Today I began to work on an old "friend"... the mid 80s Fuji Allegro you see to the left. I got the frame in 1999, back when I was living in Flagstaff, AZ, with the intention of building it up as a "fixed gear". For those of you who don't know, a fixed gear bicycle has only one sprocket on the back wheel, and that sprocket is directly attached to the wheel with no device for coasting included. Which means that if the wheel is going around, so are your feet. Period. It takes a little getting used to, but it's a lot of fun, and is sort of a fad nowadays. I'd like to say I was on the leading edge of the fad, but no. I didn't get it set up as a "fixie" until sometime in 2000, when I was living in Portland. And while it was a blast to ride that way, just before moving back east I changed it back into a multi-speed bike with the ability to coast, as I knew it was going to be my primary transportation to and from work here.
About two years ago, as part of the process of trying to keep my bike collection in check (it didn't work, by the way), I gave the bike to my best friend of many years. He had been using an old mountain bike for commuting, and while I had decked it out for that for him a few years previously, it never really fit him right, and never really rode great. So I let him try the Fuji and he liked it, so it's now his. And recently he brought it to me for a tuneup and new tires, so I get to work on it again. Kind of like seeing an old friend. I'm looking forward to doing the work, and to riding it again. If you look closely, it is festooned with a wide array of stickers, from bike advocacy slogans ("One Less Car", etc) to a daisy on the seat tube and dinosaurs on the down tube. I don't generally decorate my bikes that way... since many are collectible to some degree, it wouldn't make sense... but starting with the Fuji I've generally made it a habit to have at least one bike, typically a commuter, decked out this way.
For those who are interested, the frame is the only original part, a basic Fuji "Valite" frame of the 80s, with long wheelbase and a comfortable ride. The brakes are the original brakes off my beloved 1980 Trek, and the derailleurs are a mix of old SunTour hardware (yes, that's the venerable VGT-Luxe on the rear), with SunTour Powerratchet barcon shifters, a personal favorite. Crank is a Sugino VP set up as a triple, and the wheels are an oddball mismatched set with Shimano hubs and I forget what kind of rims. And those bars are "moustache" bars from Nitto of Japan... some folks love them, some folks hate them. Me, I'm a fan, but I can see how others might not care for them. Those fenders are an old set of Bleumels I picked up at the Community Cycling Center in Portland, and the rack is a classic old cheapie from Pletscher of Switzerland. All in all, a fun and eclectic bike.