Saturday, August 16, 2014

What's In The Stand: This Is Highly Irregular, Dave

In a desperate attempt to break this blog out of its current state of inertia (the "body at rest staying at rest" kind, not the "body in motion staying in motion" kind), I'm shamelessly stealing (call it an "homage") from Mike Varley of Black Mountain Cycles and his "What's In The Stand" series. Of course, Mike runs his own bike shop in the midst of a mecca of early mountain biking, so the stuff that hangs from his stand is a bit more interesting than what you'll see from a shade tree mechanic in Iowa. Still, the concept is solid and well worth the homage.

Today's WITS comes courtesy of my pal A-Mac (whose husband MikeMac once contributed a pre-WITS WITS post via his 1x7-converted Trek hybrid) in the form of a vintage Huffy tandem. Sure, it's not the sort of thing I usually feature in these pages, but A-mac takes such good photos (light years beyond the quality normally seen here) that I couldn't help myself.

Comin' atchya:

Head tube detail. A sticker rather than a badge, but still cool. Dig also the chromed fork crown and "bullet" details capping the ends of the twin top tubes:


From the rear. Loving those matching red and white saddles. More chrome in fender form, you ask? Sure. And with a fender reflector to boot:

Rear seat tube detail. Because, stripes! Also, the white nubbin to the left is a rudimentary seatpost quick release -- no cam action, just a nut/bolt with a long lever. Similar contraptions are all over my wife's Raleigh 20.

Lest you think my title was only inspired by the fact that this bad boy is a bicycle built for two, the 2001/HAL homage goes deeper. This may also be the first known instance of a chainguard detail photo with both a Kubrick reference and a BikeSnobNYC-style disembodied foot self-portrait:

And finally, the beast in its entirety. I need to tell A-mac that while the tree-lean is pretty epic, glamour shots should be taken from the drive side:

As for why the bike was in my stand, pretty much all the original rubber on it (except for the grips, which had already been replaced somewhere along the way) was kaput. I put on some fresh rim strips, tubes, and snazzy whitewalls, adjusted all the bearings, replaced the front brake pads and cable, polished from stem to stern, and she was good to go.

This bike is actually for sale. I don't stand to profit from it in any way (I was already paid handsomely in malted beverages for my mechanicking), but if you're interested and close enough to the middle of Iowa to be able to pick it up, let me know and I can connect you with the Mac clan.


Anonymous said...

The bike does get some style points, but I get a little nervous thinking about how it rides. Memories of riding a Schwinn of a similar vintage fill my mind with images of noodles, rubber bands, and slender branches sagging under the weight of a sparrow. It was a miracle that the bike could move down the road in anything resembling a straight line.

The other aspect is that coaster brake. Considering how the handling won't encourage any real speed, the coaster brake may be adequate. Just make sure the bike stays on level ground.

This bike is destined for casual toodles across town to get an ice cream cone or similar leisure activity.

Steve in Peoria

Jason T. Nunemaker said...

I'd agree that this is more of a parade tandem than a performance tandem, obviously -- not that there's anything wrong with that. Fun for a bike path toodle, riding with a kid, that sort of thing. I think if the current owners had space to store it, they'd probably hang on to it to ride with their young daughters.

Before I damn this sort of tandem with faint praise, though, I should recall that my grandparents owned two similar-vintage and similar-style Schwinns, one up north and one at their snowbird Florida place. Noodly? Yes. Not a lot of brake power? Sure. But they racked up thousands of miles on both bikes over 25 years, strengthening both their legs and their marriage along the way.

Bottom line, tandems are just fun.