Friday, 26 April 2013

Meet the new man in my life: Shawn

Meet Shawn
You curious? Either that or you're thinking along the lines 'Well, finally, that seriously underfucked bitch will ease up a little.'
I'm sorry to disappoint, and although Shawn's a good ride ... Okay, enough of the silly innuendo. Can't stand it anyway, but it just begged to be done.
Right, you wonder, who's Shawn, then? A horse? Hardly. Nope, it's a racer. No, still not a horse. It's a bike.
Vintage Shimano gear shifters
As you know I'm a keen cyclist and rather chose to pedal than hop on a bus. For the past five years, my trusted MTB (mountain bike for those of you who aren't familiar) Richard (shut up!) has carried me safely through London, but it wasn't very good for longer journeys. So in the spirit of losing weight and the summer finally coming out, I decided it's time to make one of my smaller dreams come true and get myself a racer. I had my eyes firmly on a new one (to order online), but happened to just pop into a 'shop' of a funny old guy who fixes and re-sells things for a living. I asked him about racers and he showed me a few. One in particular caught my eye: a red one, looking like it was just the perfect size for me. I quickly sat on it and sure enough, it was a great fit. It feels as if it had been waiting for me. I went home and mulled it over, then thought, sod it, better recycle than get a new one and, if I'm honest, I was already in love anyway. Went back to buy the bike and it turns out to be a Viscount, although I'm not 100% sure. Love the vintage Shimano gear shifters, though. Doesn't matter anyway, it's such a difference to cycle on it. I checked with a magnet if I may be in danger to crash due to the infamous 'Death Fork', but it seems to be okay. If anyone has some knowledge about it, please let me know in the comment section.
Not perfect, but great grip now
Gorgeous old brake levers
This afternoon I spent some time to wrap the handlebar--a tricky thing if you're a first-timer--then cleaned the whole bike, at least the bits I could easily reach and took it for a spin. I cannot even describe the feeling of riding a racer. It's amazing, light, fun and most of all: fast--not that I can make too much use of the speed in London's chaotic traffic.
Anyway, I feel like I want to give that old boy a good overhaul: a white saddle is on its way; the one that came with the bike has seen better days. At some point I would love to exchange the black cables for white ones and give the frame a new look with white/red. I'll keep you posted.
Watch out, people, if a woman with a blonde mane flashes past you on a red and white racer, it may be me.

Happy weekend, everyone.

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