Team Dumpster aka Jessica is back! And riding at her best. For those who don't know, Team Dumpster is a road fixie put together from cheap parts. I bought the frame at an as-is sale for $20. My tape measure suggested it would be a good fit. It was a sport Peugeot, perhaps 1990, Reynolds 501 tubing. It had been hit by probably an SUV hard from the side. Dented TT. Trashed fork. I did not realize it but both chainstays were about to break. I threw on some wheels and parts I had. Bought very used sidepulls for maybe $15. New levers. New French seatpost. Total expendature- $105. First ride - fun!!! Two weeks later I discovered the cracks around each chainstay, totaling one full revolution. I used to build fiberglass boats and had some carbon fiber someone gave me plus Gougeon Brothers epoxy so I wrapped the BB and chainstays. Couldn't get the carbon fiber to take the tight turns so in something of a panic, I wrapped the whole mess with inner tube strips. Epoxy poured out. The next day I peeled off the innertubing. Wow! It looked like a professional job! And the bike rides probably better than new.
I knew when I bought that frame if it was a keeper, it had earned the name "Team Dumpster" in bold lettering on the down tub since without my $20, it would have certainly been in the recycling dumpster 20 feet away that evening. A month later I listened to a recovered addict who had become a good citizen talk of expecting to be found in a dumpster many mornings. I listened and thought "Jessica, that's Team Dumpster's name!". A year later, the bike went into the spray booth with my new custom and came out fire engine red with Team Dumpster on the down tube and a neat Jessica on the top tube.
Four years and 7000 miles later, it was hit again by a car (from the same side but this time only nicking the rear rim, not affecting the frame at all, just my frame; collarbone and three ribs). It/she spent the next 9 months in witness protection in the basement of the law firm as evidence. Got her back last July. Replaced the rim and she was good to go except one brake lever had broken plastic and a stretched hood, reminding me of the crash every time I wrapped my hand around it. Yesterday I looked in my parts box and found a set of identical used levers I picked up for $10. Threw one on. Rode the bike in town last night. Fun!! That bike is such a blast! Easily the most fun bike I have ever ridden.
Jessica has inspired Jessica J, the ti fixie I ordered a month before Jessica got hit. Similar geometry and very quick steering but a decently high BB and my usual 175 cranks. High quality parts. A LONG road drop so any cog between 12 and 23 can be used (on a fix-fix double sided wheel) without messing with the chain. The new bike is a lot of fun, a sweet bike and I love the climbing ability (and going downhill on a 42-12 is a blast!) but the older and much cheaper Jessica is just plain more fun!
I'm in love again. My Jessica!