Micah's Speedy Bianchi

by Igor Shteynbuk
bianchi with silver polished stainless steel velo orange racks
I've got a story I'm sure is familiar to many about spending way more than a bike is worth on parts to put on it. Several years ago I had mentioned to a friend that I wanted to get back into riding bikes, having not really gotten on a bike since riding around on MTB/hybrid type stuff in high school. Later when that friend was moving away, he gave me his 80s Bianchi that he was riding around occasionally. He, in turn, was gifted it from his dad, who had bought it for about $100 from a guy who cleaned up old bikes as a hobby.
velo orange bianchi
As I started riding, I was first blown away with how fast even old road bikes were compared to the old MTB/hybrid stuff I rode in high school (and never maintained). I was having a blast but found myself bothered by certain parts of the bike. The downtube friction shifters were annoying to use with how I fit on the bike, requiring me to move my knees quite a bit out of the way while pedaling to shift. I thought about getting some kind of brifter but couldn't stomach how weird it would look on an old steel bike. I ended up getting the Dia Compe ENE wing shifters which have been amazing. I can shift easily in the hoods, and even somewhat in the drops (in the drops I can release cable tension, but don't have leverage to really pull the cable). At this point, I decided I might as well stick with the classic look and discovered VO while looking for metal bottle cages.
From there it was only a matter of time before thinking "man it would be nice to be able to carry some light groceries or take out". Boom, VO racks. Then bags to mount on the racks. Hmm, a leather saddle might look cool...
I tell myself with how many miles I've put on the bike replacing the car for short errands and the occasional commute that it was worth it, but I'm not about to put it all in a spreadsheet and find out. In the end I get excited to ride the bike when I look at it and that's a nice place to be.

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