Monday, January 24, 2011

Bikes Outside: Monterey Salt Festival

This morning's Bike Outside was spotted this past Sunday afternoon at the Hartford Public Library. With high temps barely into the teens and stern frostbite warnings on the radio, I was surprised to see two bikes locked up upon arriving for yesterday's Baby Grand Jazz show. This is one of the better bikes I've seen wearing the Murray badge. The componentry is solidly 1970's with some 60's aesthetic nostalgia thrown in, especially the champagne (pronounced in the manner of The Continental, of course) paint and the chainguard lettering. The 3-speed hub was too crusty to identify, but I'm assuming it's a Shimano or Suntour based on the decidedly non Sturmey Archer thumb shifter. The Altenburger Syncron brakes are great period pieces. They have a mixed reputation, but they are credited as the precursor to the dual-pivot sidepull brakes that are the modern road bike standard. They are also setup with the right hand lever activating the front brake, an arrangement more familiar to motorcyclists or European bicyclists.

The very presence of this bike on the roads yesterday called for some teeth-gritting fortitude on the rider's part and some sturdiness on the 40 year old bike's part. That said, I hope the owner is faring better than the salt-encrusted Murray's drivetrain. So very very salty! Had I spotted this bike in motion, I'm sure that I would have involuntarily cringed to hear that poor rusty chain laboring around. I want to take this bike in and give it a hot shower and a major overhaul in front of a roaring wood stove.

1 comment:

Tony C said...

That rusty steed looks a lot like my Huffy Sweepstakes, which gets a lot of use in cruddy weather like this. Fortunately I keep a bit more lube on the chain, but the rest of the bike is slowly rusting away. That's Ok though, as that's the purpose of a beater.

I purchased the Huff for $10 (with basket) at a yard sale. It was in garage kept, never ridden condition. After four years of heavy and abusive use, it's still kicking. I do basic maintenance and overhauls, but don't really baby it. When it comes home dripping wet with salt, it stays that way.