Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The old dude whisperer - a guest post by MotoGT_78

It finally happened after nearly a year of trying I got him to take me for a ride! Sorry I should introduce myself, I'm MotoGT_78 a nearly 40 year-old French 10 speed of distinguished pedigree.  Don't ask how I have accessed the old dudes computer and camera, I am not sure myself so lets just roll with it.

It all started out well enough, he bought me in May of 2014, fawned over me, gave me a new saddle and tires  took me for a ride on Bastille day, er sorry 4th of July you call it here, and then I got parked in the bedroom.   Now don't get me wrong I realize the bedroom is a place of  pride and I could be stuck out on the balcony in the bone yard (shudder) but for years  -nothing.  He mopes about being too heavy and says he intends to give me a complete overhaul blah blah blah, old dude just take me for a ride!

 So about a year ago I start whispering to him every morning, hey take me for a ride! but I got nothing for months, and then about 3 months ago he dusted off my saddle and then about a month go he put air in my tires.  I was still in the bedroom but it was progress, so I kept up the whispering campaign and then recently when he was trying to get help on another bike he revived his account on something called  bike forums where other old guys talk about bikes and show pictures of them.  He finally reached the tipping point yesterday when the weather warmed up and he decided he was down a few pounds and maybe he could take me for a gentle flat ride.  Finally! it was a bit awkward passing between the two bikes that weren't going for a ride but the HD goes to the market every week and the Passage has been lavished with love and has a wonky rear wheel so deal fellas!

I wasn't ready out of the gate, I mean c'mom I've been in a bedroom for 3 years, I need some attention for the loose front derailleur cable.

My brakes were way too loose, look at that chasm of a gap! but he used his extra hand tool to fix that..

Now I can stop on a dime and have change -not sure if google translate got that right, my English isn't so good, I'm an immigrant after all, made in France baby!

The old dude briefly entertained going for a ride with no tools or tubes but since A) he has spares coming out of his ears  B) he likes to be self reliant and C) he clucks his tongue at those who bike without being prepared for a flat. he went ahead and packed a bag.  I just realized he forgot to bring a pump so I'm not sure how that would have worked out ha ha!

I tried not to get excited when he wheeled me out of the bedroom even though it was the culmination of a year of whispering, and I kept it cool as he fussed over me and fixed stuff, and I stayed even-keeled when he put me on the back of his auto, but when he set me on the trail and gingerly mounted up and started pedaling..pure joy! this is what I was built for!  I mean I know I look good as bedroom sculpture, I am French after-all, but this is what I was built for almost 4 decades ago, rolling down the la rue d'Alki with ease and grace.

To be outside on a beautiful day being pedaled -l'amour!

At about half way he stopped, I certainly didn't need to but he had to do his coffee thing.  Not sure I get cold coffee and a hot sandwich but whatever turns his cranks, so to speak.

He was thinking of tweaks, as he always does. the saddle might be a tad too high, the rear tire has tight tolerance at the chain stays etc.  He was actually toying with idea of running a slightly smaller 27 x 1 1/8 (28c) tire in back as a fix, but if I give him time he will realize he has adjustable rear drop outs and there is room to move the wheel farther back and allow for more clearance.  He is a bit of a dullard but he usually figures it out.

He didn't want to clutter up my cockpit with a computer but he found something on his phone called "cyclemeter" that uses magic to see how far and fast we went and even calories used.  His phone told him he went nearly 8.3 kilometers (5.15 miles), and used over 400 calories in about 30 minutes.  It also told him he was going 0.33 miles per hour lol! but the graph indicated he was going about 9 mph on the way out and maybe 13 mph on the way back.  There was a slight tail wind going back so I whispered for him to shift up and he went for it pedaling free and easy in the big gear 52/14, I mentioned there was a tail wind right?

I could still use a complete overhaul but I think he has come around to keeping me nearly stock, at one time he was going to change bars and cranks etc. but I think he realizes having a 40 year-old bike that's pretty much bone stock is not so easy to find. I mean I have the original; shifters, derailleurs, brakes, stem, seat-post, handlebars including the soft stitched sleeves, 5 speed free-wheel including plastic pie plate, and although my rims aren't the weinmanns the catalog specs they are the RIGIDA 13/20 alloys my upscale brother the Grand Jubilee had.

The saddle is a personal choice and would have been available in '78, the brake levers are converted from being the extension lever equipped model that was stock, yes I had safety levers even though he wanted to deny it,  so he might work on those while preserving the soft sleeve bar covers.  The bottle cage and rear rack are after market but otherwise I'm about 90% stock.

I am hoping I will not have to languish for three years or whisper my ass off for a year to be ridden again! Ride your old bikes, make them smile and then do it again my Compagnon's!


  1. I love the guest post! The funny French guy thing rings through loud and clear, ha ha.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Thanks Annie, MotoGT_78 says that as someone who has owned a made-in-France Peugeot you must have impeccable taste and style.

  2. Good stuff here!! The French dude is a good communicator!!

  3. MotoGT_78 is blushing Jim -thanks and he says keep looking for a 25 inch frame French bike to rebuild - we are out there Mon Ami!