As most OTSG regulars (or as I prefer, “cotters”) know, the OTSG has had a rough couple months. Nothing serious really, just a lot of downtime due to some memory usage spikes on our server that were knocking out the site for hours on end. These spikes turned out to be our old friend “GoogleBot” trying to access some pages and then getting caught in an infinite loop. At any rate, this little headache caused several days of downtime. Working on the issue when time allowed, I wrote a holding page and photochopped a sweet little stick drawing of a proper OTS with all the bells and whistles. That is when I was approached (via email) by submitter, commenter and all around swell guy, Kevin J. Kevin told me he’d like my permission to use my little doodle to make an OTSG T-Shirt. In exchange, I would get a sweet new T and the warm feeling of appreciation.
I’ve been meaning to write a Thank You post for quite some time, but due to wide assortment of circumstances I hadn’t gotten around to it. But what better time than now, in this season of giving, to thank Kevin for his creative prowess and kindhearted generosity.
So, Thanks a mil’ Kevin! I love the shirt, fits like a glove and the mugs have been promoted to my new favorite Saturday Morning Mugs.
When Kevin wasn’t busy layin’ down screens and being all creative-like, he’s hard at another OTS rescue mission. This is his latest benefactor. Officially, this IS the first Soma, but because of the thank you post above, I held it’s publication until I had a chance to do both. This Soma Cosmopolitan is also the bike gracing the mug on the right (as it should be fairly obvious it’s not the one on the left).
Here is an OFSB (old fifteen speed bike) for you consideration. I don’t think you have had one before. It is a Soma Cosmopolitan. I think it may be a first.
I found this at the local rescue mission for $10.00 several years back. I had forgotten all about it. I was rummaging in the basement for some parts when I came across it again. I have decided it will be perfect to keep at my office to go to lunch or run errands. It should clean up nicely.
Here is an update on the Soma Cosmopolitan (1979?) that I sent you photos of before. At the time, I was sure it was a fifteen speed, but after some disassembly exposed the creative embellishments of a previous owner, it turned out to be an old ten-speed. I guess my powers of observation are waning in my old age!
I needed a bike to keep in the office, something low budget and handy for urban use. This Soma fit the bill. I disassembled it completely and then cleaned it up piece by piece. The parts were original. The drive train is Shimano Altus with a Sugino cranks. Stopping is provided by Dia-compe, complete with anti-hipster suicide brake levers. I added the fenders and a first for me, a kickstand.
If there’s space, here’s a report of its maiden ride!
After finishing it I thought I would take it to our local bike trail for a test flight. I have heard it said that a good bike mechanic can assemble a high-end bike and get a great ride, but the great mechanic can re-work a cheap, beater bike so that it rides like a dream. Based on past experience, I was fully convinced that I was destined to experience a dream ride, so I explained this wisdom extensively to my wife. Being blissfully ignorant of all things bikey, she could do nothing but agree. I ignored the vague memories of someone’s Mother saying something about pride, and headed out for the trail.
All bragging aside, the maiden voyage for this bike was similar to that infamous one in April. 1912, except the iceberg struck right at the start. Beginning with the first pedal stroke, the seat starting sinking, slowly at first, seeming just a little bit off, but then the descent became more rapid as I picked up speed. Before I could say, ”lifeboat” I had a BOS, which should have enabled my six-foot frame to blend in nicely with the others on the trail, but for the unexpected wobbling of the bottom bracket. Suddenly, what had seemed perfection on the work stand became a bona fide disaster.
By this time my wife, with a cheerful, “everything OK, honey?” outpaced me. At that point I discovered that the phone call taken during the front derailleur assembly had an unforeseen consequence. The resulting instability, when added to the wobbling bottom bracket made me sound like an over-stimulated alarm system shrieking down the trail. But my wife was too far ahead to hear.
Three miles later I finally caught up to her. It would be the day she set a personal record. Innocent with surprise she asked, “Is something wrong with your bike?” As I tried to explain while maintaining control of my rapidly deteriorating system, my shoes would not release from the pedal, I lost my balance and not so gracefully kissed the concrete in front of my wife. I’m not sure if she fell for the part about practicing a new, more efficient dismount, but I’m sure her concern was real.
So if you see a few scratches on the paint, you’ll know they were earned honestly! I’ll have all the bugs worked out next time…
Thanks and Thanks Kevin