This is a 1991 Cannondale SM800. Also known as The Beast of the East. The BotE was made for singletrack. It had shorter chainstays, and a taller bottom bracket than the regular Cannondale bikes. The point was to shred trail, and you needed a Beast to do that.
This poor old Beast hasn’t shredded much of anything lately…
I am now the proud owner of a 1995 Breezer Storm. Few companies can boast the pedigree of Breezer, what with Joe Breeze welding the first purpose-built mountain bike frames in the late 70’s. This Storm is not one of the high-end models, nor was it welded by Joe, but it’s still just a great looking bike and for $100, I couldn’t resist.
Tullio Campagnolo patented the cam mechanism quick release for wheels that is still widely used today, 80 years later. Back in 1990, I wasn’t too concerned with who invented it, but I knew that you didn’t have a good bike unless you had quick release skewers.
This is more or less how it goes today – even in cases where you shouldn’t have a quick release.
He’s in a clean, open shop that looks very well organized. And that shop coat? I needs it. It has racing stripes!
He cares about his job, you can tell by how tidy his station is. He cares about the shop too I figure – and the shop cares about him. I’ll bet there’s a great cafe across the street where they know all the mechanics by name. The coffee and biscotti are awesome. If the Dutch do biscotti that is.
He’s probably got some Dutch sports talk radio on in the background – just loud enough to hear, but not loud enough to annoy. They’re discussing the latest cycle racing gossip, which he says he doesn’t care about, but he follows avidly.
I think his name is Johan. He’s been a mechanic for probably 40 years. He’s had a nice life as a mechanic, since in the Netherlands, bikes aren’t considered to be toys. He keeps people moving, and that’s worth something.
He’s not rushed. He takes a little longer maybe than the younger mechanics, but whatever he does, it’s 100% when he’s done. This very nice Gazelle (a Dutch brand btw) cyclocross bike will be ready to race as soon as he takes it out of the stand. It’ll just take a few more minutes, why not go get a coffee?
It just looks like a terrific environment. I’d like for my shop to be like this, but I’ve got a ways to go. Step one is that coat…
I figured this picture for the mid-70’s at first, but closer inspection shows aero brake hoods, and those came along in the mid to late 80’s. Maybe Johan’s style is mid-70’s then. But that’s OK, because Johan is getting it done.
You can relax if this is your Gazelle he’s building, because it’s going to be great, no matter you use it for.