[CR]Post hurricane toll

Example: History:Ted Ernst

To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
From: Bianca Pratorius <biankita@earthlink.net>
Date: Sun, 6 Nov 2005 07:06:37 -0500
Subject: [CR]Post hurricane toll

My power just returned yesterday after 12 days without it. Living in Miami where it never gets too cold isn't bad without electrical power, all things considered. My house took only minor damage because of the hurricane windows and old solid construction. The trees in Miami are another story. About half are gone. I think I stick to my Balnesia and bamboo groves and sucuclent gardens. They care nothing about 120 mph winds. The funny thing is that just before the hurricane, I had my Raleigh fall off the bumper mounted bike carrier. This was the type that grabs the rear wheel by the rim and the front fork by the dropouts. I stupidly left the front quick release a bit loose and dragged my precious Raleigh 500 feet by the time I could pull over. In that time the concrete had worn mostly through the fork metal tubing and some of the headset. That was the only real damage to the bike other than one small dent to the headtube. I took the bike in to the frame builder Dirk Smeets to see if he could get the dent out of the headtube, and when he called me back when he finally got around to it he said that it was a minor dent and that because the frame was still straight and with pristine paint, I should just putty over it and repaint the headtube interior portion. The hurricane hit two days later and now the shop is still closed and shuttered, almost two weeks later. I know it has been hard on everyone but I don't like seeing businesses suffering like that, especially bike shops, which we have so few successful examples of. Bicycle and Fitness was a fine shop that catered to the Triathlete crowd, but got a lot of classic bikes in for repaints and restorations, due to having a frame builder on board. In fact I believe Miami only has one frame builder and repairer to claim her own and one painter. When a small business stays closed, very often there are no salaries paid because there is no money coming in.

The good thing is that the 56cm 3Rensho that a list member sold me has gotten great use in the last three weeks. I was waiting for a Suntour Superbe bottom bracket but until the one I ordered from Holland comes, I just took the Raleigh's. The Cyclone is a charming rider. Stiffer than 531C, the frame still offers comfort. ( contraversial lateral stiffness but vertical compliance ). The bike has more fork rake than some race bikes and it makes things more relaxing when you don't have to fight a tight wheelbase, upright frame angles and rakeless forks. My 3Rensho has one or two file marks around the inside of the chromed fork where you don't see it unless you have the tire off, but otherwise it is an excellent example of frame builders art. The paint is not pristine but carefully touched up, the decals are perfect and the seatpost headset are unbranded unidentifiable pieces but attractive none the less. I have the bars set up with those aluminum pieces that you tape on just below the brake levers in the drops, and I have decided that the feel is better than the modern anatomic bars. As usual Suntour Superbe and Cyclone are the finest most reliable components ever made IMHO.

Garth Libre in slowly recovering Miami Shores, Fl., where this officer was forced to work 11 hour days conducting traffic in the unlit, traffic lightless, big intersection of 167th street and I-95.