Episode 167. Bikini Hurricane. (Part 3).

 A week or so back I was out enjoying the Bikini Hurricane on a horribly wet and windy day. As I rode along I noticed that the back wheel had something of a clunk about it. It wasn't good, and the further I rode the worse the clunk got.

I was already in a chirpy mood due to the weather, this clunk only added to my frame of mind. When I got back to BelongaClint I decided that I was already too wet to even think about investigating this clunk, so I dumped the Hurricane in my back yard and headed inside. As I sat there infront of the fire I got out my little Tableu, and decided to give fleabay a browse. I had been planning to change the wheels on the Bikini Hurricane since I got it, I've even got some mountain bike wheels with disc brakes that I've been thinking about fitting, but as usual I've not got around to it yet. But with bikes and wheels on my mind I typed into the search bit on fleabay 'Mountain Bike Wheels' There were loads, but nothing was really speaking to me, atleast, nothing close and cheap. So, as I had nothing better to do with my day I did another search 'Mountain Bike'. Again nothing cheap or close caught my eye, but I continued to scroll through a couple of pages anyway. With nothing catching my eye I decided to just search 'Bike' then selected auction only, and used. I scrolled aimlessly away looking at loads of unsuitable, or uninteresting bikes until I came across a bike listed as a "Falcon Mounting Bike". Hmm, a mounting bike, I thought to myself, I wonder what you mount with it? Nevermind, it looked a bit like a mountain bike to me, but better yet, I kinda liked the look of those wheels.

Is it just me, or do they look really really red? Anyway, I have to say that as much as I liked the look of the wheels, I really wasn't too sure they were what I was looking for, not that I really knew what I was looking for to be honest. However I added it to my watchlist just incase it ended cheap. I was fairly sure that despite the wheels I didn't really need another mountain bike from the mid nineties in my collection, but if it ended cheaply enough maybe I'd have a bid just for the wheels. A couple of days later I was sat infront of my computer ready to stab my bid in at the last minute, I logged on to fleabay and thought that at £33 it was already for too much money for that bike. But the more I looked at it the more I thought that I needed it for those wheels, and besides, it looked pretty good, I could strip it to parts and add the parts to my stash for future builds. As the seconds counted down the bids rose to £42, and I had decided that I would spend no more than £40 as surely I'd get it for that, right? With ten seconds left to go I was pretty cross that I'd already been outbid, before I'd even put my bid in. So I thought to myself, right if whoever had put in a bid higher than I was prepared to offer wanted it so bad, then he was going to pay for it, I put my bid in at £49.99 figuring that the current winner had probably bid £50. He hadn't, and when the page refreshed it said that I had won the auction for £49.99! Great, that'll teach me to try and be clever! Better yet, the bike was 100 odd miles away from BelongaClint in Sidmouth! If I've learned anything from this, it's that bidding on your angry emotions is never the best idea, you might just win it!

So I sat there amazed at my own stupidity, and wrote a message to the seller asking for his address, and good time to collect it, and would he like cash. He responded quickly with his address and said that I could collect it on Saturday morning between 10 and 11 o'clock, but to pay with PayPal as he didn't want to handle cash due to the pandemic. I thought that was fair enough, and paid him straight away before saying that I would see him as requested between 10 and 11 am on Saturday.

Yesterday I set off from BelongaClint at 07:00hrs in order to be in Sidmouth, 103 miles away at some point between 10:00hrs, and 11:00hrs. The roads were quiet but I took it steady in my Navara, and I arrived at the sellers house at 10:13hrs. I knocked the door, and stood back, no answer. I knocked again, still no answer. There was no car in his drive, and so I figured that maybe he'd popped out for some milk or something. I went back and sat in my Navara and waited, by 11:00hrs nobody had come back, and so I thought that maybe he doesn't have a car, so I went and knocked on the door once more... Nothing. After several more failed attempts I figured that I'd go to his back gate and see if I could see him in his garden. There was nobody in his garden, but I could see the bike, however his gate was padlocked and there was razorwire along the top of the gate and the top of the fence! I wondered what else he must have in there to warrant the razorwire, but I went and sat back in my Navara.

As I sat there I sent him a message on fleabay saying I was sitting outside his house, but no reply came and by 13:00hrs I was getting pretty hungry. I wanted to go and get something to eat, but I really didn't want to leave only to miss him if he came home, and ducked back out again before I got back. By 15:00hrs I was both hungry and angry, this for me is not the perfect combination for rational thought. I thought that what I should do is take my wire cutters, chop his razorwire off the top of his gate, back my Navara up to the gate, climb over taking a ratchet strap with me. Then put the bike against the gate the other side, tie the strap to it before using the bike to climb back over the gate, and finally once in back in the bed of the Navara pull the bike over with the strap.

With my cutters in hand I went to the gate, wait a minute I thought, thats a combination lock. I wish I'd noticed that before, right then, 0000, 0001, 0002, 0003... I figured I had the time, so what the heck, anyway aftter about 15 minutes I got to 0743, and click, the padlock opened! I was in! I tossed his padlock as far as I could into his hedgerow at the end of his garaden, spooling my way though the combinations had done nothing to calm my mood it was now getting on for 15:30hrs and I'd not eaten since 06:30hrs, and I was feeling the pangs of hunger! I grabbed my bike, and glancing around the garden I did find myself wondering why he needed the razorwire. It just looked like a bit of a wasteland, mostly mud and weeds! I closed the gate behind me, slung the bike in the back of the Navara, and headed for home, stopping at the first petrol station I saw to get myself a Topic in the hope it would quell my hunger, it didn't, but it did take the edge off it for a little bit.

Once back at home and Mrs Clint had fed me I decided to try my new wheels on my Bikini Hurricane. I'll be honest, I'm not completely sold on them, but for what I went through just to get hold of them I'm going to leave them on there for a little while to see if they'll grow on me. I'm not sure this style of wheel really suits a beach cruiser frame, but they do look better to me every time I look at it. If nothing else I think it makes my beach cruiser look a little bit unique.

I thought that as I had them on it I should atleast take it out for a little bit of a spin today, and so off I went on my short test route at first. It was pretty good, although two immediate problems have shown up. Firstly the tyres are very knobbly, and very off-roady, so I'm buzzing along like an old Land-Rover, but they look to be pretty new so I'm a bit reluctant to change them. However, that being said perhaps I could pop the original white wall beach cruiser tyres onto these alloy five spoke rims. That might look good, it might even make the wheels suit the bike a bit better. The other problem is that the Falcon 'Mounting' Bike is a fifteen speed bike, and the Bikini Hurricane was a six speed bike, this means that the five speed block on the back wheel doesn't work with the six speed Grifter-shifter on the handlebars! Nevermind, I don't like that sort of shifter anyway, so I'll just have to have a search through my stash to see if theres a nice five speed trigger shifter in there somewhere that I could use. Apart from that, I think I'm pretty happy about how this bike is starting to look. It may not be the direction I thought my Winter time beach cruiser would be taking, but frankly I think it's looking pretty damn cool.