I got my baby back :) :)

Last week I said I really would bring the Racer (1968 Schwinn single speed D7 tyres) to the bike coop and try to get the brakes to work. I’d totally redone the hub last year hoping that would do the trick, but they were, if anything, worse. Theory: the brake shoes were so worn down that cleaning and lubing had simply removed the stray dirt that had done most of the stoppage.
Chuff moment one:   I *found* another Schwinn wheel in the shed and successfully got it down to the bike coop doing some riding and some walking. (When you can’t really stop except by foot dragging and you’ve got this heavy wheel hangin’ off your hand…)

I Successfully removed wheel and got coaching on taking hub apart and while there were still grooves in those brass brake pads, they were none too deep.  Mirabile dictu, Mike  thinks the wheel I brought, all rusty and nasty with tyres rotting, is of a similar provenance. And huzzah, huzzah, its brake pads had deeper grooves.
I redid the hub on general principle, successfully slathering on the Valvoline. The probably 1940’s vintage wheels  had been indoors in a beach house so it is really in good shape.
To add to the joy, I realized it could use baskets and there was that set from a simply amazing bike that a friend of mine had inherited from a character…  It’s a perfect fit, oh, and I put it on and EVEN FOUND the nuts and bolts to do it in reasonable time 😉  and  now I can think fond thoughts of characters I never met… and carry just about anything. Lookin’ at the picture, I realize I need something where the teeny reflector used to be to become a smile…LIPS.  That’s what it needs. LIPS.

schwinn racer with basket with five inch reflectors

I’m also going to paint ‘vaca con cuernos” on the top tube… but then I have to learn enough Spanish so that when somebody stops me and asks about it I will be able to tell them that when I brought that bike into work a student of mine exclaimed that phrase… then had to really think about how to translate it … but “milk cow with horns” does make sense,  and that is what they call the utility bikes with baskets.   This bike does bring smiles from people from more bike-centered cultures;  I startled an Asian man into a smile as he saw me coming towards him on the path on Race Street, and it wasn’t a greeting smile, it was the pleasure of seeing something from home.

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3 responses to “I got my baby back :) :)

  1. Well done you. I’ve got a brake hub repair waiting for my attention and I’m dreading it.
    We get people smiling all the time when I take the boys out, especially when I’m on the Bakfiets. Mostly this is pedestrians but occasionally drivers wave as well..

  2. What a wonderful ride. Both your story and your bike!
    Mayhap where the little silver circle is on the bottom of the fender (that was once a reflector?) would be an ideal place for an early 1900’s period mustache?

  3. Oh, I like that idea. I think I’ll figure out a way so that it can be changed out with the seasons 🙂
    It would *gladden* your heart to see that wheel and hub. It’s the antithesis of the rusty Gazelle — it does have a bit of an age patina, but it’s well-tended, well-oiled bearings and hubs … the rusty parts are stuff like the basket, not the moving parts. I should have taken a picture of its well-lubed innards 😉

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