Sunday, September 5, 2010

Life's a Voyage-ur

That's right, life is a voyage. We're all going some where, we talk to people, make new friends and keep up with old ones. The story of my newest bike is some thing like that. 3 years ago, as many of you know, life brought me to the high five of Michigan after the time came for much needed change. One of the many people I have kept up with since moving is the one and only Guitar Ted. We've exchanged emails, gone for rides when I've made my way back to the homeland, and the such.

Recently, Mark [ask G-Ted] posted on his Twitter that a Xtracycle could be in the future for him. Being in the middle of a move and evaluating what I have, what I need and didn't need. In seeing that, I sent him a little what's up and said that I had a Xtracycle kit that had spent the last year in pieces since taking off the K-Monkey to finally get a mountain bike going. Since I was moving from a house to a studio, space was the issue and with 6 other bikes floating around having the Xtracycle wasn't the best idea.

I told Mark, I was looking for a touring bike and a few other odds and ends. And what do you know, Mark just so happened to have a 1987 Schwinn Voyageur gathering dust in his basement. A trade began to work itself out and through some middlemen the bike made its way here and the Xtracycle kit his way...

Here is what the Voyageur looked like when I got it:

The bike came with Campy barend shifters, Shimano 105 brake levers, Shimano Deore front deraileur, Shimano 6 speed rear, Suntour cranks, Blackburn front and rear racks. To be perfectly honest, I was so excited about getting the bike that I didn't really pay a whole lot of attention while I was taking it down to it's frame for paint. Yes, that's right, paint. I decided that I couldn't deny my desire to update the look of the bike and started on the 'winter' project right way.

I asked around to the guys in the wheel department at Velocity what a classic or pseudo-classic color for the bike might be and in the end I landed on a baby blue. As luck may have it, parts began to compile. As I stumbled onto the actual decal set from Alger Cyclery along with a few year old, yet still in the box 105 crank and 105 rear deraileur. I had the WTB Mountain Drop Bar floating around from my Trans Iowa set-up a few years back and decided that it would be a good way to go for touring. The canti brakes, front deraileur, Campy bar end shifters and 105 brake levers all cleaned up great with a little elbow grease. I couldn't help myself when I had the chance to bring the baby blue down onto the racks. I topped off the touring rig with a Shimano Dymo hub in the front, laced to Halo Dyads [32 hole 3x front, 36 hole 4x rear], bronze Bottle Traps and a brown Chris King 1" headset.

So without much ado, the after:

I'm excited to get this thing out on the road, I could easily see this become my main commuter. Either way, there are 3 rides begging for this bike to be used: the November 13th/14th 200 mile Cadillac and Back installment: honoring the 29 men lost with the Edmond Fitzgerald, RAGBRAI, and my personal goal of riding around Lake Michigan. We'll see what become of it.


I sent an email to Mark, just to show him what became of his rig and he responded with an email that gave the Voyageur even more history and story...

Here's a bit of the back round on this rig, just so you know the history of it.........

This Voyaguer came in as a trade in to Advantage Cyclery when I worked there. It belonged to Jim T. [...] Jim bought the bike new from Ansborough Schwinn. So, I see this bike, and Jim was hemming and hawing about buying a new rig. I needed to find a rig to get my buddy Ryan S. a cheap rig so he could join us on our tour that we took to the Black Hills. Anyway, I finagled Jim out of the Voyaguer and into a Bianchi, which he owned up until recently.

Okay, so Ryan owned the bike for a couple of years, did two tours on it, but basically never rode it otherwise. I ended up taking it off his hands, since I pretty much twisted his arm to buy it in the first place. I used it a few times. Once on the inaugural Trails festival, in 1996, I rode it on the night ride. There was a big blow out party at Bennington's that night, and I was showing off by track standing off one side of the bike and blew out the 40 spoke rear wheel in the process! I maybe rode it a handful of times afterward.

So, now it is in your hands and you get to write the next chapter of its history

1 comment:

SiouxGeonz said...

Six bikes in an apartment... yea, that's a squeeze! Not sure how I'd give up an Xtra -- unless, though, it was to somebody else. Sweet!