Thursday, March 20, 2008
A Man & His Bikes-the Panzer
The year was 1979-I was a senior in high school & saw a movie, "Breaking Away". I was instantly hooked. I drove to Omaha, to the Bike Rack & purchased this Trek 714. Reynolds 531 frame with a combination of Sun Tour & Shimano components. Two things were immediately apparent: the bike did not fit me (stem too long) & the Rigida rims were not up to the task at hand (I used to carry a spoke wrench with me on rides, because the wheels would go out of true constantly). I used this bike as my primary transportation when I went to college. Then, due to the fit & wheelset, I quit riding for almost 10 years. This bike languished in my basement. Finally, in 1993, I bought a mountain bike (another chapter in this series) & began to ride again. I started to educate myself about cycling. I had a local mechanic rebuild the wheelset with Sun rims & voila!, that problem was solved. eDBiLLy gave me a stem & the bike started to shine. I bought a set of fenders from Lincoln Bicycle Company & began to commute on my "new" old bike. Hence, the headlight & tail light were installed (the Scott drop- in handlebars provide a perfect perch for the headlight). I was lucky enough to get a Brooks Swift saddle & it now adorns the "Panzer". Why name the bike after a tank? When you ride this bike, the stoutness of the frame is reassuring: it's not a go-fast bike, but you have the feeling it could get you anywhere, no matter the weather or road conditions. Therefore, when the KeRNeL, Russ & I decided to ride a 300K brevet, this was the bike I chose.