Well, this is something a little different for my blog. Most of my content features four wheels and a motor, but if you know me well enough, you know that I have developed a great love for the two wheeled self propelled type of transportation as well as for seeing old things restored. So without further adieu, here is my first post on a bicycle!
After fixing up my own blue Apollo 10 speed, I decided to take on another project, a beautiful old 1977 10 speed Apollo that belongs to my mother-in-law, Trudy. Her father gave her the brand-new bike when she was very young. She has continued to ride it, but throughout the years a lot of the parts had seized up, jammed up, oxidized or just worn out. The bike was hanging in the garage when I first noticed it, and I saw the potential for it to shine again.
This was actually the very first road bike I ever rode. I borrowed it over three years ago to do a biking trip on Salt Spring Island. It was a very rainy weekend, the tires were very low on air, and only 5 speeds worked. I obviously wasn’t very well prepared for the trip. It was a tough journey, but a very good memory now.
The bike stayed in the garage for about two more years before I packed it in my car to take home and fix up. Almost everything came off the bike and I started picking up some new parts for it. My goal was for the bike to resemble the original shape and look as when it was first given to Trudy by her father. While everything was off, I wiped down the entire frame (which was still in great shape) and polished all of the paint, bringing it back to it’s original shine. Every bit of metal on the bike was also polished as the brakes, handlebars, stem, pedals, levers, brackets, sprockets, nuts, and bolts were all badly oxidized. New tires were fitted, and I purchased new bar tape, cables and housings, new brake pads, and a new chain courtesy of Bike Doctor on Broadway. The original Apollo seat was in amazing condition still and only needed a bit of dish soap and some scrubbing to get a paint mark off. Everything was installed and I took the first test ride in mid-February.
A number of things needed to be fine-tuned, and a few of these things I wasn’t very familiar with, as I am still new to bike mechanics. I took the bike two blocks over to Tandem Bike Cafe to get Clint, the bike mechanic and part owner of the cafe/bicycle shop, to take a look. He was extremely helpful and showed me many little things I had never known before about these bikes. He helped me to get the bike up and running perfectly, and provided excellent education about the bike mechanics. Big props to Tandem Bike Cafe. Also, the store is just a great place to hang out and have a good coffee or bite to eat. The owners, Clint and Brett, are awesome guys to chat with. Go check it out!
The bike is all finished now and delivered back to Trudy. She is over the moon and can’t wait to ride it!
All works © Andrew Holliday 2014.
Please do not reproduce without the expressed written consent of Andrew Holliday.