feel good . do good . look good — cycling

Bike Makeover #6: Practical is chic?

January 23rd, 2009

Sorry to be away so long, it’s been one hell of a month. After my father crashed his plane, a month later he had himself a heart attack. They performed open-heart surgery last week, and I’ve been out in California since my last post, to give him a hug – gently.

Naturally, after all that he’s got a new lease on life, a new mission, and a plan to ride his bike!

I tried to talk him into a new-old bike, but he loves his vintage Hard Rock, all 4,000 pounds of it. Here’s the “before” photo, the bike in all its cracked-oxidized-plastic pie plate, biopace chainring, funny stem-routed brake cable glory:

before photo vintage Specialized Hard Rock bike
Here’s the “after”, looking much more like a commuter bike with new grips, a bell, a basket, fenders, lock, rack, grocery pannier, and a tail light. I also lubricated the parts that needed it:

Here’s the bike on my test ride across the airfield that is his commute. You can see that the mountain bike isn’t a bad choice on this terrain.

test ride Specialized Hard Rock commuter bike loaded basket panniers
Dad’s briefcase is in the basket. This was essential as he wasn’t going to court with a bike bag, and I knew that changing briefcases back and forth would keep him from using his bike. The bike is so large the 18″ basket doesn’t look as large as it really is. I tested the grocery rack on the dirt trails with a carton of OJ and a bottle of wine. That’s going to work just fine.

Dad promises to update us when his sternum is healed and he starts riding. I can’t wait!

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