In 1976, I was the ripe age 13. I was a punk, I knew everything and I loved my bike more than live itself. it is a fact that 6 hours a day, i would spend constructing and jumping off of homemade ramps, building dirt berms and whoopdee-do’s in the field across the street from my house. I’m not including the hours spent taking apart my prized possession, my bike, lubing the headset, changing the sprockets always looking for any advantage i could get out of the gate at the races. I raced every Sunday, I was a BMX racer. The fact is, I wasn’t the best but I was far from the worse. I was ranked, had lots of trophies, I loved those days. A raced semi-pro, meaning that i raced for a local shop and had small perks with bicycle companies. It was the best.
What was also the best, it was cheap. You took whatever bike you had and you made it a BMX bike. You upgraded when you could and invented tech at will. Remember, this is the days of Shimano kick-back hub brakes and banana seats. Fantastic.
I’m not writing this post as a history lesson of vintage BMX or a “those were the days” remembrances…I writing this as a visual project; a project I am very excited to do…
I am going to build a homage to the bikes I loved from back in the day, but the twist is, I’m not going to build a bike from carefully sourced, NOS parts from a diehard collectors, I going to build a bike from cheap found parts and home mods that made the BMX bikes that I loved. They weren’t $1500 engineered ultra light bikes made with titanium, we made our bikes lighter by drilling holes in things, that is what I intend to do with this project.
The foundation of this project is what appears to be a low to mid-range GT that i bought at a second/third/twelfth hand store for $40 bucks. I know that isn’t the cheapest but i figured that with inflation it was equal to $15 bucks give and take in 1978. Here is the victim below:
As you can see, it is a piece o’ shit (the picture really did do it justice), this thing is rough. It is beat to hell, flat tires, rusty everything, great frame and good wheels, perfect for this project. It is just like a bike a eager 13 year old would picked up.
Here is another take of this ratty sweetness.
My God! Look at that gooseneck! Ridiculous.
Also take note of the color of the chainrings and hubs…Rustilicious. I am also considering if I need to keep the adorable reflector? We will see.
So, Dear readers of this ‘to be continued’ blog, I hope you are as interested in this project as I am. I will be making step by step entries with the end result being a “totally gnarly”, “I want to ride that bitch” retro tribute to my first love and girlfriend, BMX.