In an earlier post, I talked about the futility (for me, anyway) of saying “Never again!”
I built up a Trek hybrid frame from about 1990 and used it as an errand/”beater” bike for a few weeks before deciding it was just a little too big for me and giving it away. I said I wasn’t going to do anything like that again.
Did some famous person say all resolutions are temporary? Or is that just some rationale I’ve devised for breaking vows I make?
Or, perhaps, I’m just in the habit of making promises to myself that I simply can’t keep. You know, like the one that I was going to live as a cisgender heterosexual male. Oh, well.
Anyway…You’ve probably guessed where this is going. Another bike found its way to me. Yes, really, it did…just like that kitten I brought home as a kid followed me home.
Actually, I found it at a yard sale in Brooklyn—not far from the neighborhood in which I grew up. And the owner made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. Well, I could have, but I don’t have that much resolve. What can I say?
So for a princely sum of ten bucks I found myself in possession of a Schwinn LeTour manufactured in October 1975.
The frame itself had barely a scratch and seemed to be in perfect alignment. However, the rims and spokes were rusty, perhaps from sitting in a garage or basement. Those parts, and the others—except for the tires and seat—were original equipment.
I took everything off the bike, as I would have done to overhaul it. Then I unlaced the wheels, tossed the rims and spokes and gave the tires, seat and handlebars to Recycle-A-Bicycle.
As the bike probably hadn’t been ridden much, the other parts were in very good condition. So I decided to list them on eBay, figuring that they’d be good for “period” restorations.
In my listings, I made sure to mention that the parts were original equipment on a ’75 LeTour. A guy in Tennessee bought the derailleurs, shift levers, cranks and bottom bracket; other buyers bought single parts. The brake levers—complete with the “suicide” extensions—went to a fellow in Switzerland!
While I didn’t make a fortune from those parts, they netted me enough money to buy a pair of wheels. I know, they’re kind of strange: the kind of “Deep V” rims you might find on a “hipster fixie”, with a coaster brake on the rear. But I figure the rims will take a beating and the coaster brake won’t require a lot of maintenance. Plus, the bike is going to be used for errands and such, and locked in all manner of places, so I wasn’t looking to assemble a technological marvel.
Those wheels were all I’d need to buy. (After assembling the bike, I bought the Wald baskets.) The other parts came off other bikes or were acquired for projects I never pursued. And I got the fenders in a swap. Someone had drilled them for a custom fitting but decided he didn’t want steel fenders. The way I fitted them to the LeTour is inelegant, but somehow right. Anyway, it works.
I’m not going to sell or give this one away. At least, not for a while, anyway. ;-)