Off to the Cross Races

Last weekend I took my kids to the Cross Crusade series races at the Alpenrose Dairy Velodrome. It was the first time at a cross race for all of us, but we had a good time. Tons of people were there, but everything (aside from the parking) seemed to be really well-organized. We only had a chance to catch the last half of the Men’s Clydesdales and the Masters Category C 35+ races. I really wanted to stay for the kiddie cross race (if not for my kids to see it) and also the pro races later. Alas, my son had to be at a friend’s birthday party and all the waiting in between the two races we saw was quickly wearing away at my kids’ patience levels.Thankfully, I was able to buy them some cowbells so they could cheer on the racers. It’s really...

Update: Bianchi and Cross Check

Bianchi The Bianchi has been in somewhat of a holding pattern as of late. Once I got the headset and bottom bracket removed, it became clear that the frame needs some attention. So I took some time off to think over my next move. In the meantime, I did some shopping and managed to pick up some odds and ends, one of which is a Campy Record front derailleur from 1960, which appears to be of the proper vintage to me. Ordered it from France and it actually arrived here in three days. Another item I purchased was a tin of Brooks Proofide, which has allowed me to bring the original Brooks saddle for the Bianchi mostly back from the dead. Another purchase consisted of two small tubs of Oxalic Acid, which I’ll use to soak the frame and remove all of the rust while...

No news is good news

Not much to report recently. Been a busy transition for the kids going back to school, soccer season starting up and a general mad rush to take advantage of the nice weather before it’s surreptitiously replaced by water-bearing clouds for the next nine months. I do have a few quick bullet points, however: On Thursday evening, I dropped the Bianchi off to David Feldman of Feldman’s Bicycle Repair, right out here in Vancouver, WA. David is a member of the Classic Rendezvous list and is probably the only vintage-schooled bike mechanic in the Vancouver area. As it happened, he saw my post asking some advice on the CR list and responded, noting that he has the coveted and nearly impossible to find VAR tool needed for removing the headset on my Bianchi. I...

Bianchi Restoration: Removing the cranks & digging up pristine paint

Quick update tonight: Took a little time to remove the cranks, which came off pretty easily and look to be in great condition. Bottom bracket looks more and more sad the more I unearth it, however. More rust keeps appearing and it’s making some awfully suspicious grinding sounds. I tried to remove it, but the cheap spanner wrench and pin spanner that came with my basic bike kit are both crap. So I need to buy some nice ones, as the BB seems to be somewhat rusted in place. Sprayed it down with WD40 and will let that soak in for awhile. Since the BB delay had me feeling somewhat disappointed and with some extra time and energy on my hands, I decided to get out my trusty heat gun and take a stab at removing one of the barber pole reflective decals that were on...

Bianchi Restoration: Finding the Darndest Things

I blogged about disassembling the Bianchi over the weekend and finding not only a cocoon in the brake lever, but also a wasp nest inside of the bars, which had been plugged for a number of years. Last night, as I was polishing some of the chrome, I noticed on the top bar, very faintly, some faded hand-lettering near the seat seat tube lug. I took some photos on my Nikon in RAW format, then imported to Photoshop in an attempt to enhance the lettering more. After some twiddling, I’ve decided that the name on top is that of Sam Knutson, who was a well-known bike racer and mechanic in the Portland area many years ago, and who also happens to have been the original owner of the bike. Beneath his name are the initials “R.C.W.” or “B.C.W.,”...

Bianchi Teardown: Phase 1

With my DIY bike stand completed and a couple hours of free time on my hands this morning, I donned my best grease outfit and braved the garage to begin the disassembly of the vintage bike project. I got most everything stripped off the bike and sorted into ziploc bags, with the exception of the headset, forks, cranks and bottom bracket. I decided to save those for another day, as I have a feeling they’ll take a little while, what with it being my first time assaulting a bottom bracket and headset in such a manner. Things went pretty smoothly. Really, the only difficult part was removing the original Campagnolo cable brackets from the top tube. The screws were so badly rusted that any attempt to loosen them with a screwdriver simply stripped out the flathead...

DIY Bike Repair Stand, Phase II: Mission accomplished.

First, I knew better. I should have stayed inside and rested. You see, this odd summer cold has stricken me and my family this week and I felt rather low all day today, what with the throat burning and the coughing and the tiredness. But I felt like I hadn’t made any progress and had a tiny bit of energy, so I did it. I went out to the garage and began putting away the camping gear from last weekend (more on that later this week). Then I thought, well, I could at least just get the lumber ready. Oh, and while I’m at it, maybe I could at least cut the pieces… and you know how the rest of that story goes. Having been one of the hotter days today, I think I sweat about a gallon of fluids out, at one point my son looking at me with concern on his...