Wednesday, December 22, 2010

This Old Bike, Extra-Festive Edition

First things first: Our ever-astute readership probably noticed that what was planned as a 12-day series of gift ideas was suddenly truncated to six. I'd like to say there's a good reason for that, but really, I just started getting bored with myself (join the club, right?) So we're moving on and forgetting that whole "12 Days" idea ever existed. We are at war with Eurasia, we have always been at war with Eurasia, we will always be at war with Eurasia...

Today, The Cycle is thrilled to present our first contribution from our roving band of crack photojournalists. Staff shutterbugs (and FOBs -- Friends Of Blog) Amy and Ross happened upon this vintage specimen at the Hancock House bed and breakfast in Dubuque, Iowa (a stay I'm sure they'll try to expense to The Cycle now that we've immortalized it):

First, major props on the props. Totally in keeping with the whole Winter Solstice thing. And then there's the brilliant homage to the BikeSnobNYC disembodied hand. Bravo!

Here we see the spoon brake (clearly, it's capability for "speed modulation" inspired a young Tullio Campagnolo), and a bag made to fit in the gap between the sweeping top and down tubes. I understand that Grant Petersen has a plaid one of these in development as soon as he can invent a cutesy name and backstory for it. Might I suggest the "Terwiliger Tweed 'Tweener"?

Snazzy cockpit setup. I really like the curve of that bar -- quite elegant.

Looks to be a bent-wood chainguard with some kind of rope lacing across it. Wood rims, too.

The wood theme carries over to the rear fender too. The rope lacing and lack of a corresponding front fender makes me think this one's just designed to keep a skirt (or kilt, for our Scottish male demographic) out of the wheel.

Show me... HEADBADGE! It says "J.T. Hancock, Iowa" -- which (per the Hancock House website linked above) was a "wholesale grocer and distributor." How that becomes a bicycle brand, I dunno. Maybe they had the clout to have a bike rebadged for their stores.

Finally, some leather. Yes, that's a saddle with a cutout from the turn of the LAST century, lest you think Georgena Terry invented them. Dig the snazzy weave across the cutout, too! I can't look at this without imagining some kind of old-timey snake oil sales pitch that went with it: "The Distinguished Doctor R. Minkow introduces his Revolutionary New Bicycle-Seat, guaranteed to provide Cooling Breezes across the Nether Regions, ensuring an Ideal Temperature for one's Delicate Humours and encouraging the Free Flow of said Delicate Humours, thus instilling Greater Vim and Vitality for the Cycler." Good thing we're too smart for that kind of hucksterism in the 21st century, right?

Anyway, major thanks again to Amy and Ross, bike-paparazzi extraordinaire, for capturing these shots and giving me something to write about. And, dear reader(s), if you've yet to celebrate your winter-centric holiday this month, have a safe and happy one.

No comments: