Worth every penny

Posted on Posted in Life, Sports

Bikes against garage
That bright-yellow behemoth in the front of this photo is sort of a summer project of mine.

I found it last fall at a house down the street, sitting forelornly at the end of a driveway with a hand-scrawled "free" sign hanging from the top tube. I gave it a thorough, cautious, up-close look and, since I'm an idiot who has no idea what he's looking for/at, it looked salvageable to me.

It's a Browning. As in the firearms manufacturer. I didn't even know they'd ever made bikes. (Though I don't know why I'm surprised, since my mother-in-law gave me a Browning barbecue tong set not so long ago.) But, evidently, for a few years in the '70s, they dabbled.

I did a whole lot of scrubbing and a fair bit of lubing. I had Eric run some new cables and a couple of other things. I went and found the crazy-old tire/tube sizes and threw on some new grip tape. That's about the extent of the repairs I did before flippantly determining this thing (I haven't yet settled on a nickname for it. Given the shotgun angle to it, I'm leaning toward Ol' Betsy.) "road worthy."

Corinne and I went out for a ride. Aside from the fact that, no matter what gear I put it in, it's going to find its way back to its "favorite", it went pretty well. So a few days later, we tried it again. Nothing ambitious, just a 9-mile loop.

Action photo
Beautiful night. Glorious, relaxing ride (as illustrated by the rolling, action photo above). Until…

Flat tire Crap. Flat tire. And, of course, if you were to geometrically bisect our 9-mile loop, that tire blew at the exact mid-way point. So Corinne took off to finish the ride and come back with the truck to pick me up. Here she is taking her phone and stuffing it into her sports bra. (That jersey's hot, and I don't care that it doesn't have pockets.) Lucky phone.

Phone in bra Away she went. And there I was. Hoofin' it.

500 miles
Oh well. It was a perfect evening and I got to take a nice, peaceful walk (until Corinne caught back up to me). Can't complain about that! Yep, that bike's worth every penny I paid for it.

Pushing by hand

2 thoughts on “Worth every penny

  1. That is what you call a bar bike. Perfectly suitable for riding to and from the bar, and know one will ever steal it. Take old Betsy out for a beer. You’ll be glad you did. Also, my 70’s road bike had rims that were only slightly larger than standard. It resulted in a lot of flats. Looking at it now, I see the same hubs… so I think they are the same rims, but I don’t seem to have that problem anymore. But… I did replace the tape that goes over the ends of the spokes on the insides. Maybe it helped. Maybe my next flat is just around the corner. Hope not. Good luck.

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