Monday, June 29, 2009

She Wears Pink, And She's Dirty

First of all, get your mind out of the gutter. I'm talking about my winter bike, affectionately named "Winter". Normally I wouldn't be the type to assign a gender to my bike. Bikes, after all, are bikes. When I was building this bike, however, I was anxious to get it finished because it was starting to snow now and then. I used some good but very pink brake cable I had lying around...


Now, the Dirty

I'm a little ashamed to show this bike in such dirty and rusty condition; I just dumped her for my new fixed commuter build when spring came. I will get her all cleaned up and remove all the rust I can before winter comes and I wreck it all over again. While we're on the topic, why would fenders come with anything other than stainless hardware? I can understand other bicycle bits, but fenders? Water and rain are what they are for. I know, of course, that it keeps costs for the manufacturer down, and these didn't cost an arm and a leg, but once again: they are fenders, for Pete's sake! Thanks for letting me get that out.

This monstrosity was made from a partially destroyed Gary Fisher Bitter that I found in local classifieds.

I feel a little bit bad for doing this to what used to be a pretty respectable dirt jumper. I added the rigid fork, wheels, fenders, a big old plastic tub and studded tires among other things. The odd fender placement and other strange things about this bike are mostly by design, and specifically aimed at winter riding in heavy snow and slush. Even that high-riding ugly plastic tub; panniers would just become heavily crusted with icy buildup, and my storage needs to be utterly waterproof. London Ontario's winter is quite mild in comparison to other Canadian cities, and very similar to most northern US cities. It is often as wet as it is cold. We do get a lot of snow, which is most often heavy and wet too.

Without fail, the thing people remark upon first when they see this bike are the pink brake cables, instead of the fact that it is a complete and utter mutant. That is not why I started to see this bike as a she, though.

This is:

This child is Winter's human doppelganger. When I saw this picture, I laughed a bit, and then an image of Winter immediately sprang to mind. Dirty, with pink accessories. This kid also has a look in her eye that corresponds perfectly with how I feel sometimes while riding in the snow, and how Winter would feel if she weren't just an abused and ill-fated machine, destined to forever live a life of cold and slush, ice and salt. I don't know who this kid is, but I'll bet she's having a great summer. Maybe I should take Winter for a summer trail ride, just to keep her happy too...

If you are all set to leave a comment about my mental state, please don't bother. Believe me, I already know.



cafiend said...

This is so much more interesting than new product launches from major manufacturers. This is a real solution to a practical mission by an actual cyclist.

Jim Ayyy, my coworker, chose a piece of pink housing for his Surly Pacer. Not all the housing, just a piece. If we'd had any other color lying around it would have been that. It was just for WTF factor. I stuck some on the Traveler's Check, too.

RANTWICK said...

A "mission" is a great word for describing some riding days in winter... although it is never the kamikaze mission some people seem to think it is!

You know, pink is the new black at least when it comes to WTF factor.

I'm glad you found it interesting!

Anonymous said...

Dang, I like this bike a lot! :)

Planet Bike uses stainless hardware on their fenders, and I can't say enough about them.

RANTWICK said...

nbbb, Thanks! I've heard good things too... I got my rusty ones at a LBS, they were made by Axiom. I don't know if Axiom has mended their ways with fenders, but I've gotten good non-rusting rack mounts made by them since. Planet Bike isn't distributed as well here in Canada, but a Canadian online retailer called MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-Op) has 'em.

Steve A said...

What's the best source for quality pink cable?

RANTWICK said...

Steve A,

I can't tell if you're pulling my leg or not, so I'll answer you straight. I don't know what the BEST source is, but mine came from a Jagwire kit.

Steve A said...

I'm thinking that Frankenbike might look pretty in pink - and it could use some new cable housing. Pink cable is certainly more weight efficient than ramping up the "lock wars." How'd YOU like to be a thief riding a bike with pink cabling?

I've got Jagwire (basic black) on my Cyclocross bike and it works very well indeed. I may start searching eBay...

Basil said...

Was this bike on a London Free Press Video? The one about LTC bike racks?
I think it was. Now it's famous!

RANTWICK said...

Yes, Winter did indeed end up starring in that Free Press video. You've got some memory, Basil!

Thanks for stopping by.

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