My Bicycles
White Klunker Bianchi Eros White Klunker II Soma Smoothie ES Methods

This was going to be mostly a picture show but since I didn't get to a scanner (until recently). In 2003 it has become a picture show and a rambling history of the bikes I ride. I've written more than just a few words to describe the kind of biker I am and the bike(s) I ride. I'm a long time (well 12 years) member of the Cascade Biking Club and a faithful participant in some of its fine evening social rides.

The White Klunker I(1989-1997)

The first bike I rode in Seattle was a modified Peugot mountain bike ... modified to the point that it was effectively a cross bike - the tires were not knobby, the derailleurs changed (Rear derailleur is a fine SUNTOUR XC Pro My son won it in a mountain biking race and "sold" it to me for a good price!) and the wheels have been dished. In its lifetime it lost 3 gears (from 18 to 15), broke two axles, and broke its frame at a dropout point. It gained an extra strong rear axle. I was known as an axle-breaker and I affectionately called the bike "The White Klunker". It weighs an unreasonable amount (particularly with all the "junk" and tools I carry) and I am perpetually saying, I will be getting a road bike (with upright handlebars for my back!).

The White Klunker during its first month of existence. Notice the new sagging racks (front and back) and the fact that is still has its wheel reflectors! OK, there's no prize being given but Can you guess the location where this photo was taken? (All right I'll give you a prize and maybe even a mention on this page!) FHB applies!
The White Klunker in its first month of life
  • Switzerland?
  • Washington?
  • Oregon?
  • Canada?
  • Sweden?
  • England?
  • New York?
  • Maine?
  • Holland?
  • France?
This modest challenge has been on this page for 9-10 years with nary a nibble. There have been some nibbles in 2003 - not correct and also not the specific location - just a country or state. Either you webviewers aren't interested or might possibly not have any idea. BTW - The FHB above is an old expression in my family when my mother would say FHB - Family Hold Back (to give visitors more food!) ...I'll take the FHB off - come on you family websters must know where this is:
e-mail me with the location.

The White Klunker in
its glory on a century The White Klunker at what is probably its finest moment. White Klunker was on its way to finish its (and mine) first century - The Social Century to Carbon River. It doesn't look too different from its infancy (above) but notice it does have different water bottles and it doesn't have wheel reflectors. What you can't see is the internal and external changes described above. BTW that's Mt. Rainier in the background.

April 1997 Update - 1. Gear 15 lost teeth (second time in a year) and when it was being repaired (for a new cog) it was discovered that the wheel had pitted to the point of not being able to take any bearings so the klunker got a new wheel ( and since the axle was almost broken for the 3rd time) also got a new cassette - a Shimano Ultraglide (11-30) which gives it 21 gears! Now the klunker has become a commute and Thursday night bike as I've put panniers fenders and lights on it and use to it commute 4.1 miles to work in downtown Seattle (and then return to my house up 240 feet of hill - it's exercise and beats taking the bus or driving.)

August 1997 Update - 3. [RIP] The White Klunker so lovingly described above has had a gentle and sad death. While riding it to my local REI store (flagship model in Seattle) to buy new bike shoes, it had the nerve to break its right dropout (pretty close to where it broke before). This was the final straw (worn brake frame fittings, rusting soon to go front tube) and I decided to retire it. Not bad for a bike almost 10 years old with many thousands of miles on it. Not bad also for carrying my over 200 pound body in addition to its dual panniers and rear case which held my commuting gear.

Bianchi Eros(1997-2003)

Picture Bianchi EROS
April 1997 Update - 2. I've got a road bike - it's a 59cm Bianchi EROS (deep red) with Campy Mirage components. It rides like a dream (albeit not low geared enough for my hill and a bit harsh on my butt) and is a pleasure to ride. (Officially it's a sport touring bike which means it's got pannier brazings and a slightly different geometry). I've also changed the stem (taller and closer to seat) to make it more of my kind of touring bike such that I don't have to bend my 6'4" frame too much! It's got 32-42-52 in the front and 12-13-15-17-19-21-23-25 in the back. I've changed the 32 in the front to a 26 ... to get some low for my hill! Photo is of a 1966 model which was gotten from a fine article about the Bianchi EROS in Bicycle Guide.

Picture of
Bianchi Eros in the spring on my front lawn My Bianchi EROS in the spring of 1997 in Seattle, WA. It's a 1997 model and theoretically has some differences from the 1996 version pictured above but I'm not aware of them. (Other than a higher initial price!)

June 2003 Update - 1.[RIP]While riding the Eros back from a ride to Seward Park and crossing the University Bridge I heard a "clunk" and then I felt the front end waffling back and forth. I went about a mile (at 12-15mph) and at Gasworks Park looked at and found the top of the down tube separated at the head tube end. The Eros is not repairable! OUCH. Unfortunately a frame warranty does not apply as I had some serious frame damage on the down tube which probably caused the break.

White Klunker II(1997 - )

Picture of
White Klunker II August 1997 Update - 4. It's a rebirth! White Klunker II rises out of the ashes of its predecessor! Due to the excellent facilities of the Free Range bike store in Fremont (which I frequent), and who actually did the work - The White Klunker II - a white Raleigh Technium frame with most of the components of WKI was rolling less than a week after the demise of WKI. White Klunker II (with a new front derailleur and also a new Continental touring 2000 front tire) now has the same panniers and packs and seat of WKI. In summary the White Klunker still rides! (With a fine stiff aluminum frame!)

Soma Smoothie ES(2003 -)

I thought of getting a Soma ES Smoothie Frame with my old components or a brand new 59cm 2003 Eros to replace my broken Eros. After friend's advice and my own wish, I have bought a 60cm Soma (A'int it purty?) with NEW Campy Veloce components at Free Range bike store in Fremont. The ride is magnificent ... probably more so than my initial description of the Eros above. The components are Campy including 9 speed Rear Derailleur (13-28) and triple crankset (52-42-26) (Stock is 52-42-30, but I replaced the low for a little better hill climbing capability - not as low as would have been possible with Shimano but I like Campy!) The frame is Reynolds 631 steel, the front fork is carbon, the front derailleur is Mirage (needed for 28.6 tube), the brakes are long reach Shimano and the wheels are Mavic with Vittoria Techno kevlar tires. These tires are no longer available (Vittoria tires are now made in Thailand) and I have switched to Michelin foldups in 2005.

I added a new pannier to the Soma to help with shopping. It's an OrtliebUSA, (OrtliebDeutschland) Back-Roller Classic which I have wanted for many years but couldn't justify it's price. If you don't know it, it is waterproof with an ingenious simple fastening and release mechanism. It also can be left completely open for maximum size. The only down side is that when it's fully packed ... it unbalances the bicycle but since it's only used for shopping that's not a problem.

My Biking Methods

The type of biking I like to do I call "Gunkhole" biking. "Gunkhole" is terminology I've borrowed from Puget Sound Boaters and when applied to boating, means one is not boating for the big powerful yacht or the fastest pace or the most elegant sail ... one boats for the pleasure of boating and the zen of it all. I like to think that is the way I bike. However, when you see me putting metal to the pedal and breaking away (especially downhill), don't remind me of this!

And although one will speed up when necessary, preferred speed is casual and slow! BTW - A gunkholers favorite boat is a modified mini-tug!

Now that I've described the boaters, you can see what kind of a biker I am. I'll wear Lycra only on long rides (usually on the weekend), and I'll lolly gag at rest stops ...and not go on the long crowded rides (STP) and I won't be found on the rides labelled Brisk or Strenuous! However do look for me on the Chilly Hilly and Kitsap Color Classic rides and on at least one Century a year. (All Cascade rides)

If you are from the Puget Sound area (or not) take a look at my favorite bike rides in the Seattle area.

[CBC logo] If you haven't been to the Cascade Bike club home page then be my guest and have some web surfing biking fun.

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Last update: 4/28/08