Now and then we get a bike in for service that has a story to it, and those are always a fun experience for both the owner and us.
Well, recently we were asked to fix up the little bike you see to the left here. It's an unusual bike in its own right, being a child's bike built with lugs, in the mixte frame style (two thin sloping top tubes). I've never laid eyes on such a bike before. It was clearly very well made, a quality bicycle, and very stylish with an elaborate, yet classy paint scheme. And look at the fenders and chain guard! The bike was made in Switzerland in the 70s, and while it arrived a bit grungy with dried out tires, you can see it cleaned up really well, and looks great.
What takes it beyond being merely "another pretty bike" is the story behind it. The fellow who brought it in to us told us his parents had bought it for him from the Jean Brun shop in Geneva, Switzerland, when he was a little boy in the 70s. He was bringing it to us to fix up so his own son could now ride it! Needless to say, we were happy and honored to be a part of the project, resurrecting a fine old bike for the next generation.
One challenge right off was the tires... a size never marketed in the US, as near as I can tell, and difficult to find even in Europe, where they were primarily used on Dutch bikes, I think. Some sleuthing on the part of the father ensued, and one day he arrived with brand new Michelins, shipped from Ireland! Then it was in Daniel's hands, and he did a marvelous job of cleaning and lubing everything, making the bike ready to ride and looking great. He even managed to revive the original bell, much to everyone's surprise.
The best part of the whole project though was when the whole family came to pick up the bike when it was finished. Mom, Dad, older sister Madeleine, and of course Avi, the young boy eagerly waiting for the bike. Even the family dog, Wolfie the toy poodle came along! Everyone was really excited and happy to take part in the "unveiling"... all of my staff as well as the family were all smiles and laughter. It was a really wonderful day. We all wish Avi many, many happy adventures with his "new" bike!
An interesting side note for the bike nuts in the room... Jean Brun is still in business... their website can be found here: http://www.jeanbrun.ch/
More photos can be found here: