Friday, January 25, 2013

Barney - The Big Purple Bike

Larry - Our ride for THE BIG RIDE will be, of course, 'Barney' the purple Santana tandem. 
     Barney was purchased from the Gertzs' of Tandems, Ltd, down in Birmingham, AL in the late '80s.  Wow, how time flies!  With a limited selection of tandems that would fit our team, Barney, in all his purple splendor, became our choice more of necessity than preference. Barney's an Arriva, made of that famous Japanese Tange steel like they talk about in the 'Kill Bill' movies (some of my favorites! Martha hates 'em both).  Anyway, Bill McCready, my acquaintance and the founder and owner of Santana Cycles, probably didn't have loaded touring in mind when he designed the Arriva (he always talks about how fast and light his bikes are), but it has done just fine on several tours which include the KATY Trail, Natchez Trace, Michigan, Utah, New York, Nova Scotia, DelMarVa,
GAP/C&O, Washington and the list goes on.
     Barney is, of course, so-named in honor of the purple dinosaur of children's play fame.  I don't think Santana kept that color on its pallet for very long.  We rarely come across other Barneys when we tandem rally.  Purple - it might not have been my first color choice, but after 20+ years, it's starting to grow on me.
     Our Arriva, I would say, is sort of the Buick of tandem bicycles.  A high quality machine, but no Formula One race car.  That suits us fine, because we certainly have no Formula One type cycling motors.  Barney is a reliable, stable touring platform.  He has had many upgrades over the years and I know Barney won't let us down.
     Barney's in our LBS right now getting prepped for THE BIG RIDE.  New cables and housings, chains, a bottom bracket, handlebar tape, a new Old Man Mountain rear rack, front rack mounted, fenders, cassette, captain's stem, drag brake,  brake pads, tires and mounts for the handlebar bag.   That's a lot of new stuff to break in, but we'll have plenty of time for several shakedown cruises before we push off for real.
     We've given a lot of thought to our tires, brakes and gearing.  We'll discuss those things another time.
     A couple of Barney pics follow.  Barney has done some miles and has the battle scars to show for it.  That's okay, Barney's a real bike, not art.  He's like a Hattori Hanzo samurai sword - lethal.  Look out any members of the Deadly Viper Assassin Squad or the Crazy 88 crime gang!!

Barney on a sport ride and creekside !!
Barney loaded up and on tour

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