As many of you know, Roland sent many of the overhauls and restorations of his bikes my way. Sadly, he’s no longer with us but nevertheless the bikes keep showing up.
Here’s a very nice 1970’s DS that recently came in for an overhaul and new wheels. Noticing that the right rear dropout had the small screw holes in it, I also was able to install an NOS Campagnolo Portacatena kit.
This DS was commissioned by its original owner in 2002 and found its way here in 2014 where it joined the semi-official Della Santa museum. I say “semi-official” because Roland doesn’t have much use for bikes that just sit around. He builds them to be ridden and scoffs at bikes that are mere garage queens. You can thus imagine how he feels about a gaggle of them.
He also doesn’t consider his bikes art in any sense and tends to go off on people who nerd out over his framebuilding. You know, people like me. Knowing him for 34 years and living within a mile of each other, he’s had many opportunities to make his opinion clear, but that doesn’t make me like him or his bikes any less. Probably more, in fact. Thus, the semi-official museum that exists without his blessing.
…And now that this particular bike is out and sitting here with me, maybe I’ll honor him by taking it out for a ride this afternoon. It’ll no-doubt be like riding rolling art, after all.
This ride has always been a favorite, in no small part because the halfway point is a great stop. Snowshoe Thompson built his home against a little stream which burbles through Diamond Valley near Woodfords, Ca. There are three (count ’em, three) monuments to ol’ Snowshoe on the site, just so nobody ever forgets where he lived.
Fluff and I made the loop a couple weeks ago, riding a 30th Anniversary Della Santa and 1984 Fuji Touring III, respectively. It was an unfair match-up from the get-go, as the “3” had 15 pounds on the DS.