Blogathon 2009: In which Catherine is now a cyclist for some reason

Posted by & filed under Blogathon 2009, Catherine, Cycling, Events, Exercise, Vancouver.

So I’ve mentioned this here a few times, but haven’t gone into huge amounts of detail: I have a bicycle again!

IMG_0430

It’s a Kuwahara-built Apollo road bike, with a 62cm frame with double-butted Tange 900 chromoly steel tubes. From 1984, if the serial number is accurate at all. I bought the frame separately, though it came with the original seat, stem and a pair of terrible, out-of-true wheels that were still good enough to walk it home from Richmond.[1]

It had originally been intended to be converted into a fixie, which is why a lot of the other original parts were absent. As it turned out, the rider for which it had originally been intended was way too short for it. (Read: under 6 feet tall.)

Because of this, the woman I bought it from was extremely careful to be clear just what I was buying when I talked to her on the phone.

“You know this is just the frame, right?“
“Yeah, it’s cool.“
“And you get how big it is, right?”

Just right, as it turns out!

I assembled it myself with help from the folks at Our Community Bikes on Main Street a few weeks ago. It’s a 62cm frame with double-butted Tange 900 chromoly steel tubes.[2] From 1984, if the serial number is accurate at all.

IMG_0434 I opted for a somewhat lamer braking/gears arrangement than is traditional in Mount Pleasant. In short: I actually have them. And it’s a good thing too; I may be stronger now than I’ve ever been, but there’s no way I’m making it up Vancouver’s hills on a fixed-gear bike. [3]

It’s got a Shimano 105 crank, with functional but boring brakes and Suntour shifters and derailleurs. So it’s kind of a beast, but the original parts it still has are in great shape.

Sadly, jogging seems to be just too hard on my knees, but cycling 8-10km a day is working out just fine. I mean, I made it here, right?

[1] On the way home with my new bike, I managed to find the sole American tourist couple taking the 98 B-line and tell them horror stories about the Downtown Eastside and Lower Mainland’s little drug war. Maybe I should be sending my resume to Tourism BC.

[2] And I know what that means now!

[3] Still, I like it, even if I’m not allowed to go to Gene anymore.

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