Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Conversation About a Kickstand

I came home with another bike.
It all started innocently enough. A neighbor and I met at the same bike swap. He had found a bike for his daughter and was currently looking for one for himself. Later, at home, I went over to check out his daughter's new bicycle. I sat astride her saddle, complimenting her on her choice when her dad and I started talking. And as neighbors do, one topic leads to another and I mentioned that I came up empty handed at the swap because all I really wanted was a kickstand.

"A kickstand? Heck, I have one for you in my garage."

The neighbor disappeared and came back with a bike, minus its seat and seatpost. However, it had a kickstand.

"Here. Take the bike. I don't need it. It originally came from the Canes." (Another neighbor.)

I had to smile. I didn't need another bike. Yet, here was a decent 1980s mountain bike. The kind I gravitate towards, it seems, because their value to me is in the parts, though I know the steel frames will also last forever. In my mind, newer mountain bikes are dysfunctional for commuting, but try convincing someone who isn't commuter savvy about that, which, unfortunately, includes the very neighbor who gave me the Peugeot. It's my little secret.

So, I've got another sweetie. Squared Weinmann rims, Shimano thumbshifters, straight top tube, cantilever brakes, plenty of braze-ons - this one had two on the fork - and clearance for fenders. Anyway, all I needed was the kickstand, but I took the bicycle off my neighbor's hands, promising to deliver what I couldn't use to Bike Recycle. It's the line I used on my husband as I wheeled the Peugeot up our driveway.

"Don't worry," I said, with a sheepish grin. "It's just for parts."

Of course, the last time I said those exact words was when I brought home the Ross, which has become a favored bike for errands.

Both of our sons thought it was cool to cruise around on a bike without a seat.
So with the kickstand transferred to the Trek, I inspected the Peugeot more closely. Wheels look good. They could be back up for our current bikes. I recognized the Blackburn Mountain rack, same as on my Trek and worthy to keep as a spare. Plus, with a quick Internet search, this model is a 1988 St. Laurent Express. What I'm especially tickled about are the Shimano thumbshifters, and while they're missing the top silver-colored caps, they still function, so I'm inclined to keep them for parts. These thumbshifters are not made anymore, but are highly prized; it would insure that my husband's and my mountain bike shifters (same model) remain viable for years to come.

Despite my intentions, I still struggle with knowing I will dismantle a perfectly acceptable bicycle. It feels like I've turned my back on the Peugeot's heritage. And, I admit to admiring the mint and white color scheme plus the lugged frame. On some level this bike would fit me better than my Trek, but the emotional baggage of parting with a bike that's taken me around the world is too much to bear.

And so it goes.

On the other hand, there's plenty to recover for parts. Did I mention the curved aluminum handlebars (Italminubri - Italian, it seems)? They might be perfect for the next iteration of my Ross.

The blue bicycle went home with a 10 year old boy and his dad.
It turns out that storing on additional bicycle in our garage is not going to be a problem. Two days after I brought the Peugeot into our lives, we sold one of our children's outgrown bikes. Bye bye Raleigh Mountain Scout.


  1. I love the fact that your free kickstand came with a bike attached to it! lol. In my "some day when I have room for a larger bike quiver" dreamland there is a lugged steel mountain bike. Seems like a cool and uncommon find...just saying. Hope you find a good home for the frameset, seems like it would be an excellent commuter platform for some lucky person; fenders, rack some plush 26" tires-nice.

    1. I feel bad enough about parting out this bike, Ryan. Now you're making it more difficult. ;)

  2. Think of it this way, you get useful parts someone else gets a great commuter platform. I would be surprised if a classic (Lugged!) steel frameset didn't generate some interest on craigslist or at you bike co-op. Don't think of it as parting out a bike think of it as rescuing a bike from mouldering away, unused, in the back of a garage and giving it a chance to be a useful, and cool, commuter platform for someone.

    1. A new development: one of our sons is currently at my height and still growing. We had to raise his seat and will have to deal with raising handlebars too, which may be difficult to do because of a short head tube. Who knows where the Peugeot will end up?


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