His "Widow Maker"

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by Papa, Mar 13, 2003.

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  1. Papa

    Papa Guest

    When I followed Kenny through the doorway of his 40 year-old garage last December, the aroma of
    freshly cut hardwood welcomed me. Expecting a foot-propping coffee table or lathe-turned laminated
    salad bowl, I was introduced instead to the most unusual HPV I'd ever laid eyes on. Carefully
    clamped upright by it's rubberless rims on two paint-splattered saw horses, sat someone's ultimate
    fantasy bike… or peddle powered wet dream – Take your pick. I stared, not realizing that I hadn't
    uttered a word for the better part of five minutes.

    At slightly over five feet between axles, and a crank tucked behind the front wheel, it's reasonable
    to assume that this was a LWB machine. And although the typical 559/406 Aeroheats hung from both
    ends of this creature, it was the artistic maze between them that overwhelmed me. Not a straight
    piece of tubing anywhere.

    Resembling a curvaceous but squished Schwinn Phantom frame, the top and bottom tubes were less than
    six inches apart at the bottom bracket and appeared to be whittled of Brazilian Rosewood. A gentle
    finger-thumping proved otherwise. At the front, four and a half inches of engraved and highly
    polished titanium (or anodized aluminum?) connected the members in typical Rivendell head tube
    fashion. The scrolling is staggering. Three feet or so behind the bottom bracket, the wooden members
    gently touched and disappeared into an equally impressive titanium enclosure. It gets better. Both
    rear chain stays appeared to be generously carved (and engraved) from one solid piece of two-by-two,
    quarter wall aluminum tubing that hinged to the titanium enclosure two inches or so in front of the
    rear rim. No coils springs or shocks can be seen anywhere. The front fork is obviously carbon fiber.
    On a tool cluttered bench near the north wall rest what looks like a contoured high back black
    composite seat shell. It too was clearly different than anything I'd ever seen. Instead of being
    solid, the entire back-rest and butt areas were louvered and strips of (what Kenny referred to as,
    "memory foam") was horizontally bonded all surfaces between the louvers. Kenny was quick to
    point-out that this bent will be his daily rider, and was not intended as a "don't touch" lifeless
    statue. And if anybody is picture eager, then several can be viewed at his web site currently being
    assembled (by one of his daughters). I'll pass along a URL when I get it.
     
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  2. Bentnut

    Bentnut Guest

    I want pictures!

    "Papa" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > When I followed Kenny through the doorway of his 40 year-old garage last December, the aroma of
    > freshly cut hardwood welcomed me. Expecting a foot-propping coffee table or lathe-turned laminated
    > salad bowl, I was introduced instead to the most unusual HPV I'd ever laid eyes on. Carefully
    > clamped upright by it's rubberless rims on two paint-splattered saw horses, sat someone's ultimate
    > fantasy bike. or peddle powered wet dream - Take your pick. I stared, not realizing that I hadn't
    > uttered a word for the better part of five minutes.
    >
    > At slightly over five feet between axles, and a crank tucked behind the front wheel, it's
    > reasonable to assume that this was a LWB machine. And although the typical 559/406 Aeroheats hung
    > from both ends of this creature, it was the artistic maze between them that overwhelmed me. Not a
    > straight piece of tubing anywhere.
    >
    > Resembling a curvaceous but squished Schwinn Phantom frame, the top and bottom tubes were less
    > than six inches apart at the bottom bracket and appeared to be whittled of Brazilian Rosewood. A
    > gentle finger-thumping proved otherwise. At the front, four and a half inches of engraved and
    > highly polished titanium (or anodized aluminum?) connected the members in typical Rivendell head
    > tube fashion. The scrolling is staggering. Three feet or so behind the bottom bracket, the wooden
    > members gently touched and disappeared into an equally impressive titanium enclosure. It gets
    > better. Both rear chain stays appeared to be generously carved (and engraved) from one solid
    > piece of two-by-two, quarter wall aluminum tubing that hinged to the titanium enclosure two
    > inches or so in front of the rear rim. No coils springs or shocks can be seen anywhere. The front
    > fork is obviously carbon fiber. On a tool cluttered bench near the north wall rest what looks
    > like a contoured high back black composite seat shell. It too was clearly different than anything
    > I'd ever seen. Instead of being solid, the entire back-rest and butt areas were louvered and
    > strips of (what Kenny referred to as, "memory foam") was horizontally bonded all surfaces between
    > the louvers. Kenny was quick to point-out that this bent will be his daily rider, and was not
    > intended as a "don't touch" lifeless statue. And if anybody is picture eager, then several can be
    > viewed at his web site currently being assembled (by one of his daughters). I'll pass along a URL
    > when I get it.
     
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