Lost in West Michigan with a Two-yr-old and 3 Road Bikes

I travel often to pick up bikes.  I try to get several as I do, and yesterday I picked up a LeMond Zurich in Muskegon, and a Giant Kronos and a Raleigh Super Course MKII in Grand Haven.  First stop, Muskegon.  Second stop, Grand Haven, a short distance south along HWY 31.  I had a brilliant plan in place, and it went from frustrating (stopped in traffic) to terrifying (just plain lost–I NEVER get lost) in a matter of a few hours.

From Ferrysburg to Grand Haven, there is one way across the Grand River.  It is a drawbridge on US31 built in 1958.  Yesterday, it closed for more than two hours due to a malfunction of the locking pins, which would not engage.  I was in the thick of that, listening to a Grand Haven radio disc jockey relate the misery of those taking part in the 30-mile backup.  Evidently, the bridge gets stuck in the up position several times a year when letting yachts through.  I told the seller of the bikes in Grand Haven that if he should wake the next day to find his town’s beloved drawbridge welded tight in the down position, it was me.  Where’s our infrastructure plan, Mr. Trump?  Anyway, I ended up taking a 20-mile detour at the advice of a gas station cashier.

So, three bikes and a sleeping boy in tow, I started for home.  Grand Haven to Grand Rapids is a 45 minute drive, but I can do it in two and a half hours.  Yep, my phone died and I got lost.  I went down several dead-end county highways with bridges out, backtracked, and kept trying to head very east and somewhat south at I did.  Finally, I drove past Jenison High School.  Jenison is a burb of GR, so I was able to find 28th street and make it home just in time to drop the bikes off and pick my other two sons up from school.

So, the bikes…


LeMond Zurich (2006?).  I overpaid at $140.  The aluminum bosses are corroded, and the bb shell is covered in rust.  Lots of time outside, salty, possibly wintering outside like a hillbilly’s dog in Indiana.  This was an online auction purchase, so I was disappointed to see its condition when I picked it up. On the plus side, I may now have replacement wheels for my personal racing bike, a 1998 Pinarello with dented rims due to an oblivious cop with a fat tire bike failing to signal a deep pothole (protect and serve my ass).  Also, the Ultegra components are in great shape, including a triple crankset.  I love triple cranksets, as I weigh 250, have atrial fibrillation, and am not the ascending anti-gravitational machine I once was.

The Zurich is going to be a parts bike.  I do not trust carbon fiber any more than I trust flying machines, our sitting president, people who drive Jeeps, or cops riding fat tire bikes.  I’ll use what I can, and sell the frame for $40 to anyone smart enough to know what to do with a sun-baked, frostbitten carbon fiber/aluminum composite frame and forks.


Giant Kronos.  Looks like several modifications, including RSX brifters and a triple crankset (love).  Absolutely gorgeous paint.  A gift from the seller at $90.  This makes up for my idiotic purchase of the above Zurich, which may have been used as a lure by an ice fisherman.  This is an excellent touring bike, with screw holes for front and rear racks and panniers.


Raleigh Super Course MKII.  Raleighs made in England are some of the most elegant mass-marketed creatures of the cycling world.  I absolutely love the aesthetic of a 1970’s Raleigh.  This one features Reynolds 521 tubing, which is used in competitive bikes as well as motorsports, a French Nervar cotterless crankset, and alloy rims.  The cotter pins on Raleighs are a serious drawback.  I overhaul almost every bottom bracket I see, and my record for removing cotter pins without mangling them is around 60%.  No cotter pins here.  Huret front and rear derailleurs–really great stuff that works for 50 years or more.  Also, someone saw fit to upgrade the saddle to a leather Brooks B-17.  Bonus!  This bike was a great deal at $110.  I’d never have pulled that off in Indiana.  Say yes to Michigan!  Just remember to bring a map.

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