Sunday, 17 April 2011

My Prize Colnago

This is a story about how sometimes good things come into your life when you least expect it. I just loved surprises.
If there was one bike on my wishlist I’d always wanted to own as a teenager, then that would have to be Colnago. Among the very many names of sports bike manufacturers, perhaps the most loved & known manufacturer is the Colnago founded by Ernest Colnago in 1954 in Cambiago, Italy. The firm has been making frames for over fifty years & this has resulted to make a mark on most of the biggest races in the world. Legendary & great riders like Merckx, Lemond, Moser, Museeuw, Argentin, Saroni, Rominger & Bartoli have favoured and appreciated Colnago. This was the pedigree of bike that would always be on my bike radar they were handmade with either Columbus or sometimes Reynolds tubing; which was & still is a well respected name for frame manufacturers all over the world. Would I ever be lucky enough to own a Colnago myself? It was then I would later discover after moving to Melbourne that question was about to be unexpectedly answered - so if you could imagine to my surprise whilst going to see the Cecil Walker (see Cecil Walker project) owner for the first time would I be fortunate enough to also find sat there in the corner of his garden not one gem but two, at the same time. This was rare, rarer than rare to find two classic road racing bikes of this caliber together in the same place & they were both in a state of disrepair - something had to be done. There before me sat a very sad sight indeed.
This bike looked unloved,  but it was a noticeably vibrantly coloured bike with the official logo & the proud black letters ‘C O L N A G O ‘ stamped on the down tube. It was jumping straight out at me like a subliminal message, had it always been there waiting for this moment to happen?
Is this what I would call my bike fate?
“You’re a sick puppy”, the grumpy old man at work would keep saying to me, he still does.
 Yes but my love for classic bikes was part of my DNA. Such a passion for bikes has been with me since a young age watching the Tour de France in the 80’s. Riding for my local cycling club we would always discuss the different bikes that were on show as well as the riders who were racing towards the finish in Paris. So after finally picking up my jaw from the floor it was agreed I would receive the Colnago as part payment towards restoring his Cecil Walker. SWEEEEET!!!!!!!
My mind went into overdrive with the thought of what I could or would do with the latest addition to my growing collection of bikes. So after I had finally completed all my work on the Cecil Walker which was an awesome enough project in its own right, the Colnago was finally mine. It was time to get creative. The teenager in me was jumping up & down with joy -  I was now the proud owner of my very own Colnago. I had already amassed quite a collection of spare bikes & parts since moving to Melbourne along with all my other bicycle paraphernalia that I had shipped over from the UK; it was just a case of seeing what I had at my disposal to get the Colnago back on the road again. As I began to rummage through my assortment of parts I slowly started to find what would make the bike look cool, it was already shouting out with its fluorescent paintjob so I didn’t want to add too much color. Most of the original parts on the bike were Shimano 500 series & were still in good working order - I didn’t want to bastardize it of too many of its original parts after all.  I had pair of silver 42mm deep v wheels fitted with white randonnuer  tyres that I’d purchased whilst feeding my bike kleptomaniac habit. They  were yelling out ‘pick me’ so they fitted. I only had to remove the derailleur & its original wheels -they would be useful at a later date after all; there would be a time when they’ll come in handy for another project. A single speed crank was later fitted which makes the bike look awesome.

It’s now on loan & in the safe hands of a fellow pommie mate of mine called Nick who arrived in  Melbourne 6 months ago, & like myself was into cycling as well. I told him there was no better way to explore & discover the city unless he had a bike & that’s what we’ve both been doing ever since. The Colnago is turning heads once again but I believe it is still a working progress. So watch this space!!!!!!!  

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