How did the internet carry me here, today? I was looking at a very cool antique Stearns shaft driven bicycle at Mike’s photo site and a commenter asked about a shaft driven bicycle maker in Holliston, Massachusetts. Searching for shaft drive bicycle makers brought me to Mt. Airy Bicycles in Maryland. What a shop! A couple of shops, actually. While they don’t manufacture shaft driven bicycles (they sell and service new and used bicycles), they have a Rambler Chainless for sale. Looking handsome at 110 years old, don’t you think?
I had the most fun with their excellent search feature. It is like a used bicycle genie granting (most every) wish. Rub the bottle and ask for Bridgestones and you are offered a couple of dozen. Rivendells tickle your fancy? Three available and you can see many more that have already sold. A Fat Fuck’n Chance? Why not? They claim to have over 3,500 new and used bicycles. I am speechless (but can still type).
If I lived in College Park or Mt. Airy, would I have more bicycles or fewer? I can’t say for sure, but knowing I can get a 56cm Bridgestone tourer helps me relax. I don’t need to buy the next one that comes up on eBay if I feel relatively sure that when (if ever) I “need” one, Mt. Airy may have one. I hope I get there in person someday for some heavy browsing.
Back to the Stearns Chainless shown by Mike. Manufactured by E.C. Stearns Bicycle Agency, Syracuse, New York (at one time the largest bicycle manufacturer in the world with 3,500 employees). My favorite advertisement (from here).
The Chainless originally sold for $75. The Special, offered at $125, weighed only 20 pounds. They also produced a Light Roadster. Is this where Mike picked up the name for his model? If you care to learn more about the company (and the risks facing centurions pedaling in red petticoats), be here.
That’s enough of that. Be well.