The Collectors and the Scattered meet at Black Mountain
After ten days of being home, ’twas time to get into gear, and make someone resurrect my boxed-up touring bike .
I’d put away most of my exploded “carrion luggage”.
I reluctantly tackled some chores…and re-learned how to make a fire in the Jotul. The Clean Way.
I’d even written several thank you notes.
But maintenance? I don’t LIKE working on bikes.
My 1995 Breezer Lightning used to go by the name of “Steal This Bike”, since it was mass produced, and not my size (spoiled, huh?). It’s my errand bike, and I hadn’t been out on an errand in 10 days.
Charlie wouldn’t touch it, I couldn’t touch it (without wrecking it further)…this was going to need an expert.
Only Mike Varley would have the patience to “make it right again” after my thoughtless 2 month torture spree.
Geoff H. happened to be going to Varley’s unique shop – Black Mountain Cycles– so he let me come along.
“Gloria Lee will be there” he said.
Gloria is part of a secret cabal of collectors spearheaded by Geoff H. and Noah G. I believe she’s the sole woman among a dozen vintage bike connoisseurs. They hoard the hard-to-find, the unobtainable, the rare and the sought-after Cunninghams, Potts, and maybe yes a few other hand-built bikes of the 1980’s Age of Fat Tire Wonderment.
Scanning E-bay and chasing every rumor, they snatch goodies right from under each other’s nose, in a spirited biker version of capture the flag. Their group has no name, and you have to be Invited to Join it, and none of the builders (Potts, Cunningham, Cunningham’s nosy wife, etc) are allowed in…
In the stand at Black Mountain, Varley was expertly re-threading a pristine white Phoenix frame .
“Charlie is having to more or less do the same for my bottom bracket!” I mumbled.
Gloria pulled a fork out of the box next to her, and all eyes swiveled to the studs on the Type 2 fork.