Goodbye, I barely knew ye…

Wow… I can’t believe how long it’s been since I last updated this blog.

In mid February I crashed my beloved Schwinn… hard.  Fractured my elbow, separated some cartilage in my rib… bodies heal (yeah!), bikes don’t.

I loved this bike… it quickly became, by far, my favorite bike of any that I’ve ever owned.  It felt fast and spry, and was beautiful — eliciting positive comments everywhere that I rode it.  I probably rode it about 4000 miles before encountering this:

Excessive Gap

It’s hard to see from this photo, but the gap was nearly 2″ wide at the edge of the drain.  What’s also hard to see from this photo is that the drain extends about 3 times as far into the traffic lane as most do, putting the gap directly in the path of travel of most cyclists [I normally would have been further left, but somehow I’d ended up further right than I prefer to ride].

I don’t remember anything from the fall.  One second I’m riding, the next I’m on the ground.  After that it was a strange slow motion sensation as I watched my water bottles skitter ‘slowly’ by, then my ziploc food containers from lunch, as I thought to myself:  “Strange, I didn’t zip my bag”.  Why such a thought was going through my mind, I dunno.

The final outcome for the bike was a bent fork, bent handlebars, bent brake levers, bent saddle, damaged rim, torn tire & tube, and possibly some other less obvious stuff.

Anyhow, here’s a parting shot before I salvaged the undamaged parts:

Ouch… look at that fork.

It was nice while it lasted.  It now hangs in my garage, stripped… maybe some day I’ll find a LOOOONG fork for it — the LBS put an alignment gauge on it and says that the frame itself is straight.

2 thoughts on “Goodbye, I barely knew ye…”

  1. Hi, my name is Adam, I am in Melbourne/Australia. I just bought XL (or XXL ?) Nishiki Olympic 12 bike (
    I am trying to find some info about this bike, to help a decision what to do with it, how to use it, if to spend $ on it or not…etc. And I found you ! I am very tall and I was going to buy Fuji Touring bike (brand new) but australian importer is a lazy bastard and he is not interested to order one 64cm (XXL) bike for me so I would have to buy this bike from USA and bring it here…maybe I will do that also, but in the meantime I found this Nishiki and (emotionally buying decision) – I bought it. Would you please share your opinion about Nishiki Olympic 12 ? Is that a bike worth time and spending $ ? I am especially interested if I can consider using this bike as touring bike (instead of buying Fuji Touring) ? And btw – I admire your veggie garden, a year ago I made mine and managed to grow some veggies (first time in my life). It is spring in Australia now, my garden beds are already prepared for new plants…regards from Melbourne ! Adam

  2. Hey, a non spam comment on my blog!!!?! 🙂

    I enjoy riding my Nishiki 12. I can’t say for sure which years were better/worse, but the one I have rides great. I really abuse it and it still rides beautifully. Feels smooth and fast, and funny thing is that even though I have it set up as a beater bike with whatever random parts I had around it still rides better than some of my more expensive bikes!

    That said… I wouldn’t use it for real loaded touring. Lightweight credit card touring, sure… back-country camping, nope. The frame is too flexible for carrying a heavy load and I’d be afraid to overload it and for it to handle poorly on a high speed descent.

    As for putting money into it… I’ve personally put over $800 (USD) into an old frame like that because I liked how it fit and how it rode. Definitely not against the idea, but I’d ensure that it’s a good quality frame with little rust, straight tubes, and in otherwise good condition. Also, it’s probably a good idea to know how to DIY as it’d be very expensive to have a bike shop do it, and in my experience they often don’t know how to “make things work” when you’re mixing “incompatible” components. It’s rare that you can find a mechanic with that touch of creativity who’s willing to say things like “just pinch the front der cable housing between the BB cage and the kickstand to hold it in place, that’ll make it work” (that’s how my Nishiki 12 is able to work with a more modern bottom pull derailleur, and it works great).

    Anyhow… thanks for the post and the kind words about the garden!

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