Today I had the opportunity to ride my snow bike, a 1987 Raleigh Seneca. I call it the snow bike because I mounted studded tires on the wheels and I only ride it when there is enough of the fluffy stuff to warrant using it. I was given this bike from a customer of mine who was about to throw it into the dumpster. I wanted it for only one reason; it had a set of Suntour roller-cam brakes that I needed for another bike project. Once I had the brakes in my possession, the rest of the bike was going to the recycler.
The bike was ugly and I didn’t think there was another usable part on it. Someone had painted the bike puke green. Even the headset bearings and races had green paint on them. But as I started removing the brakes I noticed something unique on the frame. On the chainstay, where you would normally find a chainstay guard, there was a place to hold three spare spokes. I didn’t think this frame was worth anything, but I did like the uniqueness of the spoke-holder. After researching on the Internet I came to the conclusion the frame was a 1987 Raleigh. I decided it was a keeper.
I installed my old two piece Bullseye cranks, built up a pair of wheels with old Bullseye hubs, and had it powder coated. And because I have a bike for every occasion except snow, it became the snow bike.
I was excited when I awoke this morning to about six inches…..of snow. Since it was Saturday, it made the commute even better. I leave for work at 6am and on the weekend there is hardly any traffic. I rode past the Governor’s Mansion and waved to Jim & Dawn. They were probably still asleep (I didn’t really think it was them shoveling the mansion’s driveway). The commute was quiet and peaceful and I was able to pedal to work without crashing.
The commute home was similar, but I had to be extra cautious. The snow, ice, slush, and uneven transitions made it a little more difficult to stay upright. It was nice to finally have a good snowstorm
to ride in during my daily commute.