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elbow grease

January 27, 2011

Er, I’m learning a lot. And failing that, I have the dirtiest fingernails of my life.

Upon getting Grover home, I went at her with lemon juice and tinfoil, following the advice of several blogs on rusty rims. The results were pretty impressive, I have to say.

I also took the wheels off (front and back) and cleaned the chain etc. I had never done anything like that before and it was dirty yet rewarding. There is a certain freedom to Grover that Maru doesn’t give me. I’m far to terrified of Maru to pull her apart, and she doesn’t need to be pulled apart, she’s pretty perfect as is.

But with Grover I am discovering slowly how things work, and mostly a lot of oil seems to have really improved how her parts all move.

I did a lot of jet lag insomnia induced searching around the internet, and I think she is either a CCM Imperial or a CCM Galaxy. According to one post I read, my serial number K###### might be from 1967. But it could be later. Who knows. Well, I hear there is a man named John Williamson who knows everything about CCMs, but I don’t know how to find him. He seems to appear on blogs that talk about CCM with some kind of magic intuition. (And yes, I am hoping he will eventually drop by). Maybe he can tell me if it is a single speed, or this “kick back duomatic” thing I’ve been reading about in which you kick back like you are going to break, and it changes into a second gear.

I scraped off some of the nasty blue paint today (she used to be red…I can see this going Elmo on me) but only in places where she should be silver, like the top of the fork. I couldn’t get the badges back from under the paint, but I settled for recuperating them in form. Even the little bit of contrast helped distract from the dull house-paint blue coat. I don’t know what to do about the paint overall… I hate it as it is, but I don’t think I can either afford a repaint, or am really equipped to do it myself.

So it was finally warm enough today (only freezing, not super freezing) to actually take her out for a spin. It was pretty good. My feet froze. But the ride itself was quite smooth. Very similar to riding Mabel but without the additional weight of her heavy frame. And of course without the benefit of gears to get up the hills. It’s taking me a bit of time to get used to pedal brakes, and I think that, as I have read, I really should instal a front brake as well.

I am ludicrously imagining grover with a brooks saddle, nice handle bar leather grips, and some fancy baskets front (and back?). Wicker? Metal?

But don’t worry, before I put any money (other than grease and a bell) into it, I am going to take her into “bike chain” at the uni, which will help me figure out if she’s worth it.

It’s nice to have a bike. I missed them. (don’t tell Paris, cause she was here all along and her feelings would be hurt, but she’s just not practical for snow).

2 Comments leave one →
  1. John Williamson permalink
    February 3, 2011 1:37 pm

    Hello Dokinchan, I believe you have a 1966 CCM ladies bicycle. If you check the brake arm on the rear hub, you should be able to see something that indicates whether or not the hub is a “Duomatic” or just a regular coaster brake hub. Alternatively, you could just ride it a bit and see if you can get it to shift gears by backpedaling slightly. The original red on your bicycle was called “Mountie Red” by CCM. It was a “Candy Apple” or flamboyant finish where a coat of semi-transparent enamel was applied over a silver basecoat. This type of finish can be very attractive but often does not stand up well, especially when exposed to sunlight for long periods of time. I see that you are already learning about cleaning and servicing older bicycles. You can purchase a paint at Canadian Tire in the automotive section that will give you a red finish that is very close to CCM’s “Mountie Red”. It is called “Metalcast”, and you must buy both the tinted topcoat and the silver basecoat. Properly repainting the frame is a time-consuming job. First, the bicycle must be completely stripped, and all of the old paint, rust, etc. removed using a stiff wire brush on a small angle grinder, or sandblasting, sanding, or using paint stripper (quite messy). Care would have to be exercised around any stickers that you wanted to save. If the frame has any deep scratches or dents, these can be filled with auto body filler. Before spraying any paint, the bare frame should be treated with metal prep, or rust remover, and wiped down with a damp rag. When dry, you can spray the “Metalcast” silver basecoat, when this is dry (usually 30 to 60 minutes), you can finish the job by spraying the “Metalcast” red colour coat. After a day or so, you can reassemble the bicycle. If this all sounds a bit challenging, you might be able to do a reasonably decent job by only partially disassembling the bicycle, however, the quality of the new finish depends on the preparation (removing or sanding the old paint). I am glad that you have an interest in older bicycles and wish you well in your endeavors. If renovating “Grover” seems a bit challenging, keep your eyes open for other older ladies bicycles (Kijiji, Craigslist etc.) – they do often turn up and can sometimes be found in remarkably good shape.

    John Williamson

    • February 14, 2011 1:31 am

      Thank you so much! Both for dropping by, and taking the time to give me all that amazing advice.

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