The bicycle of the week is my Bridgestone CB-0. The CB stands for city bike and the 0 means it was the top of the line for that year. I have had it for years, but last week I took the time to remove a dozen pieces of red reflective tape that had been poorly applied on the frame and fork. It looks like a new bicycle. Here is a before picture.
I waited years to remove the tape even though it was so very unsightly because reflective tape is useful when riding at night. Also, once it is on, it takes so much work to get it off. I used a hair dryer to heat the stickers after which the reflective part of the tape came off easily and in one piece. The sticky backing remained, though, so I used Goof Off adhesive remover to get that off. So toxic and unpleasant, but it always does the job. Then I gave the bike a good cleaning and a waxing. It looks pretty good for its age.
I love the Midge On One bars. As close copies of WTB Dirt Drops, the drops are very shallow and flared out. Very comfortable. The drops on properly positioned road bars can be as comfortable, but too often road bars are set too low (or the frame is too small) so that the drops are too much of a reach to be useful for anything other than momentary use. Not so with the Midge bars.
We used to have a Bridgestone CB-1 in the heard as well, but we sold it to a friend. I thought it would be a perfect bicycle for her, as she was moving to NYC. It wasn’t so flashy as to be immediate theft bait and it had huge low pressure tires with flat protection and reflective sidewalls and a nice upright position thanks to pretty Nitto bars.
Unfortunately, the buyer has grown dissatisfied. Very discouraging, as I try hard to place good bicycles with the right riders. What I didn’t foresee was that the buyer would try to pedal it on long hilly rides in the country, accompanied by racers on racing bicycles. Needless to say, a heavy city bike on cushy tires is not well suited to fast-paced long rides in the country. The bike would be pretty easy to transform into a go faster bike simply by changing the tires to 1.5″ high pressure models. Tires and tire pressure have a huge impact on the character of a bicycle. Skinny high pressure tires would make the CB-1 much faster, but the frame will always be heavy. Much heavier than the frames on racing bicycles. The heavy tubes that make up the CB-1 frame and fork keep the price of the bicycle low, but they are tough. Cheap strong bikes are perfect for slow short rides in a flat city with high theft risks. A tool for every job.
Today my newly shiny CB-0 carried me to the community garden. I planted peas, beets, lettuce and komatsuna. I have had the knickers I am wearing since high school, and I wear them often each summer. As a kid they saw a lot of use skateboarding, but now it is mostly bicycling and other outdoor sports. I have no idea why they have held up so well. This might be the first time I have seen a picture of me wearing them, though, and I must say they are extremely unflattering. Lacey has never said a word. She is a saint.