Mes Bicyclettes

Right now, I own seven bicycles (and am having a little bit of a bicycle storage crisis). Here’s what you’ll find in my bike pile:

Ol' Nelli, from my blog banner photo shoot.

Ol’ Nelli is a 2003 Bonelli Super Lite hybrid. This is the only bike I ever bought new and I’ve put more miles on this bike than any other I’ve ever had. I bought her after my previous hybrid of 9 years was stolen, back when I still believed that one bike was all I needed, and I have ridden her in every condition imaginable, from all weather commutes to fairly technical single track to overnight camping trips. The only original part on this bike (aside from the frame, fork & handlebars) is the left brake lever/shifter; I have replaced and upgraded everything else, many parts multiple times.

I haven’t ridden Ol’ Nelli since last spring, and she still has her studded tire on. I thought I’d keep her as a winter bike but now that I have two other winter options I’m still not riding her, so it may be time to find her a new home or a new purpose. I’ve been through so much with this bike that it will be very hard to part with her.

Life's a picnic with Marjory Stewart Baxter.

Marjory Stewart Baxter is a Canadian-made ladies 1982 Raleigh Lenton 5 speed. Some friends found her in a dumpster and fixed her up, and my friend Christina named her and rode her until she moved to the west coast  a few years back. I have since overhauled everything and replaced her old steel wheels with alloy, and she has become my favorite bike for zipping around the city when there’s no snow on the ground.

Orco's a good bike in great condition, but he needs to find a rider that's better suited to him.

Orco is a 1980’s Norco Tourister 6 speed I got from EBC. I have actually never featured this bike in my blog before because I haven’t been riding it at all since I started blogging. I had three baskets on him and he was my grocery getting & dumpster trawling bike until I got my bike bins that worked better with my other bikes. Orco’s a great city bike, but I was never as comfortable with the diamond frame as I was on bikes with more top tube clearance. I’ve recently cleaned & tuned it up and will be selling it this spring, hopefully to someone who’ll get many more miles on it than I did.

The Glow-Bee has proven itself through all seasons.

The Glow-Bee is a 2008 Specialized Globe Elite with an 8 speed internally geared hub. The story of the Glow-Bee begins on a cold winter’s day when a friend noticed it abandoned in a snow bank on a driveway near his parents’ place. He knocked on the door to advise the owner of the bike to lock it but was informed that the bike had been abandoned there for days and they didn’t know who it belonged to, and that they didn’t care if he took it. My friend tried to find the owner over the next several months without any success, and when he finally decided to keep it he realized it was too small for him so he gave it to me. It was set up like a mountain bike, and was unrideable for me until I changed the seat, stem & handlebars to turn it into an upright city bike. I have since used it for commuting and touring, including the longest one day ride I’ve ever done, and I’ve installed a studded tire on it for winter.

Poplar of the prairie.

Poplar is a 1950’s CCM-built Garry loop frame single speed with coaster brakes. She was donated to EBC but her frame is so damaged and degraded that the safety of it couldn’t be guaranteed. I saved her from the scrap heap and have spent more time working on her than actually riding her, but it’s still been a rewarding experience resurrecting this classic and riding her on special occasions. Somewhere along the line she was painted green. I wish to remedy that.

Transending a fall day.

The Giant Transend recently entered my life without a front wheel, so I built a new one with the only 700 rim I could find at EBC at the time, a hipsterific deep V. This bike is heavier and slower than my other steeds, but it’s a solid commuting bike that I have also ridden into the countryside. The combination of the 8 speed internally geared hub, disc brakes, fenders & chain guards make it a great choice for foul weather, though I have put it away for the winter as I doubt the suspension forks can withstand the road salt.

I really need to re-stage this photo of Polar Porta Bike.

The most recent addition to my fleet is the Polar Porta Bike, a Hungarian made Eaton Road King folding bike with coaster brakes. This was another bike that was destined for the scrap heap until I decided to take a chance on fixing it up. It was love on the first test ride. I studded two white tires and it’s now the most stable winter bike I’ve ever ridden, not to mention the most fun. I just hope it can stand up to the salt and sand of an E-Ville winter.

6 responses

16 10 2011
Steve Robson

I found an old Eatons folding bike in the dump in Glencoe, ON Canada years ago. It is a 3 speed model. The original rear wheel was not working but another bike used a 3 speed 20″ wheels as well and that is what saved it. The bike was and still is ruff around the edges but I like it. I stripped it down and rebuilt into a folding road bike. A found grip shift type 3 speed shifter was found on another bike at some point and replaced the normal thumb shifter. He is a link to see it, http://www.pedalroom.com/bike/3-speed-beater-693.

It stil runs years later!!

5 02 2012
Rebecca

Awe – O’Nelli was the bike you were talking about today, huh? I used to have a sentimental attachment to the Pink Lady, but she’s gotten so rusty after 4 winters of riding that I’m going to have to let her go soon. Only no replacement bike is every good enough to justify giving her up – not that Cannondale at the shop, not even that Brodie Torque. I think only the dream winter bike will be enough: Gates belt drive, internal 8-speed hub, aluminum frame, covered in retro-reflective stickers, and adequate panier racks. Sigh…

18 05 2012
Keith Hallgren

I have a loop frame for you…

11 08 2012
carfreeinedmonton

What handlebars did you swap out for on your specialized? I loathe the flat bars on mine and would love more curved ones:)

11 08 2012
carfreeinedmonton

What handlebars did you swap out for on your specialized ? I’d lovesick to do the same on mine as I hate the stock ones it came with

23 05 2015
Tycho

Would love to know more about the Canadian Lenton. I have one that I got new in 1986 or ’87. I’ve been looking for more info, but can’t really find anything.

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