I've been enjoying this website for years now, but I've never posted anything. I mostly come here for the pictures. In the last few years, I've become (healthly) obsessed with vintage bikes, and this site is the fix I need when there's 90 minutes left in the work day and I've seen everything on imgur.
As I've gone through the old Rider's Rides posts, I found a question posed by Retro_Roy two years ago about the Rocky Mountain Avalanche. I don't know how y'all feel about reviving such an ancient post, so I decided to do this instead.
Quick intro; my first rear bike was a Bridgestone MB-5 I bought in 1990. I'm pretty sure I broke and replaced every part on it - it was BRILLIANT. Then I stepped up to a used Rocky Mountain Nimbus. I knew exactly what it was having been smitten with Rockys right from the beginning.
I went on to own about 30 bicycles (maybe 60 if you count the ones I've bought just to fix up and sell), work in two shops, and generally make most people think I was crazy when they asked "how many bikes do you have?" and I'd have to stop and count with my fingers.
Somewhere along the way, I found a Rocky Mountain Avalanche in a pawn shop for $400.
(I'd rank that as my 4th best bike score ever by the way.)
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I think it was an '88, and some of the details are fuzzy, but it had a set of Syncros Cattlehorn (I think?) bar ends - the kind that fit into the bar like a quill stem fits in a steerer - (one of which had been broken and rewelded at an angle that didn't match the original), Most of the parts were Deore, and it had mismatched rims. I think a Matrix on the rear and a Sun on the front? I figured the original owner trashed the rear rim and had it re-laced to the Matrix.
And of course that brilliant orange and purple paint.
The '88 catalog says it was Yellow and Blue, and you can find it in that colorway in a Google image search. The '89 was "Magenta with royal blue accents." I'm a bit color blind, but I'm pretty darn sure my Avalanche was orange, so, maybe it was a custom painted '88?
Whatever it was, I put a riser bar on it, and onZa cantis on the front, and rode it a round the 'hood for a year.
Then I lost my mind.
I had a local builder (Jim Molden, who I believe is the last guy to make frames here in Edmonton) move the brake bosses to the seatstays, and then painted it like a '91 Blizzard. Because, I had a set of decals for a Blizzard. I found a Judy to fit it and painted the legs black, and I had myself a pretty nice 1991 Blizzard clone.
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I'm sure you're thinking at this point that I'm some kind of monster. Well, I'd agree with you. To this day I don't know why I why I did what I did. I'd do just about anything to have that bike back as it was when I bought it. And have those original Blizzard decals back too!
I love seeing the restored bikes on this forum with the new paint and decals, but I find my favorite approach, is to leave the bike cosmetically unrestored. That Avalanche was certainly not mint, but there were no dents, no major scrapes - just plenty of evidence that it had been ridden as it was designed for.
It was great just to roll around town on, and the two times I took it out on the trails with the Judy on it, it was fantastic. Once you adjusted to it, it was like a scalpel.
Anyway, that's my story. Or one of them anyway. Actually, I didn't quite learn my lesson with this old Rocky, but that's for another post I think.