Wow! What a morning! Bikes are shifting hands quickly here in Grand Rapids. That is not to say that I am bragging about how much I’ve sold or anything. It’s just that there are a lot of vintage gems out there right now. Winter is about to hit us, and there will be a slow trickle of activity in the used bike market, a.k.a. 4-6 months of clinical depression.
This morning I bought two lovely bicycles. The first one is a 1971 Schwinn Super Sport with a Brooks B-15 leather saddle. I bought it from a dentist on the north side of GR. He was a cool old dude. He bought the bike new when he was 16 years old. It’s been ridden hard, but well taken care of. This is my first Super Sport with the original Brooks saddle. Usually, they have some ugly vinyl thing with big rusty springs on it. Not this one. And the color–I love green. Green green green! Every shade of green. Campus Green! I had to look that up in an old Schwinn catalog. BTW, the women in vintage Schwinn catalogues are very distracting when you’re just trying to find information.
When I’m shopping for bikes on Craigslist, it takes me everywhere. I’ve been on county roads in blueberry fields. I’ve been to both sides of the tracks. I’ve been in basements, where I’ve hoped not to see chains of bondage. Today I went to the Walgreen’s on the corner of 28th and Division, where I bought a Raleigh Sports from a little tweaker named Nick, who was threatening to part out the pedals and saddle on Ebay if I didn’t pay what he wanted. This bike would be scrap if the parts were harvested like that. I had to save it, and what a beauty it is. There are still a lot of these around, but I’d like to see more people actually riding them. I’m working on it!