Ahh where to start.
I’m new to this whole blogging thing and honestly, I’m not much of a wordsmith. However, I do have a very keen interest in vintage and utilitarian/urban bicycling. I’ve been riding most my life, as a kid in the small towns of the Bible Belt, one of the last paperboys in the Detroit Metro area as a “tween/teen”, five year car less bike commuter in the mid 90’s here in Portland, to current recreational rider. Though I wish I could bike commute now, my job as a welder/iron worker and the 1000 lbs of gear need to do such a job makes it impossible. Having been a life long “cyclist” I have a pretty good working knowledge of what works and what doesn’t. And being just a working class guy, I believe I can relate and talk about bikes in a fairly unique way.
I do have some pretty strong opinions on the subject of bicycling. Many of which will bear themselves out as this blog progresses. My personal philosophy on bicycling is that all that is needed to bicycle, is a bicycle. I know this seems extremely simplistic. However, it is actually is a pretty bold statement in the United States bike community. Where the next “latest and greatest” invention or safety devise is sure to make your life better, ride safer, and wallet much thinner. For the sake of future content, this is all that I will say on these topics for now.
In keeping with the idea of bicycling as a simple activity I have taken to riding and rebuilding vintage three speed bikes. With much digging you can find all the information you need to know on the subject of repair and restoration of such bikes online. But even the sites with the best information, can be a bit daunting and hard to wade through. Part of my intent is to guide one through the all the processes of keeping these bike in good repair, as cheaply, effectively, and easily as possible.
Though the internally geared hub is still being made today, you’ll find many employees and mechanics of bike shops don’t know much about them or how to fix or adjust them. So if you decide to go the way of the 3 speed, you might find yourself having to fend for yourself.
One of the great advantages the old 3 speeds bikes have over other bikes is that they were built and designed with ease of maintenance and durability in mind. For 90% of the work needed to keep these bike road worthy all you need is a screw driver, an adjustable wrench, an oil can/pump, and some time.
There are some quirks to these bikes as well, and these issues will be brought up as we go through and fix them up. Likewise, for some parts, if one is so inclined there are modern upgrades that might be considered. Again these issues will be discussed as we go over each part of the bike.
I will also at times post things that apply to the local bike scene here in Portland Oregon (yeah I know another Portland bike blog). But in the last few years I’ve taken more of an interest in bicycle advocacy, and would to make more of an effort in improving the cities bicycle infrastructure. Emails and responding to blog posts and news articles only goes so far after all. And on top of it all for how “great” the infrastructure is here in Portland, my neighborhood is perhaps one of the worst and is often, I feel- neglected.
The last reason I am starting this blog, is that I’m also currently doing some work and designs geared at starting a home based business. One that I feel will offer much appeal to riders of similar bikes. I’ll be the first to admit that nothing I make will make your riding easier, and it wont be the “next best thing”. They will perhaps allow you to personalize and enjoy your trusty steed a little more than you do now. More on this later, when I’m ready to roll it all out.
Well, I guess that this will be a sufficient start, I hope you enjoy the blog.