Category Archives: Bridgestone bicycle

Quiet Day

Not much happening today, work wise, so I am finding ways to help the day along.  Cooking is always good.  Dinner will be pintos, collards and cornbread.  The pintos and collards are done, but the cornbread wasn’t going to make itself–so I did.

The recipe from Incredibly Delicious is wonderful.  I’ve probably talked about it before, but I don’t feel like looking it up.  My Dad likes it so much he asks me to send him loaves in lieu of gifts.

My mind is increasingly pulled in the direction of the gardens.  The seedlings in the basement are coming along nicely. Above are cukes on the left and tomatoes on the right.  Basil below. 

I might go out later and put cool weather seeds in the home garden.  Lettuces and such.  Frida is resting, as dogs will do.   Odd that she has her back to all possible danger.  Has she given up guarding the yard?  I don’t blame her.  Things can be pretty quiet around here most days.

The buyer of the Grand Velo picked it up last night.  Talking with him about bikes for twenty or so minutes was more pleasure for me than payment for the frame.  He has about the same number of bicycles as do I.  Buys and sells over time.  Even though I am going to make a concerted effort to sell, I’d be a fool if I thought I’d bought my last one.  In the end, what is the harm in collecting, really?  That’s how he feels anyway.  Who am I to argue?   His preferences run toward Schwinn Paramounts and Campagnolo.   I understand the attraction.   The Grand Velo is his first Bridgestone (but like me he has a Rivendell Atlantis and a Rivendell Road).  Toward the end of our conversation I complimented his VW GTI.  Told him I had one of the first ones and miss it to this day.  Turns out he had one as well (white!).  Big sigh for the days when small cars could be light.  So much more fun to run around in a small light car with a small motor than a heavy car with a huge motor.

Espresso machine is heated up.  I should go use it so I can shut it off.  Take care.

Mixed Emotions

This morning I offered for sale on Craigslist a Bridgestone Grand Velo 3000 frame and fork.  

Even though it was a bit too large for me, I held onto it for more than ten years.  It was just too pretty.  

Posting the ad gave me a sick feeling.  I fall deeply in love with every bicycle I work on.  The longer it is in my care, the deeper the love.

It sold in under 30 minutes to someone I know (even though the sale was anonymous and I didn’t contact anyone about it).  

Happily, I know this someone will take very good care of it.  That takes some of the sting out of it.  

I will try to keep the ball rolling with a few more sales this Spring.

Otherness?  A friend forwarded to me his colleague’s blog.  The writer is a librarian with a love for cycling history.  I’ve been through twenty or so posts and am enjoying it.  He is a good and careful researcher.  You should stop by if you have time.

Three cheers to the workers, all!

Two 2s

I love my wife!  The day started with a nice walk with Frida.  Lacey said she wanted to go to the gym in the morning.  I said it was so pretty that maybe she’d be willing to bicycle in the country with me.  No driving to the gym.  No electricity used by the work out machines.  Free vitamin D from the sun.  Togetherness.  It is kind of cold and very windy, but she said yes!  I love pedaling with my sweetie!

Lacey wanted to ride her Bridgestone XO-2.  It is her favorite go fast bicycle.  Her Panasonic road bike is probably quicker, but it isn’t as stable or comfortable and the XO-2 has easier gears.  Perfect.  I picked out my new Bridgestone RB-2.

Lacey also wanted a bagel brunch.  I had thought the same thing when I woke up, so I stuffed a cotton bag in my coat pocket and planned a country route that dumped us out by a grocery (where we could get Tofutti cream cheese) and then we’d continue home and stop by the bagel store.  

The ride in the country was hard work.  A very strong head wind the whole way.  We enjoyed it anyway.  

After the grocery, we faced a pretty long ride along a very busy street, but as luck would have it we had the strongest tailwind the whole way.  It was amazing.  We had to be going twenty-five, maybe more, with almost no effort.  I haven’t had that kind of fun in ages!

The line for bagels was out the door and moving slowly.  When I got inside the door, I grabbed a bag of day old bagels and headed to the cash registers.  That’s the ethic there.  If you don’t need the help of the sandwich makers, you get to cut to the registers.  Score!

Home safe now.  Lacey is cleaning up while I type.  Then bagel brunch!  Woo hoo!

I hope your Sunday is extra special, too.

Oh Yes I Did!

And, no, I am not proud of myself.  But it was so pretty, just my size, and priced so reasonably!  

Compare the 1993 Bridgestone RB-2 to the RB-1 and you will find they used a different tube set and parts for the RB-2.  The changes added one pound to the weight of the complete bicycle but dropped the price from approximately $1,200 for the RB-1 to $650 for the RB-2.  Such smart choices.  So smart that you think you’d see a million of these things rolling around, but I don’t think I have seen even one in the wild.  The catalog helps explain their rarity–only 1,000 were produced.  Head back to the entry for the RB-1 and you’ll find that in 1993 Bridgestone made two versions–a /7 and a /8.  The /7 used bar end shifters and a 7-speed cassette.  The /8 used brifters and an 8-speed cassette.  Bridgestone made 1,000 of each of the /7 and the /8, for a total of 2,000.

I also just learned the RB-2 is fully vegan.  The Avocet Racing saddle is covered in vinyl.  The RB-1 came with an Avocet Racing-1 saddle covered in leather.  Today I added MKS vegan toe straps, MKS Deep toeclips and Cinelli cork ribbon (twined to nearly match the frame paint).  I will probably order Rivendell Ruffy-Tuffy tires for it, too.  A little fatter and appropriately tan sidewalls.

That’s enough of that.  Too much, really.  I have to start selling bikes.  If you know I have something you want, please be in touch.  Letting go of any bicycle is difficult for me, but I need to learn how to do it.

Take care!

Missoni Bike for Target on eBay

I heard on the radio (a Telefunken bajazzo de luxe, it was)…

…that Target started selling the Missoni line yesterday and that everything sold out.  They said the stuff is already up on eBay, so I looked for the bike.  Seventy-four of them are listed.  I didn’t look at each listing, but one has a buy it now price for $1,900.  The bikes were offered by Target for $400.  I will not be surprised if it and all the others sell.  If even one of these bikes sells for $1,900, it might be the quickest value appreciation of any bicycle ever.  I wonder what they will sell for in 20 years?  Did I miss the boat on the next Bridgestone XO-1?  Probably not, but only time will tell.

What else?  I dropped off for repair my hifi amplifier.  It is at Tempo Electric in Troy, NY.  The principal, Joseph Levy, spent the good part of an hour with me answering my 101-level questions about this amp and his plans for it, his business practices, his gurus, skyrocketing prices of gold and silver, the durability of US made valves  and so on.  This conversation took place in his small but tidy workspace.  Bins with what seemed like every possibly useful capacitor and resistor ever made lined his workbench.  He had on display (presumably for his aural entertainment) the first monoblock amps he made.  They used Heathkit chassis that were stripped of all components and rebuilt with the finest parts of the day.  Things of beauty they were.  On his bench was a vintage phono preamp made in California that had recently belonged to Mr. Levy’s business partner, Dr. Arthur Loesch.  It had been sold on eBay to a purchaser in Korea.  The buyer had asked Mr. Levy to replace capacitors and resistors and convert the unit for 240v use.  Mr. Levy is going to listen to my unit, then take it apart and look it over.  He will send three suggested parts lists with budget, bang for the buck and price is no option premium parts.  I am very optimistic that this project is going to turn out beautifully.  It should be back in a month.  Anticipation is one of my favorite states.

Anything else?  I had a garage sale this weekend.  Sold one of three bicycles offered.  The Goodrich is no longer with us.  Turns out it is easy to sell bicycles if you price them at next to theft level prices.  The bicycle came into my life for free, but I had added what I recall to be $60 Schwalbe Fat Frank tires, a smaller NOS one-inch pitch chainwheel, some NOS Schwinn grips and a bell.  I priced it at $50 and the fellow offered me $35.  I said ok and then he said he was going to resell in in Provincetown.  Provincetown!  I could have been sad that I let myself be taken.  I could have been sad that the bicycle may very well be left to rust while chained to a utility pole (only Nelson “The Cheetah” Vails could make this thing go up the steep hills of Provincetown).  I felt none of those things.  Not only was I happy to be able to let a bicycle go, but Provincetown is a lovely place for this wonderful bicycle to spend its final decades.  Good wishes to you, Goodrich!

I hope you are well.

Perfect Ride

I pedaled the country loop this morning.  Simply perfect.  Sunny.  Not a breath of wind.  Sixty-two degrees.  Every car that passed gave me huge amounts of room.  Thank you all for being so careful and cool.  Much appreciated.

The Bridgestone 700 was fast and sure.  Its Vredestein Perfect tires can be inflated from 85 to 120 psi.  I stopped at 90.  This bicycle is a real racer with tight geometry and no provisions for fenders or racks.  Racier tires might make more sense.  The next time I need tires for a fast city bicycle, I will move the Vredestein Perfects to that bicycle and buy some slicks for the Bridgestone 700.

Here is one of the first views on my ride that makes me thankful the city stops so abruptly on my end of town.

I was curious to see what Irene had done.  Not much had changed by this point in the ride.  Still pretty as a picture.  That’s not the road I pedal on.  That is a driveway off of the road.

Aha.  First real evidence of Irene.  This road lost its bank.

Hard to appreciate the height and steepness of the drop off from this photo.  It was severe.

The water under this bridge is now about 20 feet below the surface of the road, yet there are limbs stuck in the bridge suggesting water had risen to cover the roadway at some point during or shortly after the storm.  

Easier to see some of the debris here.

Again, hard to tell there are 20 feet from where I am standing to the now low again water, but that is about right.

Another barn with the Helderberg Mountains in the background.  If you want to pedal up to Thatcher Park, I believe these are the mountains you must overcome.  I love this barn not only because it is beautiful and sits in front of a pretty backdrop, but because it is the half way point for my ride.

I came across line crews replacing electrical lines.  Apples still clung to trees.  Neighbors were sharing stories at roads’ edge.  I pedaled slowly, but even without pushing the hills got my heart moving.  It feels great to be able to do this ride without feeling like I did much.  I have attained a modest amount of conditioning.  That is all I ever really want.  We’ll see if I can keep it up over the winter.  Rollers?  Longer winter rides if and when the snows leave the roads?  Too soon to tell.

The sauerkraut is souring nicely.  The apples, carrots and caraway are elbowing their way into the flavor.  Three or so more days and it should be ready to eat and store.

Time to work.  Be well.

Read My Posts Immediately

Are you 5-8 or so and need a road frame?  Deal of the year, to be sure.  I’d buy it myself, but I have a dozen or so too many already.  56 cm.  Pre-worn so you don’t need to baby it.  It will be sold before I finish breakfast.  Maybe before I finish this post.

Provincetown

Just got back from a week on the Cape.  What a delight!  We stayed in Provincetown.  Bike friendly to the max.  Traffic calming?  The roads are narrow and twisty.  Thousands of pedestrians, dogs and bikers, so the few people who bother with cars go slow.  We biked and walked everywhere,  but drove when we wanted to take Frida to the beach.  I rarely left first gear, so I was traveling at about 15 mph, tops.  Not holding anyone up, either.  They all go slow!  Heaven!

We brought our Bridgestone city bikes.  A Bridgestone CB-1 for Lacey and a Bridgestone CB-0 for me.  Two years ago we brought our ANTs, but this year we opted to go downscale.  Easier to be easygoing when you aren’t locking up a potential museum piece.

Seemed like some people are there because they like to bike, but most use bikes because bikes are the best thing to use.  These folks are wobbly, don’t know the rules and can barely get up hills.  Few helmets and no lights at night really brings home the casual biking attitude.  Even so, it works well.  Mostly because everyone is careful.  Most everyone.  One fatality while we were there.  A motorist struck a person walking a bike.  A terrible reality of mixing cars and people outside of cars.

The bicycles!  We saw almost every kind of bicycle imaginable.  Lots of discount store mountain bikes, but also vintage three-speeds, recumbents, racers, folders, tandems and comfort jobbies.  Even a pilgrim on a trike!

The beaches were beautiful.  Cold water, but even I made it in to swim once.  Bouncing in the waves was super fun.  One highlight was spending an evening on a beach with a bonfire.  Our neighbors (who were in Provincetown at the same time as us) orchestrated that treat.  The sun was setting in the west over the ocean and a full moon was rising in the east.  Magical.  No pictures.

One of my favorite seaside activities was finding seaweed.  Is there an app to help you know which is edible?  Maybe it all is?  

Frida found a place to hide outside our cottage, so she was happy.  We didn’t let her stay there as much as she wanted, but she enjoyed her safe hiding hole for a spell.

Pedaled to a lighthouse.  Maybe seven miles away.  That is the furthest we ventured.  No need to go further.  Everything was at hand.  

The lighthouse was near a cliff below which was another beautiful beach.

Lacey looking pretty (as always).  She’s wearing her new “Whiskey Makes Me Frisky” t-shirt.  What a hoot.Other treats?  No vegan restaurants, but plenty of vegan chow.  Good stuff, too.  Saw Roseanne Cash perform in a small tent at the Cape Cod National Seashore.  Went to see Bob Mould give a reading from his new book.  I could go on and on, but I am starting to get sad that it is over.  Need to pedal to the garden and the grocery store anyway.

I did make it to the garden yesterday.  I picked twelve pounds of cucumbers and forty heads of garlic.  Added horseradish leaves and dill from the home garden and now have three gallons of dills souring on the counter.  Hooray for dill pickles.  In about a week or two.  Stop by!

Vegan Saddles, Plastic Bar Tape and Noise

The best saddles I have found are either covered in leather or made of thick leather. I just noticed two nice saddles from Soma covered in vinyl. One seems to be a copy of the Selle Italia Turbo. The other, a copy of the Selle San Marco Regal. The seats on which these are based are both very comfortable and I have every reason to believe these would be as good. Affordable, too. Both would be right at home on a 1980s to 1990s lugged steel road bicycle.

Also, if you are trying to find replacement bar tape for your Bridgestone RB-1 or XO-1, Soma can help there, too. I think the original may have been Bike Ribbon, which is long out of production. I have one set I recently bought from eBay, but this tape from Soma looks like a pretty close match.  Update:  Looks like Bike Ribbon is back.  Harris Cyclery has it.  

Enough with things. How about a little therapy? I am, as always, the patient. Today I learned I need to be more careful when making comments on blogs. We all know this, but I get sloppy. I am lulled into a safe place by weeks then months of gracious support from the friends who read what I write here. Feeling fortified, I venture beyond the borders of my URL to write comments. It usually goes well enough, and why shouldn’t it? My comments are mostly positive and placed after posts written by copies of me and read by other copies of me. The blogger and a few folks typically respond with encouraging words and that is the end of it. We are a homogeneous crew complimenting each other on our good taste in identical uniforms. Silly, but sometimes it scratches a certain itch.

Not this time. I recently dropped a few morsels into the great digital colon we call the web and they were quickly passed in unrecognizable form. Nary a recognizable chunk of tofupup or a kernel of corn in the fetid puddle. Were those my well meaning words staining the bowl? I was embarassed and sad. It went something like this.

Blogger X shared with the world her new love of bicycle computers. Been there, done that, got over it and now I am going to save you the round trip, thinks I. Why couldn’t I keep it to myself and let her make her own journey, which begins harmlessly enough with her deriving enjoyment from knowing speed and distance traveled. Better to be oblivious to time and space, but I was more afraid she’d take the next step, which she she did without missing a beat. She asked her readers how fast she should be going when touring or riding in a training group. Could she have a competitive side?  Taken too far, a need for speed can change the way you look at bicycles and pedaling, which become equipment and cadence respectively.  Who cares what those new wheels look like so long as they help you go faster.  Rides become training opportunities.  Did I have fun?  Was I being safe?  Not important.  What was my time?  While I don’t reasonably expect this blogger to take it that far, even the remote risk bothered me in the moment.

Here was a new bicyclist and blogger who up to this point seemed to selectively throw her leg over and point her camera at only the prettiest and most sensible bicycles. She cut her teeth on vintage European transportation bicycles and quickly developed a taste for lugged steel beauties from Rivendell and masterpieces of utilitarian cycling from ANT. She developed crushes on other beautiful bicycles along the way, bicycles on which I shared a crush. With each post, my admiration grew. She loved pedaling beautiful machines and seemed to be oblivious to the idea of speed. It was all freedom, fun and safety and looking your best all the while. How terribly sensible and fun.

Now she had clipped to the bars of her new Rivendell a battery operated plastic coach. She wanted to know if she was fast enough to do this or that. I wanted desperately to believe she was immune to the go faster bug.  To be sure, I sent a comment.  I said I removed my computer when I realized it had made riding less fun. I had learned roughly what various speeds felt like and later realized I no longer cared what speed I was going. I also disliked the extra clutter on my bicycle. Pedaling was better without statistics. Carefree, I was. My bicycles were prettier, too.  If I had to write anything at all, I should have stopped there. Maybe the blogger or one of her readers would have remembered the simple pleasure of pedaling in ignorance of speed and distance traveled, taken off their computer and liked it. One happier pedaler.

I didn’t stop there.  I added, more as an afterthought than anything, that removing the computer probably made me a safer cyclist because I had eliminated a distraction. Who would disagree with a simple assertion that instant digital feedback displayed on your bars could be a distraction and that fewer distractions are better? Only everyone, I learned, as they all had computers, loved them, and resented the implication that they were something less than totally safe. Oops.

My ignorance is bliss argument cowered in the bushes while the computer lovers attacked my assertion that computers are a distraction. They took shots, one after the other, to discredit the devolutionary who dared to suggest they could be safer.  Maybe they were right to do so. Why did I write anything less than positive in the first place? This is her blog, after all, a business I think.  Maybe they should have ignored me.  In the end, their arguments were just cluttering up an otherwise beautiful, useful and sensible blog.

From now on, when I disagree with a fellow blogger, I will write about it here instead.  If you read this, Blogger X, please accept my apology.