In the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to see two of my former bikes back out on the road. This Bridgestone XO-5 was a great bike, and suffered only from low end components. I originally planned to keep it, after upgrading the drive train with a SunTour Sprint crank (with color matched gold chain rings), adding aluminum fenders and Brooks saddle, and few other features. But, the frame was a tad too big, so I sold it a few years back.
To my surprise, I spotted the old XO-5 on my commute route, the first time while riding my Terry. The bike and rider passed me in a blur of speed. I started a sprint to try to catch up, but bike and rider were gone in no time, passing ALL other riders out there – even the big ones on their fixed gear bikes. Then, about a week later I saw her again, and was able to speed up to catch her as she passed me (riding the Meral this time). I let her know that she was riding my old bike, and I learned that her husband had purchased it (from me) a few years back and given it to her as a Mother’s Day gift. She rides it every day, and quite well from what I observed. It was fun to connect with her. She loves her bike!
Around this same time, I saw a bike photo posted on the Society of Three Speeds blog, with a frame that looked so familiar. I had donated this Claud Butler Reynolds 531 frame and fork to the Community Cycling Center last summer. When I originally purchased this 80’s touring machine, the bike looked terrible and had clearly been neglected. After dis-assembly and cleaning, the frame looked fantastic, but the steerer tube’s threads were damaged beyond repair, having been fixed with brass filler once before.
So I decided to let someone else have a go at this nice old frame, and here is the result. This is another great example of a thoughtful reinterpretation. The new owner used an internal hub for the gearing, and a front dynamo hub to provide lighting, plus a nice new chrome fork. It looks fantastic, and I hope to someday meet the owner of this great bike.
The joy of seeing these bikes being put to daily use, and treasured by their owners cannot be surpassed, except maybe when I am riding one of my own lovely machines.