Bike Library Platitudes

I was intending to go for a nice ride today on account of it being a Saturday and all but I got so drunk last night I threw up and I was not feeling particularly spry when I awoke so I decided to hit the Bike Library and give a little back to the community that I had taken so much (beer) from last night. I rode down with Cody and we were a little late. I left as soon as we got there to get a veggie breakfast burrito from the New Pi and a soy latte. It was chilly so I got a hot one, it was lovely.

Back at the BL and I fixed up a nice Panasonic step thru and checked it out for $45.00! Then I fixed up 2 kids bikes for a family that stopped in. They have some of the most rambunctious kids around and it was great watching them tear around in the parking lot whooping and hollering. Kids bikes are just $5.00 a piece and worth every penny, dag-nabbit!

It was nice being back at the Library. I have been around but have not been doing as much as I would like for the place, now that the Summer of (self) Love is on I plan to work more and more down there and drink to the point of puking less and less.

In other news, we got some old books donated at the bike shop this week and one that was published in 1979 called INSIDE the CYCLIST: Physiology for the two-wheeled athlete caught my eye with this photo:

Anyone out there recognize this feller? The t-shirt is from Michael’s Cyclery in Ames, Iowa (obviously) which was a most amazing bicycle shop that I am happy to say I got to know along with its owner, Michael Fatka, when I lived in Ames. Michael is an important figure in the growth of American cycling who I feel has been largely forgotten. Many of the top cyclist from the 7-Eleven days were first on Michael’s Levis/Raleigh team. Connie Carpenter, Andy Hampsten, Thurlow Rogers, Steve Hegg, Roy Knickman, Nelson Vails, Steve Tilford… It is a regular who’s who list. It was amazing as a young cyclist to hang out at his amazing shop and look at all the memorabilia scattered around and read postcards from his old racers that were stapled all over the walls and ceiling of the lounge area. It is hard to find any information about that team or Michael other than in passing and that is probably the way he likes it.

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8 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    that’s not a pre-hump pre-barney scott dickson, is it?
    looks like a free t-shirt!
    hope your summer of free love is progressing well!
    don’t forget your sun screen.

    love and kisses…

  2. 2

    D.P. said,

    Maybe Jeff Bradley?
    Bought my first racey racin’ bike from Michael’s w/ paper route money. Spankin’ new
    1977 Motobecane LeChampion w/ Nuovo fickin’ Record! Got pulled from my first crit
    after getting lapped by Greg Lemond at Lake of the Isles in the twin cities.

  3. 3

    d.p.–
    i, too, bought my first real racing bike from michael’s, with insurance $$ from the theft of my first two bikes, upgrading with bike insurance and parents’ homeowner’s insurance doubling up each time.
    it was a 1974 motobecane le champion w/ nuevo record.
    greg lemond never lapped me, never even beat me.
    i don’t believe he ever beat mr pickle, either. is that true?
    the le champion went on sagbrai in 1974, and several more after that.
    mr pickle and i rode old motobecanes in 2004, in honor of its 30th birthday. i still have it, and still ride it, but i’ll never do a long ride with panniers on it again. it’s too heavy.
    but what a beautiful bike, eh?

  4. 4

    toad said,

    I think it is Mark Frise.

  5. 5

    motorbikes said,

    Ah hang over blogging. I feel your pain.

  6. 6

    the beav said,

    I was fortunate enough to work at Michael’s for five years as a kid growing up in Ames. It was a truly remarkable shop that oozed American cycling history, knowledge, and memorabilia from every corner, especially the old shop at 223 Main. I still have one of the Raleigh Heron t-shirts like in the photo, worn and raggedy from numerous washings. The Heron Raleigh t-shirt at the Medusa head logo on the Michael’s Cyclery stickers were the defining look for the shop from the beginning until the move to 320 Main in the late 80’s.

    I know my love of cycling is without a doubt due to my experience working for Michael. The finer points of precision and quality ranging from the simply task of building kids bikes to learning the nuances of wheel building and building custom pro bikes were taught daily under the exacting standards and tutelage of Chaz and Ronn. Michael was often on the road during the last years of Levi’s Raleigh and Levi’s Toshiba teams, but when he was, there was even more cycling education to be had. Lots of great rides with Michael as he sang Dylan songs and imparting racing and life lessons. Great memories…

  7. 7

    Johne545 said,

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  8. 8

    ted said,

    Hi, I just found a Raleigh Sign/ mirror with the Medusa head logo with Michael’s Cyclery Ames Iowa. ( just like the tshirt )
    It was mad in Mexico back in the 70’s.
    Anyone ever see one?


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