New Years Evolution

On a day when many of us might look like we’ve evolved back to our primitive selves from too much party and too much fun I have finally got cracking on the Peugeot mixte frame.I bought the bike for $50 at a garage sale and it’s been rideable but not quite enjoyable for a while. Then it got stripped down about six months ago with a view to sanding and spraying it. Time wandered on for a while and then suddenly today seemed like a good day to get started. Besides, I’d bought some paint stripper before Christmas and so there was nothing holding me back.

I wasn’t real keen on using paint stripper but the layers of cheap horrible paint that had accumulated through various owners made sanding impossible. It clogged up the paper almost immediately. The paint stripper came with some warnings about avoiding contact with skin or inhaling fumes. Really, all they need to say is, “This shit strips paint off metal dude. Nuff said!”
I exercised what I thought was an appropriate level of caution but still managed to get some stripped paint on my bare legs. This stuff burns bare skin. They kinda play that down in the cautions on the can. Needless to say I washed it off quick smart.
Most of the paint just bubbled and flaked off like and looked like soggy black paper within seconds of contact with the paint stripper. The original paintwork is the hardest to remove. I get the feeling someone painted this frame with whatever black paint came to hand, probably with a paint brush. It was thick and nasty and shredded to reveal the original paint. I also uncovered a sticker from the original bike store who sold and serviced it. Someone had just painted over everything, and several times too.
The Peugeot stickers were the hardest to remove. They’re impervious to paint stripper and immune to hard graft and sandpaper. I resorted to an electronic drill and wire brush attachment and got the job kinda half finished. With a raft of jobs ahead of me my time working on a vanity project came to a conclusion before the job was fully finished. These photos show me about halfway through.
I’m much further progressed than the photos show but what I have discovered is that 90% of the effort goes into the last 10% of paint removal. With luck I’ll get it finished next weekend. Then we’ll paint it up again, buy ourselves a back wheel and get the whole shebang back on the road.
We’ll lose a bunch of gears and some brakes along the way but once built up our evolution of the Peugeot mixte should be a sweat bike.  I can’t stand new years resolutions (if you really wanted to do something or change something then why didn’t you just do it already?) so the Peugeot will be my new years evolution instead. I’ll be sure to post you some pics of the evolved bike and hopefully one day this ponderously slow project bike will roll again.

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