Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I have just begun cleaning up and restoring an early 60's Bianchi Gran Sport (similar to the one above) with some help from the good folks at the Bike Kitchen. I know next to nothing about bikes, but look forward to learning a bit via the restoration process. This one is a classic! Emerald green frame, all original Campagnolo components, original Bianchi leather seat (looks like a Brooks), and other assorted things that bike geeks who have seen this have pointed out: chrome on headset, Bianchi badge on front, dual wing nut tire releases. So if the bike doesn't ride well and I need to sell it, I at least have some components that collectors will more than willingly take off my hands.
Step one is rust removal - there is some serious accumulated rust on the wheels, pedals and other spots. This bici (velo for the franco-frenchies) has not seen any road in over 40 years! As scrubbing off rust with a brillo pad is tough work, my friend Josh, who helps to run the Bike Kitchen and also buys wine for Bi-Rite market, offered me a blind taste of something with bubbles in a tiny dixie cup. I guessed big house champagne with a good bit of PN in it. It was fine - definitely champagne and of ok quality but not at all exciting. And I was right - 1997 Palmes d'or from Feuillate. Apparently, vintage co-op champagne tastes like non-vintage NM bubbly from an ok house. Regardless, it felt good to take an occasional break from the brillo pad and sip some champanskoyo.
Step 2 is an overhaul of the bike, which I am told could mean a lot of things depending on what we find. What I am excited about is that, after replacing the tires, I should be able to ride the bike as is. And then slowly tackling the overhaul.
Yep - moving to SF is gradually turning me into a bike geek.