In a previous post, I referred to my Cotic Roadrat as my “Everyday Bicycle”. I also mentioned it’s lack of mudguards. So when it scarcely stopped raining in Auckland – “The Seattle of the South Pacific” – for a couple of weeks, I assembled a different “Everyday Bicycle”. One with mudguards. Let me introduce The Puch.
It’s not an especially pretty bike, although it probably was back in the 1970s when it came out of the Puch factory in Austria. I spotted this particular vehicle on a well-known local Internet auction site and arranged to purchase it for the very reasonable sum of $10. There was some work required – I replaced the handlebars, wheels, front brake, brake levers and derailleur.
As a general purpose bike it has some shortcomings – the chain has a tendency to fall off if I change too quickly in to a higher gear, and the actual levers are placed, not very conveniently, at arms-length. And then there’s all that.. ahem.. rust.
But The Puch also has some excellent qualities – the aforementioned mudguards, a surprisingly comfortable riding position and a pair of very nice Schwalbe Marathon Racer tyres.
And… a dynamo powered headlamp.
The lights were also an addition of mine. They are made by Busch+Muller. The headlight has a facility called a standlight – meaning that it stores a bit of charge from the dynamo, so that when you are stopped at traffic lights, the headlight stays on for a few minutes. It doesn’t produce an enormous amount of light, but it’s enough to see by if I find myself in an area without streetlights. Thanks to the dynamo, I don’t have to worry my pretty little head about batteries, and it makes a pleasantly loud whirring noise that warns pedestrians and frightens dogs.