29 September 2011

A Fellow Alum Does Good

Today I did something I've never done before, and may never do again:  I actually read an article in Rutgers Magazine.

Why does that matter?  Well, I am an alumna (I was once an alumnus...) of the school on the banks of the Raritan.  I graduated a long, long time ago.  And I've been back to the school maybe three or four times--the last time about twenty years ago.  That, even though through most of my adult life, I've lived within a day's bike ride of the place. 

The day I graduated, I wanted to get as far away from it as I could.  About the only thing I liked about being there was that there was some good riding--and New York--nearby.

Today the latest edition of the alumni (Don't they realize they're being sexist when they use that term?) magazine arrived in the mail.  As I normally do, I flipped through it during a potty break.

A pretty picture of a pretty shiny thing got my attention:

It's quite possibly the first photo of a bicycle ever to appear in the magazine since the days of the six-day races, if indeed Rutgers had an alumni magazine back then.  I am sorry I couldn't reproduce the quality of the image in the magazine.  But I think this shows how warm and eye-pleasing the color combination is.

One Jay Zand, Class of '82 (I'd never heard of him, or anyone else in the magazine, until today.  Now you know why I don't read it.) purchased the bike from Eddy's Cycle City in Bayonne, New Jersey  (the hometown of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons).  Zand, who's an optometrist, paid 300 dollars for the bike, which was in pretty rough shape, with the intention of restoring it.  He had never undertaken such a project before.

He sent the bike to California for repairs and refinishing, and even had tires custom-made for the maple rims.  The bike, as it turned out, was made over 100 years ago by the Middlesex Motor Company of New Brunswick.  Eddy's purchased it from the Metz Bicycle Museum in Freehold (Bruce Springsteen's hometown).  Metz is dedicated to the heyday of cycling--around the time the bicycle in the photo was built--in New Jersey.  Turns out, Jersey was a veritable hotbed of racing, and Newark even had a well-regarded velodrome.

All the bike needs now is a honey-ish brown saddle to go with the grips and rims, although I think it looks really nice as it is.

It's nice to see fellow alums doing good things.  I might even start referring to Rutgers as "my alma mater."  Now, if I start attending tailgate parties, then you should worry about me!

1 comment:

  1. Have you ever attended a tail gate party? Me neither. Perhaps they really ARE fun and not just what frat parties become 20 years after graduation.