to the train station, and from the train station to the ARTCC where I work. So far it has been a great project, learning how to remove all the parts, how they all work, and how the bike was built.
Stay tuned for the next update.
Oh yes, and the first name for the bike that came to mind?
The Green Lantern.


Gump in SLC said...

Thanks for the video, Jim.

How is it working out taking a DF on Frontrunner? Are you still commuting all the way on a bent too from time to time?

Jim said...

Haven't used FR yet. Riding the 'Bent 2-3 days a week from Centerville in. Riding going well so far.


Nan said...

Great video from the island, Jim. What a treat to join you on your hike--looks like an absolutely gorgeous day.

Hopefully the Green Lantern can be rebuilt and will have a happy new life at your house.



Harding said...

What an exciting project! Good luck!!

Princess Pat from Zardonia said...

I especially enjoyed the audio portion of the video. How did you do this? what did you use? Can I do it too? Next time, point the camera at your face so we can see YOU too.
Love, your sis, Patsy

Daniel said...

Hi Jim,
Two days ago I found the exact same bike (emerald green and all) lying next to a dumpster... It was so nice I decided to ride the last 8km of my daily commute home riding my bike while holding its stem with my right hand.
The derailleur was blown in pieces and it had no saddle, but the rest is in pretty good shape. I am also going to rebuild it as a single-speed commuter for my girlfriend, so she has 4 bikes just like me (high-end road, high-end mtb, beach cruiser and SS cummuter). We will also sometimes ride it in winter (and here in Québec, it's really cold with lot's of snow...) so durable, sturdy, low-cost components are a must. Keep us posted on you're project and I'll send you a picture or two once it is worth it!
Gatineau, Québec, Canada

Katherine said...

Am really enjoying reading your old posts, Jim. Green Lantern was always my favourite superhero!