As the slightly uninspired title might suggest, I have just obtained a flash new camera. Jacq's long suffering Kodak Easyshare single-focus camera abruptly died last week (it turned out it actually just needed new batteries, but whatever...), so I raced out to Mr Richard Smith's Electronic Emporium and shelled out the exorbitant amount of ninety-nine clams for a top of the line Samsung jobby, figuring my Art shouldn't be constrained by mere economics and that, after all, I am a Bike Mechanic and money is no object.
As this amazing new technology comes complete with such outlandish sci-fi features as "zoom" and "macro" I thought I'd try it out on my venerable Bianchi, which desperately needed a clean after several Epic Rides of as much as 50 minutes in the awful weather conditions of a Wellington summer.
See the dirt? Dirty, filthy dirt! Obviously letting my bicycle degrade to this degree is utterly shameful, so I vow to always carry some Rawleigh's Bicycle Wax and cotton cloth with me on every ride from now on to ensure any sullying of its delicate Snifter hue is swiftly dealt to. With my pump, spares, wallet, keys, phone and new camera as well I might need to ride with a bum bag, however...
Ready for vigorous cleaning...off with the wheels (or "hoops", as I don't like to call them) and in with my BBB chain holder thingy so I can clean and re-lube the chain without getting ProGold all over the cassette.
Mmmm, forcella originale!
ITM Krystal titanium 120mm stem, Campagnolo 1" threaded headset - delizioso! Modern headsets are much easier to work on (among numerous other advantages) but not so aesthetically pleasing, in my opinion.
The Rainbow Stripes were earned. Not by me, I hasten to add, but by the great Italian star Felice Gimondi, Campione del Mondo 1973. To win his World Championship Gimondi took advantage of some odd tactics from Belgian riders Eddy Merckx and Freddy Maertens in the finale to outsprint Maertens and Spaniard Luis Ocana. Maertens claimed Merckx sabotaged his win so that new kid on the block Shimano wouldn't beat Campagnolo, and Merckx blamed Maertens for not leading him out as arranged. Gimondi and Bianchi just sat back and basked in the glory of a majestic victory, along with Campagnolo naturally...
Surely there aren't any better looking cranks anywhere than these? The last square-taper version on Campagnolo's gorgeous Record cranks are stunningly finished. Some of the many Humbrol touch-ups I've had to do over the 14 years I've ridden this lovely frame are clearly visible around the b/b in this shot; I've discovered it doesn't matter how inexpertly the paint is applied, the touch-ups just take your eye off the damage enough to render the paintwork pristine to all but the closest examination.
Reparto Corse action. And the NZL written on the tyre isn't because I'm some kind of lame MAMIL wannabe, it's from using my wheels as spares when I was working some race or other. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Squadra Corse action and the Columbus dove. I've always loved this logo and, many years ago, a grovelling letter to the good folk at Columbus resulted eventually in an envelope containing these decals arriving from Italy.
Veloflex Pave - these are truly superb tyres, and the closest to a tubular feel I've ever experienced on a clincher tyre. It also doesn't hurt that they look like tubs...
Highly sought after Ambrosio Giro d'Italia rims with "Durex" coating, for added pleasure...er, I mean durability. Also, please note the Servizio Corse action...that completes the Corse comments for this blog entry.
This jewel-like Campagnolo Record hub was an incredibly generous Christmas present from Henry, Wheels and Deb way back in 1997 when the bike was still being built out of all sorts of random parts.
The front Record hub that replaced an 80s Triomphe one which sadly died some years ago.
Is this a seriously lovely bottom bracket area or what?
Buvez Coca Cola! Boisson officielle du Tour de France. When the organisers of the Tour wanted to attract the big bucks of the US market in the mid-80s they dropped long-time race sponsors Perrier like a hot potato and Coke was it for the next 15 or so years. This bidon in the Celeste colour-matched Elite cage is a real one thrown from the peloton on a stage in the 1990 Tour, appropriately won by American Hero Greg LeMond.
Double-pivot Campagnolo Record rear caliper, and this set of brakes are still some of the best I've ever used.
Edoardo Bianchi founded Bianchi in 1885, making it the oldest bicycle company still in existence. To us the brand my seem exotic but in Italy they are akin to Raleigh, making everything from kid's bikes to commuters to MTBs to shopping bikes. Until production moved to Asia all the racing bikes used to be made exclusively in the Reparto Corse, or Racing Division, hence the chainstay decal.
It's very nice to finally be able to take close-up photos, so be assured I will be flexing my pictorial muscles at every opportunity going forward...
Until next time, ciao!