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I’ve been trying to get in touch with the local Kansas City lowrider bicycle club, but I’m damned if I can remember the name of their club. They do some awesome work, and I need to chat with a couple of those dudes and find out more about customizing a banana seat. I either need to find out who among them does upholstery, if any of them recommend a shop for such work, or failing that, where to get hold of some silver-glitter vinyl, and I will figure out how to do it myself.

I’m working on an art-project bike which is going to be a mild-custom akin to a Clown Bike (ape-hanger fixie) only freewheel/coaster brake. It’s going to have apehanger handlebars, a banana-seat, silver glitter grips (which I have) and a sweet home-made paint job in Plum Crazy and silver glitter craft paint. Also, silver-and-purple tassles on the grips, a miniature handlebar basket with pink-and-purple shooting stars, chromed fenders, chrome chainguard, and little pink and purple stars clipped onto the spokes.

Here it is as of Sunday morning. Other pictures can be seen here. I was having a hard time photographing the glitter. I’ll try again another time when I have more time to mess with it.

Also, it’s actually going to have three brakes. Two normal (shitty, old-skool) side-pivot calipers, plus the coaster brake. Because the cooooooool hipster kids ride brakeless fixie, so I want to go the opposite direction and have every damn brake I can lay hands on!

While I was web-searching around for contact info on the local lowrider guys, I came across this site for rat-rod bikes which is hella cool, and is a little bit more in line with what I am doing, kinda. I say “mild custom” because it doesn’t have the extensive metalwork involved in the stretching and lowering that goes on with lowriders, and it isn’t “diamond-in-the-rough” like the ratrods. In the sense that it is cobbled together out of many different defunct bike parts it shares a kinship with the rat-rods, but I am definitely putting a lot more spit-n-polish into the paint and accessories side of things. At last count the parts were sourced as follows:

Frame/fork – Mid-1970s World Traveler lady’s step-thru
Wheels – the original wheelset from my Little Green Singlespeed (back wheel being rebuilt around coaster-brake hub)
Fenders old Huffy 10-speed in Joel’s backyard fence pile
Chainguard – old Soma 10-speed in Joel’s backyard fence pile
Handlebars – ACME, new-old-stock
Seat – ACME, salvage
Handlebar basket- Salvage off dumpster-dive kiddie bike
Spoke Stars – Junk bike I refurbished for the little neighbor girls (which they left on the curb on trash day, and now no longer own)

The tassles for the handlebars and the silver glittery grips are the only things I have bought new for this bike. So far, the expenses have been pretty minimal, which is why I am willing to pay to have the seat re-covered, though I am not strictly averse to bungling through it myself.

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