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