The Collectors and the Scattered meet at Black Mountain

Geoff, Mike and Gloria

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.

Apparently the thick brawny studs are better than the thin tapered ones, and uh, I don’t have an opinion on that.  

~ by jacquiephelan on December 2, 2010.

2 Responses to “The Collectors and the Scattered meet at Black Mountain”

  1. hi jaquie phelan,

    read your blog, my sswc race went well,cashed a few times but i managed to finish along with agu,razak and koh (from japan) hehehe =) its good to know that you’re back home. and it was indeed a pleasure to have met you. season greetings to you and all your love ones.

    salamat =)


  2. I have a “steal this bike,” too. It’s a ’96 Trek 800 which I have been genially abusing since…1996. It’s been brought back from the brink of the dumpster more times than I can remember. It’s my foul-weather commuter and bike-frizbee bike (you play frizbee on bikes, not throw them like frizbees.

    I think it kind of breaks Joel’s brain that I ride it, deliberately and with malice aforesight, but he kindly keeps it running for me.

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