In the beginning (somewhere during the fall of 2004) there was an old Sekai 400 roadbike that I found abandoned at the end of the block. I have a reaction to discarded bikes that is akin to how I would feel seeing a lost animal on the street. It just wasn’t right and though I had no experience building bikes, on an impulse I brought her home — where she endured the near-record rains and other elements until almost a year later when I finally undertook her resurrection in September 2005.

The PhoenixThis was how she was: rust-wracked, missing a crank, rear wheel so taco’d it wouldn’t roll at all. No front derailleur. If a component wasn’t bent or broken it was missing. But she had good bones. She was worth the effort no matter how much a novice I was. I dubbed her The Phoenix.

The PhoenixFirst I stripped her of everything then I stripped her of her paint.

The Phoenix

Then came the multiple coats of primer.

The Phoenix

And then the rattle-can orange paint job with red flame accents. After that with the help of the good people at the Bicycle Kitchen I built new wheels for her and began to outfit her piece by piece as a single-speeder.

The PhoenixIn the next picture below up on a rack at the Bicycle Kitchen, all that’s missing is her front brake.

The Phoenix

And when that was installed and cabled, she was ready to roll.

The Phoenix

Her official debut was part of the Bicycle Kitchen contingent that led the Echo Park Holiday Parade in early December (thus the festive ornamentation).

The Phoenix

Words can’t explain the intense pride in putting The Phoenix back on the road. She’s a wonderful ride and I look forward to sharing many miles together.

10 Responses to “ A Pictorial History of The Phoenix ”

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  1. [...] My ultimate goals are to first walk the course in six hours and then come back the next year and run it in four hours. Even if I cracked the whip and started a whole bunch of paced-walking to get me into better condition, I doubt if two months is enough time to get me set to cross that finish line as the race clock ticks 06:00:00. Soooooo, I’m gonna forego the marathon this time around, aim for 2007 and just do the bike tour — on The Phoenix, of course. [...]

  2. [...] After that while most civilized and sane people are cozying down for the night, I donned my helmet and flask of Drambuie and rode The Phoenix the five miles over to the corner of Sunset and La Brea to meet up with whoever else was along for the Southern California Institute of Architecture’s (SCI-Arc) RIDE-Arc ride. [...]

  3. [...] DingDingDing. No. 3 was the winnah! But the next question was where to go? The odometer read 186.5 so I thought wouldn’t it be cool to roll The Phoenix past its 200th mile? [...]

  4. [...] Looking through Stephen Roullier’s excellent collection of images from last Friday’s Midnight Ridazz ride, I found he got one of me in all my helmetcam’d, The Phoenix-straddling glory during a pitstop at the corner of Hyperion and Rowena near the beginning of the ride: [...]

  5. [...] Weather permitting, The Phoenix and I will be giving her a go early next week and I’ll be seeing how foolish it is to attempt to climb from the bottom to the top of Griffith Park on a single-speeder. [...]

  6. [...] I’m about an hour away from going and getting me and The Phoenix some of my as-yet-unattempted Griffith Park Loop, but in the meanwhile I’ve just been concocting in the kitchen. [...]

  7. [...] And yes, the helmet cam will be in full-effect recording the estimated 75 minutes it will take for me and The Phoenix to journey from start to finish line.   [...]

  8. [...] Wasn’t as motivated this morn as I have been when getting up at 5 a.m. to go meet my fellow IAAL•MAF‘ers for our regular Tuesday post-dawn tour around the Silver Lake Reservoir, but as one of the more important items on my pre-trip To Do List is to top 700 miles on The Phoenix’s odometer (which stood at 675.7 after yesterday’s rounds), I managed to drag myself out of bed and get a move on at 6 a.m. for some solo spinning chaperoned by a gorgeous sunrise over the glassy smoooth still waters of the man-made lake. [...]

  9. [...] Yep, it was a helluva long time ago when I had that blowout coming down the Silver Lake Boulevard hill on The Phoenix. And then after that it took a helluva long time to get the deformed rear rim rebuilt. Well, today wasn’t the first time I’d saddled up and rode her — that reinaugural was almost two months ago for the Midnight Ridazz “All-City Toy Ride” in December… and that night I was frustrated to still find and feel that out-of-round whump-whump of the rear wheel. [...]

  10. [...] say I am in mourning is about as understated as it gets, and remembering our beginning just makes it all the more [...]

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