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.
This 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.
First I stripped her of everything then I stripped her of her paint.
Then came the multiple coats of primer.
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.
In the next picture below up on a rack at the Bicycle Kitchen, all that’s missing is her front brake.
And when that was installed and cabled, she was ready to roll.
Her official debut was part of the Bicycle Kitchen contingent that led the Echo Park Holiday Parade in early December (thus the festive ornamentation).
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.