Bike #2: Frank Black

This is my bad weather bike. Batavus Navajo, classic Dutch style. I found it in my basement when I moved in. Not sure who it used to belong to (none of my roommates, current or recent past), so at this point, adverse possession or something, right?

Plus, it was a mess when I found it. It’s not awesome now, but I’ve done a couple of key things:
- unstuck the seat post (and it was really rusted in there. The fix eventually involved taking the wheels and seat off, attaching a vise to the seat post, and turning the whole frame around it. Thanks to John at Kraynick’s for help. If you ever have your seat post out of your bike, take this opportunity to grease the heck out of it!)
- replace the brake pads (these were “cantilever brakes”, which are new to me. not too tricky, though.)
- remove a couple of European bike things: a wheel lock and a dynamo/generator/front light thing. The first is neat because you can lock your bike, low-security but quickly and easily. The second is neat because gathers power from the rotation of your front wheel, meaning you are powering your light by yourself! I had both of these on my bike in Maastricht (as did most people), and they were nice. I removed these from this bike here because they were broken. Took a little brute force; thanks to a couple random folks at Kraynick’s.
- add one key European bike thing: fenders. It’s so much nicer to get where you’re going without being covered in rain/snow and ruining your clothes, especially for a bad weather bike. Most people in Maastricht had these too. They should come pre-installed for city/hybrid/commuter bikes. They’re so good.

There are minor but important differences between Dutch and US bikes. I mean, this thing was all tricked out for the average person to ride around town. No lycra here. Plus, the handlebars are really high, so you’re sitting upright like an average person, not a speed racer. Here, you bike if you’re “a biker”; there, you bike if you’re a person.

So why’s it called Frank Black? Because it’s a little grungy, and I ride this bike when (wait for it)… “it is time for stormy weather.”


Julia -

I’m impressed. I can’t even convince myself to ride my bike when it’s 70 degrees and sunny out, let alone when it’s sub-freezing and snowy.

Mr T aka Abel Tasman -

I am more impressed, but until you ride a Yamaha 180 in 0 degrees F, you are not a Jedi yet. I looked up Frank Black and I love the lyrics to “Stormy Weather” - all 13 words :D
Great job on the bike, great line about “…there, you bike if you are a person.”
Excellent channeling of “adverse possession” though it is for real property and takes 21 years. But you know what they say about possession. Molto bene, signore.

blog 2024 2023 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010