Monday, April 21, 2008

Chasing A Passion



I can’t tell how excited I was when Art came home from his friend’s house with an old bike frame in hand. Apparently, his friend was relocating and had a recycled old frame, that would not be able to make the move, and the old frame was once again doomed for the dumpster. Art being the thrifty person he is took it. It was a yellow aluminum Gary Fisher Kaitai … my size.

Finally I had an old frame that I could build up to pull the bob trailer to trail maintenance. Immediately, we started to check the recycled parts drawer, and found 90% of what would be needed. I always feel good about putting my old bike parts back into action. Seeing the parts I raced on years ago brought back many fond memories including racing at 1998 Worlds at Mt. St. Anne.

I've always had the passion to paint a bike and fork, and things were looking like this would be an ideal learning experience for my first bike-painting project. Most bike companies will void any warranty if paint is applied, so doing this on a new bike is not recommended. Multiple visions of colors started spinning in my head. I love light blue, but pink camo sounded like an ideal trail maintenance color scheme. I posted a poll on the local forum, mtbnj, and was overwhelmed with the amount of pink camo enthusiasts there were. I decided to go with a natural occurring camouflage as found in an animal, the cheetah. I had a real cool umbrella that had a cheetah type print on it, and that would be my pattern. The colors would be of the magnolia tree blooming now.

First step was to sand the frame’s topcoat with 120 sand paper to smooth out most the scrapes and dings. Then I sanded the texture out with 220, and a good wipe down with thinner to remove grease and fingerprints. All paints were purchased at an automotive store as per their advice. Art being a woodworker had a spray booth, spray gun and some experience that would make this project a lot easier for me to tackle.

Second step was to spray a primer coat on from a spray can. Then a base color sprayed on with Art’s spray gun. Art applied the dark pink fade, as I did not have the feel of the throw of the gun lever. From there, I hand painted the dots, a job that took more than four hours. Finally I sprayed two coats of automotive clear-coat on top. The head badge was a hammered down earring.







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So far this project has been one the most rewarding projects I have tackled in quite some time. I truly love to ride my bike, and everything I do with my bikes, is so rewarding. Ride on in peace Cheetah!

1 comment:

Steve said...

Animal print bikes are cool!
Do you chase down bikes with zebra stripes?