"Baby let's cruise away from here
Don't be confused baby, the way is clear
And if you want it you got it forever
This is not a one night stand babe
Let the music take your mind
And, just release and you would find " *
IN MY QUIVER OF BICYCLES I HAVE A CRUISER
It's a c.1980 ish Panda Pro-am 'Raider'. 26" BMX .I've had it about 15 yrs . Alan originally brought them over from statesland ,I guess ,just around the time the 26" cruiser BMX class became obsolete due to some smartarse using 24s and blowing away the gate. Anyway ,Alan had a few left,I got one,about 15 yrs ago.It's been built in a number of guises. Originally I built it up in a beach cruiser type style. Chrome steel rims ,big saddle , foam grab-ons ,whitewalls. One year I tweaked it ,only slightly ,to enable me to MTB on it . I basically just switched the tyres for some old butterscotch smokes i had. I ran it a whole year ( 92/3/er ? )up Rivi as a mountainbike.I remember the first proper long ride I did. I rode from our house in Ashton via Haigh Hall up to Rivington Pike . On the way I used to speed down that dead steep hill in Blackrod that crosses the A6. On the Axis ( my actual MTB )i could big ring it from the top ,hit about 40 ,come round the bend and ,traffic lights permitting ,fly across the A6 ,and hop off the backside of the road landing a good 20 feet up the road. So this time I'm on the cruiser ,i crank it up ,and as i come round the bend i have a red light.Usually I'd simply stop. With chrome rims ,techIII levers and touring bike calipers.Simple. I squeezed a handful of lever and it just kind of ,hummed. Didnt slow down.Just hummed . I ended up laying it over ,'foot braking it'and ditching the bike in the first lane of the A6 ,just as i got a green light. luckily I was on a cruiser so I still looked cool.Anyway ,I hardly used the Axis that summer.Singlespeed.Bought the tee shirt.In fact ,for a while i ran it BMX with just the one back brake. Probably 'til i took it ,or it took me ,down the ice cream run.As these were officially to become the dark years of mountainbiking ,nobody saw me.It was before the time of the samurai.
The bike originally came with blue anodised araya 7x rims that i hadnt used as the wheels were in a bad way.I had them built up onto the original shimano large flange hubs and that's what it still has.Over the years I'd maybe change the look and feel of the bike depending on how I was using it. I did some short commutes into Manchester on it with a flatter bar and some slicks.
In 2002 , on the back of the old school BMX thing ,Alan put on a reunion type ,show and shine meeting, at Sankey BMX track in Warrington.I took a number of 20" ers ( that's another story )but my 'rider ' was the cruiser.For this I built it up in its original form. As a BMX racer .Well ,fairly period correct ,at least. What goes around...
Since then its had the odd parts swap,usually just the old bars to make it look more cruiser-ey,and maybe the front chainring to change to gearing.I 've not used it too much in recent years . The odd commute the last time I could hoof it into Manchester,a few years ago now.I havent been to the track in ages and at the time I had a 'proper ' 24" to ride.
So the poor old Panda's been collecting cobwebs. For some time ,years probably ,I've had an idea what to do with it. It's ripe for klunkering.
You know about klunkers? Old beach cruisers , converted anyoldhow on the cheap to mountainbike on.Flares ,plaid shirts,sideburns. I already have a parts bin of suitable junk ,and some sideburns.I kinda started this afternoon.Some time back ( a year ,I dunno ) i bodged on some cheap ( cheap out of a skip )mtb forks with canti bosses. Job # 1.The original chrome tange forks look ace ,but it'd be difficult to get a suitable ,ie working ,front brake. It's a work in progress.I dragged it out of the shed. The seat was quite low . I'll just lift that up a bit. Hmm.Tick tock tick tock.
HALF A CAN OF 'WD' A PAIR OF STILSONS A BIG HAMMER AND A BAD BACK LATER
I SWAPPED THE TYRES FOR SOME 'IN STOCK' ITEMS
NOT EXACTLY 'PERIOD'.BUT IT WORKS.IT'LL DO FOR NOW
OK.Phase I.First fix.I see if I cant dig up some old snaps of it.
*Smokey Robinson , Cruisin'. Pemps tastic.What else?It'll be a 'miracle ' if I get this done . Hahah.
CRUISER IN IT'S NATURAL HABITAT EARLIER TODAY
OK EBAY,GET READY.TIM.