Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I'd like you to meet Mrs.Gale.

She came to us a nameless, twenty dollar mishmash of parts courtesy of craigslist.  Her derailleurs had seen better days, she had two front wheels and her seat was a mess.  But her patina was beautiful and she had so much promise!

For months she sat in the garage waiting for me to make up my mind about exactly what she was to become.  I had my heart set on a particular color and initially thought I'd have her powder coated, but then I changed my mind on the color.  And then I changed my mind again on the color.  And then I changed my mind again on the color.  I finally decided to get her dressed up a bit, ride her and then decide on the color. 

We bought shiny new wheels, pedals and a lovely sprung saddle.  With those on I spent a couple of days riding her around.  Each time I got on her I was amazed at how responsive she was - downright zippy!  G converted her to a single speed despite my inability to decide on a gearing ratio.  We were able to keep the original Sugino crankset and integrate it into the new set up. We gave her some cork grips, stained to match the Brooks dark brown saddle and she was complete!  Well, almost. She still needed a basket and a bell.

I toyed around with the idea of mounting an old wine crate on a VO back rack but got impatient in my search for the perfect box. Instead, I bought a simple Wald basket and G customized it with wooden slats.  This basket, which by the way holds a six pack and a small bag of groceries, along with the Cane brass bell brought her to a very important stage in a bikes life, the name.

Since G did most of the mechanical work on her - I provided the concept - he asked for naming rights.  I really couldn't say no since I was such a complete indecisive pita through the whole deal. At this point I had decided not to powder coat her.  I really love the way the colors work together. She's got fantastic strength, classic looks and a feisty personality, she had to be Mrs. Gale.

Mrs. Gale was a very important person in G's childhood.  You can read an article about her (and about G and his sister) here.   When I ride her I literally can't wipe the smile from my face.  She'll most certainly be my main mode of transportation on the Lovely Sunday Ride because, well, she's simply lovely!


  1. wow! you really know how to build class into a bike. nicely done!

  2. Thanks very much!! I'm really proud of how she turned out and SO glad I didn't end up powdercoating her. She's beautiful!