Our friend Todd Lappin points us to another terrific exhibition at the San Francisco International Airport. If you fly through, don't miss "From Repack to Rwanda: The Origins, Evolution, and Global Reach of the Mountain Bike," on exhibit until February. There is also a great online component with great images and informative text. Seen above, a 1941 Schwinn modified in 1973 by Joe Breeze of Mill Valley, California:
In the early 1970s, the preferred bike for Marin County’s off-road bicycling enthusiasts was a prewar Schwinn Excelsior, which Otis Guy notes was “the best handling of the old bikes…the fastest of all the single-speed Schwinns.” Its slack geometry and high bottom bracket were ideally suited to this new style of riding. Riders stripped the bikes of nonessential fenders, racks, chain-guards, and frame-tanks that added weight and complicated the bike’s operation on tight, twisty turns. Mill Valley’s Joe Breeze modified his blue Schwinn with an upgraded front drum brake, a Bendix 2-speed manual shifter, and a custom rear cog to accept a skip-tooth chain. In and early, albeit unrefined, version of a “bull moose” handlebar, Breeze welded a bar across the span of his handlebars to strengthen a part of the bike that frequently failed during the roughest rides.