Saturday, July 07, 2007

Giving Grandma a Ride Home

The first step is to admit it. My name is Michael, and I have a bicycle addiction. Worse, ever since my one and only visit to Amsterdam, I've always wanted a Dutch Omafiets. So graceful. So stately.


I spotted this old dame on Craigslist, hiding behind about a dozen other bikes waiting to go as a lot. It belonged to a car mechanic who is actually kind of a closet bike nut. He was cleaning out his garage and needed to sell a bunch of stuff. I went over and looked at it one day last week and was pretty sure it was a real Dutch bike. Confirmed its identity with a visit to omafiets.nl (in Dutch) and went back Friday to pick it up. The seller was a little surprised when I showed up on a bike, so he watched and actually helped as I lashed it to the Xtrakoram's right-side V-rack. Pictured above is a stop about 2 miles into the 4-mile trip home to reposition and tighten the nylon web strap.


I ran the web strap under the long stays on both sides and to the front and rear bridges. I could feel the Omafiets back there, but I was really surprised how little torsional flex it caused. It didn't really affect handling at all.


Here's the left side and rear.


Those are the neighbor's flowers.


Here's me chatting with the neighbors. Something about public nuisances, property values, and eccentrics, plus a few remarks I didn't catch.


The bike itself is a basket case. Mainly, I think, because it's quite old. Here's a pic of the decayed saddle. I doubt the fenders are original, the chaincase is all bent up, the coaster brake is more theory than application and it needs a complete overhaul and adjustment. And it's rusty. And has no identifying marks. Not sure what I'm going to do with it yet, but here it is, and I like it...

4 comments:

Doug said...

What a great find!

Tarik Saleh said...

Sweet, have fun!

Anonymous said...

What to do with it? I recommend Renovation & Riding (and a new Brooks). Val

Mauricio Babilonia said...

Yeah, the plan was originally to put some alloy 700c wheels with big fat tires on it; maybe some new fenders and a new chaincase. But the propieter of my LBS has kinda talked me into keeping it more or less original. I've got a b72 I could throw on it, and it looks like overhauling the bearings would be pretty easy...