Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Fixedgeargallery...the lost entry.

Dear Fixedgeargallery,

I’ve been addicted to this site for a long time now and I’m proud to finally present a bicycle I feel is worthy of inclusion. Here is my story:

My fixed-gear journey started two years ago this month. I was crossing the street with my dry-cleaning in one hand and a hot venti white chocolate mocha from Starbucks in the other. I had the walk signal and was in the middle of the crosswalk when a cyclist whizzed by me, causing me to stop abruptly and spill my beverage all over myself and my freshly laundered suits. Though the entire episode took only a fraction of a second, I can picture him in my head perfectly to this day. The insouciant expression; the whisps of hair poking out from the hood of his sweatshirt; the white cable connecting his head to the MP3 player in his messenger bag; and the snug black trousers from the women’s section at Target. All of these things spoke of a person who knew true freedom and was living his own life on his own terms. But most of all, I remember the bicycle. It’s minimalism and singularity of gear and purpose was captivating. Even at that moment, dripping with overpriced coffee and embarrassment and nursing second degree burns, I knew I had to have one.

Now, anybody who knows me knows I’m not one to go off half-cocked. If I was going to get a fixed-gear bicycle I was going to source each individual component myself, and I was going to do it right. My boss was surprisingly supportive when I told him that I would be taking a leave of absence in order to see this project through--his reply of “Fine with me, just don’t expect to have a job when you get back” was appropriately businesslike, yet it still left the door open for future negotiation. My wife was a bit more resistant in the beginning, but when I showed her a detailed spreadsheet proving that all we’d need to do in order to make this project economically viable was cancel the cable, get rid of the car, rent out one of our bedrooms, take our son out of private school, and find her a second job, she eventually agreed.

Finally free from distraction, I went to work. I spent hours and hours every day poring over the entries on FGG (though most of those hours were spent waiting for the photos to download since I was now using dial-up). I knew that my frame would need to be something special, so when a friend forwarded me a Craigslist ad for a steel frame with horizontal dropouts, I jumped on it. You don’t find vintage steel frames for less than $500 very often these days, and this one was under that to the tune of nearly $20! I almost couldn’t believe my good fortune. I wasn't sure who made it, and in fact for a moment I doubted it was steel—but since my refrigerator magnet stuck to it, and since it was really rusty, I finally convinced myself that it was the genuine article.

Yesterday was a bittersweet day for me. I finally completed the bike and took her on her maiden voyage. She rides like a dream. Unfortunately, though, when I got back I was subpoenaed. It appears my wife is suing me for divorce.

In any case, I think you’ll agree that the end result is truly something special. The photos were taken this morning, right before the bank foreclosed on my house. Paypal on the way.


PS: I just found out that my frame is actually a Huffy, which was a high-end builder who supplied frames to the 7-11 pro cycling team in the 80s. In fact, my friend thinks it may actually have belonged to some guy named Bob Roll!






59 comments:

Anonymous said...

First.

Jan Ullrich said...

Second again

SeattleM&M said...

I think the podium should go to the first person to make an actual comment. Hey, that's me! I freakin' win!

Anonymous said...

I hate you all:)

Josh said...

This was great. I hope that "Lost Entries" become another regular feature on the Fixed Gear Gallery of the Damned.

GGehrke said...

Tomorrow's post: Craigslist ad selling the bike as vintage, ridden by Bob Roll in le Tour, and with a self-pity story explaining why you're "letting it go" for $699 even though "it would cost twice that to build it yourself."

clayton said...

haha. amazing entry, BS.

Anonymous said...

To win, the comment has to be on the story that you just read, and none of you guys did that so. . .
Very funny but a lot of the story was missed. Went from buying a frame to getting divorced! What happened in between? Now I win.

Anonymous said...

TOP 10, MALLOIT JOHNNY!!!

Anonymous said...

That was a great entry BSNYC - I'm really impressed with the seat on that Huffy. It could have been Bob Roll's, too!

Anonymous said...

BSNYC, Very good! But why wasn't it resprayed or powder coated in a color scheme that is a tribute to the owner's personal journey?

Eric said...

How is the seat attached? It looks like it just floats there way out in front of the seattube. It must double as a TT bike with an agressive seat angle like that.

bikesgonewild said...

...a bike called "quest"...the search for spirituality while keeping one's feet firmly planted on the pedals is truly inspiring...

...should you be forced to sell, perhaps bob roll or the dalai lama might be inclined...

Matt in Seattle said...

Yeah, that's one of mine too, I'm going to put it up on CraigsList later today. I've got to finance that divorce you know.

Anonymous said...

Stamped steel drop-outs. You don't often find that quality for under $500. Might be italian.

M. Weed said...

The Riddle: The Untold Story

I like how you said "leave of absence" instead of "sabbatical"

thefutureofamerica said...

I don't know if I'm buyin' it... I know steel is flexible and all, but the guy had to digitally alter those photos to get that bitchin' head tube angle.

leroy said...

And the moral of the story is...

"Follow your bliss, get blisters."

But I wonder....

If the wife gets the bike in the divorce, can one say she left in a Huffy?

db said...

Awesome.

She rides like a dream.

The bike or the (ex-)wife?

anatomy of a bicycle said...

i have my anatomy course final exam tomorrow. instead of prepping for it, i read this. well worth it though - hilarious. i hope this doesnt affect my future career as a nurse though.
"nurse, what aspect of the neuromuscular junction is exerting inhibititory properties in the system?"
"well im not sure, but i do remember this one really funny BSNYC blog post..."

Impartation said...

^^^^ Ouch. That pun was terrible, but tasty... Nice one.

mr.complaint said...

Is this the start of a Serial?

Maybe he could get his wifes old jeans in the divorce.

And just think of all the girls (like Roxy Erickson) that he could date and convert to fixys (see, no 'ie').

Such potential!

Anonymous said...

The horror, the horror.

Anonymous said...

db,

Its the bike, the ex-wife is a rough ride.

WWWWWWWWink

stinkbike said...

^^^

those curves and I hit three holes

ahhhhhhh

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one that check Craigslist daily for "Huffy" and then prays hard that some clueless guy is selling a serotta?

nolucker said...

Absolutely hilarious. Great post, BSNYC Great line about the dialup

Cody said...

OH, THE HORROR

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 4:48 - You probably are, although I admit to checking for TARDIS in hopes of getting a deal on a Time Machine.

Anonymous said...

Q. why does a divorce cost so much?
A. because it's worth it!

SkidMark said...

to Anonymous at 4:48p

I think you've exposed a universal dream we've all had - finding a clueless guy selling a Serotta as a Huffy. Unfortunately, the reality is that we're more likely to be taken by some shyster selling a Huffy with Serotta decals on it. Nothing wrong with checking CL occasionally, but DAILY?? I think you may have a disorder that requires professional help!

ouch said...

I'm thinking it was crashed with a head tube angle like that. Rides like a dream of what?

Joel said...

Don't know about getting a Serotta from someone who thinks it is a Huffy.

I lucked into a Trek 728 from someone who knew it was a Trek but had no idea which model.

Came with Campy hubs and decent Rigida rims that resold for almost as much as I paid for the bike.

Doing some updating now, including getting it powder coated. When all is done, I will have a classic lugged steel bike with geometry perfect for loaded camping trips for significantly less than people are paying for highly impractical single speed fashion statements.

john said...

God help you if you need decals to tell the difference between a Huffy and a Serotta!

Anonymous said...

Bikesknob.. you pussy.If you really wanted that diatribe to read like a FGG post you wouldn't have been afraid to deviate from Meriam-Webster's English, that is, unlike a real FGG post, you had to spell every work correctly.

Give us a brake - let's see some real creativity. You must be a frushtraitd inglish teacher in reel life!

skidmark said...

Little early to be jumping the shark, ain't it? What's next, a guest column by Jim J Bullock?

clintpatty said...


check out the hate

bikesgonewild said...

...i'm not sure if we're ALL aware that the 'huffy' race bikes used in europe my both lemond & the 7/11 team at various times were built by ben serotta...

...just offering...

mojito said...

Nice idea. But why stop at the pilot when you could have gotten a whole series from it? You know that bloggers will never go on strike (more's the pity) and Nielsen is a racket anyway.

The epitome photo would have:
a) so much saddle slope that the rider's nostril would have to surf the stem,
b) enough spoke cards to make the Tarrot Readers' Union file a protest suit, and
c) a freewheel proudly displayed.

The description would apologize profusely for the brake and claim that it's coming off any day now.

BTW, anyone else going to admit doing the magnet test? Used it recently on a found bike to just verify that the wheel rims really weren't aluminum and really should be ditched.

moj

gttim said...

My wife was a bit more resistant in the beginning, but when I showed her a detailed spreadsheet proving that all we’d need to do in order to make this project economically viable was cancel the cable, get rid of the car, rent out one of our bedrooms, take our son out of private school, and find her a second job, she eventually agreed.

I noted this in the Excel spreadsheet I keep listing all the obsessive compulsive spreadsheet mentions in various blogs.

Anonymous said...

Skidmark: Jim J Bullock isn't a sign of jumping a shark, its a sign of a low-rent operation that couldn't afford anything else after paying for Tammy Fae Baker.

EVERYONE knows the Horseman of the Shark Tank is Ted McGinley.

Anonymous said...

actually, doesn't this guy deserve a sarcastic bikesnob post?

http://fixedgeargallery.com/2007/nov/6/RyanCoyle.htm

come to think of it, though, he pretty much is a parody of himself anyway...

Anonymous said...

anon 9:26:
that's gotta be a setup. i have to believe that nobody would ever seriously build up that bike.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Skidmark,

I thought I jumped the shark weeks ago with the orangutan.

--BSNYC

Anonymous said...

dear god.
http://fixedgeargallery.com/2007/dec/1/BradHefta-Gaub.htm

clintpatty said...

I would like to ride that Shogun with a different stem, handlebars, and mainly pedals.

Anonymous said...

I like how the De Rosa's posed on the guy's bed. And is that a white stain on the paisley sheets? Do we have yet another perverted Scotsman?

Maybe the twine(?) on the TT is some sort of asphyxiation device intended to enhance the frame's pleasure.

zack said...

some guys on the FGG forum seemed a little hurt by this. said it hit too close to home. i still remember the pain of having to shell out $20 for my first pair of 700c tires.
if these guys have that kind of cash, aren't they supposed to be the ones mowing us down with their SUVs? oh no wait, they are.

Anonymous said...

+1 on the photoshopped head tube angle; a guaranteed horrific speed wobble at anything over 10 mph.

Anonymous said...

Huffy never actually made any of the bikes, right? they just put their damned ugly decals on Serotta dream machines?

Anonymous said...

oh, shit - lots of people already said that

Anonymous said...

Corporate jobs are for tools and suits anyways..I much prefer my parents trust fund, my friends blow and my homemade fixie so suck it!

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