Thursday, November 5, 2015

1978 Peugeot Super Competition PXN10LE

I've mentioned it here a couple of times in passing, but I recently acquired a "grail" bike - the bike that you always want, but will probably never find. In my case, it was one of the most popular bikes out there, but the prices were what would preclude me from buying one.

But I found one. I have done blog posts about my other "hobo bike" before. To be fair, I didn't buy either one of these bikes from an actual bindle carrying hobo. First the Raleigh, International and now the Peugeot Super Competition were both very fine collectible bicycles being used as basic transportation by people who were working hard to make their way.

I found the Peugeot outside of a convenience store in my neighborhood. After taking a quick peek at it, I went into the store and asked whose it was. One of the shortest not little people persons I have ever seen raised his hand and claimed it. I know a little Spanish, so I had a talk with him and discovered that he had picked the bike out of a dumpster, and that he was more than willing to give it  up - because it rode like shit for him. I wasn't surprised, because it is a tall frame (58cm) and as I said, he was very short.

This is how the bike was set up when I found it.
The guy was riding this bike with the bars flipped up, a broken jockey wheel on the Simplex rear derailleur, and with zero brakes. The pads were herd as rocks, and were not adjusted correctly. At best, they slowed the bike down (but there was still lots of praying involved).

I paid the man the hundred bucks he asked for, and then went on my way. Over the next few days I did a complete tune up, and replaced the broken jockey wheel with one from a Suntour derailleur. I wanted to wrap the bars with black cotton tape, but had a hard time finding any tape anywhere here in Dallas. I ended up using a dark blue, which I like a lot. Luckily, the store that had the tape (Transit Bikes) also had some replacement hoods for the brakes. I'm looking for some NOS Mafac hoods, but it may be a while before I find them. 

When I was in high school, my first "real" bike was a Peugeot - not a Super Competition like this one, but still a nice bike. I rode it for many years, and loved it, but had to sell it when I was in the Navy and stuck at home on leave without money to get back to my ship. I had always regretted selling, because I loved it. Finding this bike closes that loop for me. 

After completing the tune up, I brought the bike up to the office, where it hangs now so I can thoretically ride it at lunchtime. It's built of Reynolds 531, including the fork. The crankset is a Stronglight with black drillium rings, the brakes are Mafac with drillium levers - just a beautiful bike. I had to find an Ideale saddle for it to replace the comfort POS that was on it. It's not the proper Ideale 2001, but it's my preferred Brooks style. 

ATAX Alloy Stem 

Stronglight Drillum 


I replaced the old red cable housing with yellow, but now that I keep looking at it, I think I need to go with orange to match the downtube logo.

I'm also going to replace the current blackwall tires with some gumwalls so things look right, and then I think I'll be done with it.

This bike has already inspired me to get back in the saddle, and to clean up my garage in order to try to enjoy my hobby again.

It also inspired me to fire the blog back up, tho I have not much to say, so thank you?

I am contacting Southwest Frameworks today, and will run the bike over there probably early next week. When that happens, I will take lots of photos.

As they say in France, Adios until next time, mon ami.

This is my favorite piece of art in the office. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

No, I Did Not Die.

When I last left you, I was riding my Univega home from the office in order to bring my Peugeot Super Competition up to hang on my wall. I am still trying to find the time to get the bike over to Southwest Frameworks so that they can match the paint. However, it is indeed up at my office, as evinced by the photos below.

As I said before, this is my latest acquisition, a 1978 Peugeot Super Competition. I did actually ride this bike up to the office, but I chose not to ride the Univega all the way home. Apparently the rear wheel needs truing, as no matter what I did, every revolution found the pads rubbing the rear wheel. I decided to wait until Saturday, when I rode the Super Competition up here, and just took the train home with the Univega. 

The ride up on the old bike was pretty good - I mostly ride these downtube shifted bikes around the many trails in Plano; this was the first time I tried to ride one in traffic. The ride was  mostly uneventful except for one incident in Richardson on Greenville Avenue, where some old knobhead in a BMW decided to try and scare me. Two lanes available, and this guy in his seven series thought it would be a good idea to pull up behind me and buzz me and honk at me as he passed. Obviously I lived, but I don't understand why he thought that was a necessary or useful thing. He could have just gotten in the completely empty lane next to me and not been slowed down a bit. People like that are one of the reasons that Dallas is called one of the worst cities for cyclists. 

Once I got home with the Univega, I decided that it was time to clean my garage in order to work on my bikes. I did a bunch of mechanic work on a company vehicle last summer, and my garage was much worse for wear as a result - it had gotten super disorganized, and the only way was a complete redo. So off I went. 

This was in the first stages - I had removed much crap. 
 As you can see, I have another project lined up I want to get started on as well; my 1901 Oldsmobile. 

In the course of cleaning up the garage, I got sidelined by another project I have been sitting on for many years; my grandfather's old air compressor. 

Ford CH-1000 Air Compressor
My grandfather had hard wired this in his garage, and when my grandmother died a few years ago, I inherited it - and then proceeded to let it sit for a long, long time. I took a sideline to the garage cleanout and spent some time wiring a new whip in so I could plug the thing in and use it. After some time and study of the original manual (which shows that grandpa purchased this a week after I turned ten) I fired it up for the first time in 15 years.  (Grandpa passed away New Years Eve 1999). 

If you found my blog because you are looking for info on this compressor, I will copy the manual if you need it. 
So, without further ado, here is the sound of a Ford CH1000 air compressor that has not run in 15 years. 

I'm pretty proud of myself for making that work. I'll be back soon. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Obviously, I can't write about everything I've done for the past 3+ years, but I can share some neat stuff I saw while I was on vacation with my family this summer.

We went to Washington DC, which to me means

That's right - the charcuterie at RFD Washington. This was as tasty as it looks, with some Vermont Duck, Washington Salami, cheese, and etc. 

Until this trip I had never been to DC, and that trip was truly the other part of getting me back into cycling; at rush hour, the bikes were weaving in and out of traffic, and it reminded me how much fun bikes were. I didn't really see any "good" bikes chained up in DC the way I did in Ft Collins Colorado last summer. This VanMoof was chained up in Ft Collins on a random Thursday night. 

I didn't see much of that in Washington DC, but I did see bikes everywhere - and people riding them. I guess those bikes fanned the embers of my former bike obsession. I even took photos of some of the bikes in the Smithsonian.

This Tiffany bicycle was incredible. This was in the Museum of American History.

Or this very rare Wright Brothers built bicycle in the Air and Space Museum.

You don't know how badly I wanted to straighten those cranks out. 

So even though I still wasn't riding in June, I wanted to. Sort of. Even though I knew it would hurt, I could feel the ache in my legs, telling me to spin some pedals. I would wait a while longer to actually make it happen, but I was starting to feel that ember glow again. 

Bad news though - it's still unsure if I am dead after my Friday ride - I actually wrote and scheduled this post at the same time I scheduled my pre-ride post. That means that I could still be deceased from my Friday ride, but because I am relentlessly efficient and wrote this in advance, you will have to wait to see if I never show up again. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

I'm Riding Home on Friday Afternoon

Woah, woah - strike up the band. I'm going to ride home this afternoon. Last time I posted a photo of my Univega in the office, set up in the trainer. It's here because I have storage issues, of a sort; I have a lot of bikes. As of this writing, here are the bikes in my garage, some of which I have pictures of; 

1968 (?) Falcon San Remo Single Speed
1968 Schwinn Twinn single Speed
1973 Raliegh International

1974 Schwinn Suburban

1978 Peugeot Super Competition

1986 (?) Ross Mount Whitney with a Nu-Vinci CVT hub

1986 (?) Suteki Mixte (My wife's) 

1992 Univega Ultraleggera

1999 GT Force

2010 Dahon internally geared 8 speed folder

Plus my daughter's two bicycles, and my tools, and my 1901 Oldsmobile Replica. 

As I said before, I took on a car hobby as I fell out of bikes; cars move under their own power and I can be relatively lazy. 

Back to the beginning of this entry though - Friday, I am riding my Univega Home. I posted my Peugeot snag on Bikeforums, and one of the members contacted me to see if I could get my bike to Southwest Frameworks here in Dallas so they could match the color, as he is restoring the same model.  I talked to David from Southwest today, and we are going to hook up next week so he can take a color match. In the meantime, I need to get my Peugeot up here, and take the Univega home. I hate to haul bikes on the back of my car, because it is hell on my paint, so I'm going to ride the Univega home and then ride the Peugeot up here on Saturday. David is going to come here and take me and the bike to his shop one day in the next couple of weeks. I've met David before at some of the "retro picnics" he throws, and I am looking forward to seeing some of the bikes he is working on in his shop. I will report back here with plenty of photos. 

I'm writing this entry in advance of my ride, so if it is published and I never show up again, there is a good chance that I expired on my ride home, or just got lazy and gave up cycling again. Or maybe just gave up blogging. Or went blind. Actually, I guess you can't jump to any conclusions if I never show up agian, because there are many things that could happen to me that could prevent me from making my next entry. 

Cold comfort, indeed. Let's hope I make another entry soon. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Indoor Training

It's awful. Every year, I pull out my trainer (a 1 UP USA sent to me by the company for review - which you can read here) and set the bike up, pretending I'm going to ride it. There was a time when I did so, when I was at my lightest, in my best shape. It was all of one season, for maybe six weeks.

I actually brought my trainer up to the office, again pretending that I was going to do some riding at lunchtime, but as of yet, I have managed all of five minutes. Maybe ten minutes, but that's being generous.

Why is it so hard to ride inside? When I got my bikes out, cleaned them up, and did some longer rides of labor day weekend, I was able to knock out 25 miles without being too beat, even after a 3+ year break.

I plan to get some real riding in this weekend, and I guess I will take the Univega off of the trainer - and actually put my gear on and go for a lunchtime ride instead of trying to sweat it out in my office. There is a path at the end of the street my office is on that runs quite a ways, so 30 min won't be too bad. I'm hoping to work back up to commuting soon. Since I stopped commuting, the cycling landscape around Dallas has changed considerably, and I may have a much more direct route to the office, which would be a really good thing. This Saturday I plan to do a mock route to both see how much time it will take me, and what the best, most direct route is. I love riding paths, and I believe Richardson has built a few more paths along my route so I don't have to ride so far out of the way anymore. I used to have to cross 75 twice during my ride (both on dedicated paths) but it put my miles out of my way - I will report next week with the new route findings, and regale you with tales of adventure.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Where The Hell Has The Time Gone?

So here we are. The second post in nearly four years, thank you very much.

It's good to be relatively back. Both on two wheels and on the bloggiverse, here.

I guess we should do some catch up, you and I. What have I been up to? Lots. I have been working hard over at my Pro  gig, taversing the USA in the hot rod milk truck my brother and I put together. We do a lot of classic auto insurance, and we go to lots of classic car shows, so we thought it'd be best to do it in something supercool.

This photo was taken on our first trip in the truck - this was in the New Mexico mountains. It was an amazing drive, and at the time of writing this we have driven our DIVCO Lightning to California, Colorado many times, Kansas, Missouri, and all over Texas. As we have been doing that, we have been building a team to make our company great. Frankly, that's been the hardest part. I stopped riding because I hurt my hand a couple of years ago, and the habit of riding fell to the wayside. I did hang a bike in my office to remind me what I was supposed to do, but all of my bikes just hung in the garage gathering dust.

It also got hard to find good bikes worth repairing on craigslist - everything was going for way too much money - nothing was $50-75 anymore, and those that were were just cheapie mountain bikes from Wal Mart - disposable goods, never meant to be kept for a long time. So things got dark in the garage, and I moved on to cars, as you see above.

Then I found my Peugeot, and everything in me came alive again. I had flirted with the idea of selling some bikes for a while, as I have way too many. After the Peugeot purchase, I sold a bike to a friend who contacted me looking for something good, as he was going to a car free lifestyle. I dug around in my stock and decided to sell him Hubbard's Schwinn World Voyaguer. I love the bike, but with the acquisition of the Peugeot, it didn't make sense to have that many drop bar 1970's roadies. Plus, I knew Brandon would take care of it and appreciate it. So on down the road it went.

I have, since finding the Peugeot, actually gone on some rides - lots of path rides, as I am in a great city with many miles of paths very close. I even got out my GT Roadie, my old commuter, and took it for a 20 mile spin. I forgot how good it rode.

So I'm back, in a way - I have made some grandiose plans for 2017, but I'm going to keep those under my hat for now, but unlike my Tour de BBQ days, I don't have to raise money to do it.

As they say on the street, I'm "back in the cut" - see you soon.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

We Peek Out Our Head

Should I start up again? I have started riding again, not because I want to get back in shape, but because I found this. Much like my Raliegh International, I found this bike under someone who was just using it for transportation - I have heard them called "hobo bikes" before.

This is a 1978 Peugeot Super Competition. When I was a kid, my first "real" bike was a Peugeot - not a Super Competition, a lower model. It was "real" enough that it had downtube shifters, though, and I rode it all over Rowlett and Garland. When I got into old bikes, I put a Peugeot on my list - and to find this one was incredible, especially considering the condition it's in. I had to tune it and clean the hell out of it, but it's beautiful and rides wonderfully - though the fat old engine pushing it doesn't help.

I know that I will at least do another post about the bike, but I dont' know when. I am in the process of liquidating some of my old collection, because I love this bike so much (and my garage is full of dusty bikes.

I will be back - probably not regularly, but I will try to post again. I lost my way a few years ago, and have literally not ridden much more than a few miles for the past couple of (3!) years. It's good to see you again, and hopefully, I can regain your trust as a mediocre bike blogger.