Last week, I finally found my bike. After scouring the classifieds for what seemed like an eternity, I found what I wanted, and only blew the budget by $25. I loaded up my backpack with snacks and we hopped on the TTC. It was very exciting for the kids – it’s not often we go to Kipling Station, and they got to sit in the front of the train.
My husband was pretty impressed when I told him that I brought a bike home on the TTC. I am too. You can only see two of the kids in this picture, because the baby was strapped to my back.
Bus, subway, bus, walk. Took a look at the bike…. rust, dirt, squeaks. I asked, does the shifter work? He didn’t know, the trigger was seized, and he didn’t have the mechanical know how to fix it. We bartered, I walked away the victor. Walk back to the bus – and here comes the fun part.
I’m really glad I prepared for this by watching the how to video.
Back again, on the subway. Off topic: thank goodness for the kindness of strangers in this great city of ours. I might not have made it OUT of Royal York subway station with all three kids intact had it not been for a little help getting them up the escalators.
One more bus, and home.
Here it is: my “new” 1972 CCM Galaxie Cruiser. I finally managed to scrape enough grunge off the hub to find the date code – 72. I believe that all the parts are original – even the tires. They’re hard as stone.
There was quite a bit of surface rust on the chrome, and a little bit of rust on the frame where the top tube meets the seat post. I’ve polished off most of it, but some pitting remains. The inside of the fenders is beyond SOS-ing.
The back brakes are non-functional, and both brake levers need to be replaced – the chrome plating is flaking off in huge chunks. I’m thinking about overhauling the whole brake system – still mulling over the options.
From top left: cracked seat vinyl, rusted out rat-trap, cool chainring, front hub, three-speed ‘trigger’, headlamp and generator, headbadge, rear hub, brakes.
I think that the headlamp and rack are too far gone. I’ll hold on to them for a while, but I think the rust is going to win. I’ve covered the seat temporarily with a removable cotton cover, to stop the damage from getting any worse. When I find myself a supplier, I’ll be remaking the saddle in blue and cream leather. The hub – the most important part – works fine. The trigger was seized, but a generous dose of WD-40 fixed that in under five minutes. I’d like to take apart the trigger and give it a thorough cleaning, but that’s all it needs, I think.
Here’s my to-do list, not in any particular order:
- Paint job – a bike with a name like Galaxie needs to sparkle.
- Chrome – I’m looking into re-chroming the fenders. It’s probable that there’s too much rust to salvage them, but it needs to be investigated.
- Brakes – again, more research required. Which system will work best?
- Lights – I’d like a generator, to stay true to it’s origins, but I don’t want a cheap ugly Canadian Tire one. I’ve seen Sturmey Archer front hub generators, and that looks like the way to go, but: more research required.
- New headbadge – after a paint job, the sticker will be lost.
- Seat – have to find the leather, in just the right colour.
- Rear Rack – already purchased, needs a coat of paint, and possible a little reinforcement for stability. More later.
- Tires – I’m going for creme. It’s going to look suh-weeeet.
Other than that – there are a couple of screws and nuts that should be replaced before they seize up permanently. No biggie.
My goal is to have it in tip-top riding condition within a month or so – and I’ll leave the aesthetic projects for later. The paint job will probably get done over the winter, because I’m pretty sure that this bike isn’t going to be out and about in inclement weather anyway.
Anyway… duty calls.
Happy Earth Day!