A neighbor of my fathers had a bike he was not using and casually mentioned that if I knew anyone who needed a town bike, he would give it to them. I've been casually looking for a town bike since riding LaFawnduh to the bar is a bit overkill....ok, it's a lot of overkill. Anyways, I had heard that this was a "Dutch" bike...not really knowing what that meant, but decided to take a look. After looking at her, she obviously needed a little work, but I could not in full conscious take this bike for free. So after some pushing...I got the friend to finally offer up a form of payment. He wanted a bottle of Scotch for it.....I said, "OK"; and then proceeded to buy him a bottle of 18 yr Glenlivet...the best I could find on such short notice in Flagstaff.
Right off the bat, she needed new tires since the originals were rotted out. The tire size was an older standard that I was not familiar with...26 x 1 3/8 (French 650A)....but Jenson had some Kenda's which fit the bill and were tan-walled....not white-walled...but tan walled. Wunderbar! I asked my dad's friend when he got this bike and the response was "sometime in the early 80's".....I guess that explains the tire standard.
After fixing her up, taking her apart, putting her back together again (that sucked big time!), cleaning, and lubing...she's finally ready for her debut......Ladies, Gentlemen and Googlebot's....I proudly give you....the Teutonic titwiller from the east.....Lady Von Schtupp!
OK....that's not what I've been talking about. Rather.....I introduce you to my new (new to me...she's really 25 yrs old) Batavus Topper which I've named Lili Von Schtupp:
For those of you not satisfied with the video above, here are her stats:
- 100% original stock build starts with a Reynolds 531 frame
- Raleigh Patterned Steel rims
- Full steel fenders and rubber mud flaps
- Running head and tail lights powered by a bottle generator.
- Metric odometer and speedometer
- Internally geared 3-speed hub by Sturmey Archer; stamped with the designation AB 84....AB is the model, 84 being the year of the build. The AB series hub's feature a gear ratio that cranks 133.3%, 100% and 75% through the range
- Integrated Cable pull Drum brakes.
- North Road handlebars with mounted trigger control for the 3-speed
- Rear rack (that's steel too!) ready for leather panniers
- Original Leather saddlebag with original kit
- Integrated Rear tire lock (you guessed it....steel)
- Made in Holland
She rides like a dream.....but weighs 19.5 kg....or 43 lbs....a bit on the heavy side, but I think that's because she's had one to many schnitzengruben's lately!
Other than investigating a different geared hub, I'm not going to change a thing. You see....since Lili was made for cruising along the canal's....extremely flat canal's I might add; I strain to get her 19.5kg up the hills every time I take a trip to Joe's or the grocery store. Pretty much, I'm hammering out of the saddle in 1st gear....the entire way home. Add in a load of groceries....or a case of beer.....and that makes me tired...."tired of playing the game....again, again.....and again.......ahhhhh, let's face it.....everything below the waist.....is kaput!"
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