Private America
(Click on photos for bigger one)
Back to Bikes
     To be honest, I never really intended the bike to go through so many changes, and certainly not in so short a time. However, when you haven't much else to do over a summer break, things just happen on their own. I suppose the history of this bike started when I put out an ad on freecycle asking for free bikes. I got the bike from someone else, and took it home all the way from Fort Collins, CO to Decatur, AL. It made a short stop in Chicago.
    At first the bike was ridden around stock. But then I found a junked foot scooter and decided to try making a chopper. I had wondered what would get into someone to take a perfectly good bike and chop it up. Of course, thats what most freak bikes were at one time. I chopped the front drop outs off of the bike, and put most of the rear of the foot scooter onto the front forks. I then rammed the two parts into each other. To finish it off, I added the front wheel from the foot scooter as the front wheel of my new chopper. I had to reverse the scooter piece once as the bike was really hard to handle for a bit. 
              BikesChopped scooterFork RotatedFork Rotation
    And so it remained for a couple of weeks. Then I decided to lengthen the forks even more. I grabbed some angle iron from a mail box post and welded that into the forks. There was real attitude on that bike.  However, I have no photos of this mod.
    A week or so later, I watched Easy Rider  and there was a 4th of July celebration planned at a local park. I decided to rake the forks, make them even longer, and paint the bike. I decided to call the bike "Private America" after the chopper featured in the movie. 
    First, I sawed the head tube off, and then I tried to weld it on again. The welder kept burning right through the thing bike frame. I began to weld braces and everything onto the bike. Much of a whole scrap pile went onto that bike, but it kept falling off. The welder was just not cutting it.
    I gave up about 1am, and then decided to tackel it the next day. This time, I went with a brazing torch. The frame was shortened some what, but the head tube went on and stayed on. I also redid the forks. I finished about 1am again by paing the bike and wheels red white and blue. It was ready for the scheduled bike ride the next day.
    I arrived, and rode over, but suddenly realized that this might not be a bike ride for my bike. In the parking lot were dozens of spandex clad guys with their high dollar road bikes. The shortest ride available was 30 miles. For some reason I thought that it was a family ride. Oh well. I rode around some, and then returned. The seat was really uncomfortable, so I added some fome to it. It didn't look like much.
    Finally I decided to go all out. I sawed apart the blue frame and then using just the rear triangle, I fashioned a completely new bike out of EMT tubing. There were also some parts from a bike pulled out of the dump welded in. However, the head tube kept getting ripped off. I installed a gusset, and that took care of the problem. Then the forks bent and I realized I was going to need a tripple tree fork. I made one of those, but the holes weren't quite lined up, so I fought to assemble the bike. I fashioned a seat, and installed that. However, no brake was added.
Chopper longChopper seat
    After a few days, I dissassembled the bike and put it on the back of my car for the ride back to Fort Collins. Upon arrival, I reassembled it but it didn't handle as well as it once did. I rode it a few miles, and in the end, it was chopped up and cannabalized for parts for the cargo trike and tall bike. The frame sits in a garage awaiting some loving attention, but that might not be for a while.
Back to Bikes