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Well, that crusty old Schwinn that my folks dropped off at the end of August has been brought back to life.

I got some rubber under it today, dicked around with the brakes for about two hours (I wish I were kidding) and finally launched the old beast on her born-again-virgin maiden voyage.

I bugged Todd into photographically documenting the monumentous occasion.

I look pretty awkward in this picture because I was still launching my ass up onto the bike’s egregiously large “comfort” seat, but it’s the clearest picture of the bike. Also, you can see from my cheese-eating grin, that I’ve been having a damn good time tinkering and riding.

My hair matches the bike’s paint job. Isn’t that silly?

This old bike is a pretty good ride, I must say. I need to get a different seat on it, because this one is really wide and makes me pedal kind of bow-legged. I would not want to do long distances on it, though it will get me downtown and back just fine. The seat is really noisy, too. Those springs creak and squeak, which is terribly annoying. Otherwise, the bike is quiet. Once you get it into whatever gear you want, there’s no chain nor derailleur noise, and the freewheel is not particularly loud when you are just coasting. I had to tighten up the reflector on the back fender, as it had been rattling and clanking something fierce, but now that that’s taken care of, nothing else is making noise.

It’s a little noisy shifting from gear to gear, as is customary with these old bikes where you just shove on the shifter lever until something happens. It actually works pretty well, though. A nudge from my right thumb is all it needs to shift from one gear to the next, and it doesn’t take an undue amount of tweaking to get it aligned so that the derailleur isn’t rubbing on the chain in any given gear. It will hit all five without problems, and is as quiet and smooth in the highest gear as it is in the lowest.

It’s a damn good bike for being a 31-year-old cheap bike. The Suburban was in the lower-mid range of quality for Schwinn bikes, a sibling to the Varsity/Continental line. You can find Varsinentals with exactly the same frame, just different components.

I’m planning to trick this bike out with a rack and baskets in back and a wire handlebar basket in front. It will be a fine around-towner crap-hauler.

Another time I will dick around with the dynamo, headlight, and taillight for the old rig.

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