Monday, April 5, 2010

Bikes Outside: Wrapped around a tree

This Monday's bike outside was spotted outside of El Mercado on Park Street. This folding Fuji looks for all the world like it was bent around a tree. It has the makings of a cautionary poster: don't drink and ride, kids!

This versatile mountain bike was a premium for Marlboro's "Adventure Team" promotion of the 1990's, which is irresistibly ironic. Nothing cries out a jubilantly defiant, if raspy, "Sucks to your ass-mar!" like smoking enough cigarettes to buy sporting goods. I see these from time to time, so at least a handful of wheezing would-be-athletes puffed the requisite number of cartons.

I own one of these frames, courtesy of my friend, Erik. The 26"-wheeled Fuji lacks the packability of more common 20" folders, but I like it. The log-gone stock components were sort of luckluster, but the chromoly frame has the sort of overbuilt Fuji-ness that I have grown fond of. It's not as sweet as an older triple-butted VaLite frame, but something about its odd-looking frame really appeals to me somehow, though I'm not crazy about the color. Irony alone isn't reason enough to retain the Marlboro livery on a long term basis. I'm going to build mine up for street duty one of these days, but I have a few more pressing projects right now. I'll make it a priority the next time I have to take a bus or train trip.

I see this particular bike around the neighborhood from time to time. It's mostly stock, save for what appears to be an improvised stem riser for the quick-release stem. The owner's taking the seat along is an added theft deterrent in this case, as the post locks the frame halves in place. It's one of many oddball bikes that see daily use in Frog Hollow.


Anonymous said...

I remember the ridiculous irony of that Marlboro Cigarette promotion. I used to laugh everytime I saw it.

I like those Fuji full size folding bikes. My neighbor nas one (sans Marlboro sticker) and rides it often, even though he is (in even more irony) a smoker (no, he didn't "win" it from the cigarette people). The latching mechanism is ingenious, using the seatpost as a giant alignment pin to secure the fame halves about the hinge.


Interstatement said...

There was a spoof in some 1990's humor magazine ("Spy" or "The Nose") called the "Tarboro Adventure Team" with various premiums like an iron lung and an all-terrain wheelchair. It was kind of brilliant.

Peter2007 said...

Hi! any thing became of your plans for the frame? Pics? Asking 'cause I just picked up one of these from Craig's List for $35. I just wanted the frame to convert it into a minimalist coaster-break/700c ride. Looking for styling ideas. Maybe just clear coat on raw iron...