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December 19, 2011

Regular readers may have noticed I haven’t posted for quite some time; the real world required all my attention for a while so my virtual world had to wait, postless and patient. In the meantime, also waiting patiently in the Little Bike Blog inbox was this lovely contribution from a new reader, Sydneysider (but erstwhile Fitzroyalty), Andrew.

This is a Family Star he brought from a recycling centre for $12. Apparently it was someone’s grandma’s bike that had been sitting in the garden shed for 20 years:

This is what a bit of bike loving and know-how can do. He says it rides a dream.

I’m thinking this model (also featured in the post Wonders never cease) is later than the Family Stars that have the matching mudguards and chain guards and pin striped tyres (click here for an example). This supposition  is based on a very slim theory related to the steady decline in imagination and elegance in bike styling over the decades: someone discovered that pin striping didn’t really make you go faster, and it was all down hill from there (not the good cycling type of down hill, the other kind). No disrespect to your bike Andrew, it is indeed a handsome steed  – I am particularly partial to the two tiny reflectors, like a pair of alien eyes, on the pack rack. Here’s an example from another bike:

But wait, there’s more. Not content with resurrecting a Family Star, Andrew also fixed up this Gemini for his partner.

He brought from a Marrickville junkman for $50 who said he found it in a laneway under a pile of crap. Andrew says he just had to pump up the tyres, but I reckon that smart blue seat and matching grips and brake cable look a bit sparkle-arkle-arklingly new. I’m excited because it’s my first Gemini. Thanks Andrew.

PS. Andrew also sent me this link to a forensic expose of the restoration of a Family Star. The blogger says it’s a 1969 model, which might blow my theory about it being later than the ones with the pinstriped whitewalls. I suppose I could do a bit of google noodling to find out, but I think I’ll go for a swim instead.

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