Monday, July 11, 2005

For those of you who don’t know, all summer long Dan has been doing a funky bike rebuilding thing in his spare time (just for the hell of it). Around the first week of summer vaca he saw a bike on the side of the road (this kid finds more gold off of the side of the road than anyone I’ve ever met. I was convinced no one threw away anything anymore. E-bay is basically the garbage disposal system of the millennium) and picked it up. It was rusted through and through, it needed new tires, new brakes, new pedals, a paint job, and more detailing than I know of. I don’t remember all the nitpicks that went into refinishing the bike, but I do know that I saw the completed product (less than two weeks after he got it), and it was really amazing. He did a really impressive job on something I would have labeled as ‘junk’ and wouldn’t have ever picked up. The only drawback is that he didn’t take a before & after picture.

I went out to visit him over Memorial Day weekend, and found a really retro 1960-something Schwinn. I absolutely fell in love with this bike the second I saw it. It’s green, rusted beyond belief (from the salt; the seller said it was used down at the shore), and the tires were completely rotted. Dan’s remodeling it for me. (Updates on that; it’s sanded, painted Cheyenne red, new brakes, new tires. It’s [hopefully] going to be finished within two weeks and brought out to the ‘Burgh the last weekend in July.)

Anyway, onward to the real point of this post. Since so much time and effort is going into the bikes, we’ve been doing some trail researching. I have always liked biking, but I’ve never seriously considered doing an extensive trip. Dan and I did an easy 14-mile trip around his town in NJ this summer, and we did a nice two-and-a-half (ish) hour ride around the city one other time. Pretty amateur, but we still had a really good time doing it.

So now we’re sort of considering trying to build up stamina over the year to be able to do a longer trip. There’s a 400-mile trail that runs through Ohiopyle (which is gorgeous, to say the least) and has crossovers to D.C., there’s easier trails from Harrisburg through Gettysburg, and there’s trails all along the eastern coastline. Some of those ventures are really unrealistic for the near future, but could easily be long-term goals. We’re just considering options and it seems like something really appealing. Any tips on this idea (or even helpful websites) would be appreciated.

Oh, and, the best part about my bike (so vintage!), was its price. Five dollas. Dig that or what? Remodeling fees, however…

Pictures of the Youghiogheny Trail (a western-PA option)

Picture of the point that Dan took on our bike around the city

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