Emma’s Custom Ride

About a month ago, reader Emma Alvarez Gibson mentioned that our site, in combination with her husband’s bike-savvy, was inspiring her to get on a bike again.

Recently, that day came: her husband Roger gave her a gorgeous bike he customized himself for their 10th anniversary. We should all marry such a man. ;-) Emma kindly shared some pictures of her new ride with us.

Emma and her new friend

Emma and her new friend

Emma rides in the LA suburb of San Pedro, just a mile from the ocean. As a freelance writer, she doesn’t have much of a commute, but she does plan on using her new bike to go to local coffee shops, where she writes and holds business meetings. Emma explains, “I’ve ridden a few miles along the coast thus far and I’m really pleased with the way it rides. And of course I’m completely in love with riding. Most things one enjoys as a child lose their charm in adulthood; riding a bike seems only to have gotten more charming.” Definitely a sentiment I can get behind.

Here’s what her husband Roger had to say about how he built the bike:

I started with a women’s multi-speed Schwinn cruiser 26″ (Target). I stripped and painted it, and replaced everything on it except the frame, the handlebar stem, the crank, the chain guard, and the chain. The performance parts and various “lady-bike” parts came from my local bike shop, Amazon.com, eBay, Velo Orange, Woody’s Custom Cycling Fenders, and a California farms textiles collector.

Emma's customized Schwinn

Emma's customized Schwinn

We managed to save a lot of what was invested in this by doing the work ourselves (my brother and I). i.e. the wrenching, the painting, the fabricating (most of the hardware had to be machined to assemble all of the parts since most nothing fit due to these parts coming from all over Europe and Asia), and the tuning (though my bike mechanic gave it the once over to check for quality and safety). Oh, and my mom converted the vintage Kokuho Rose rice sacks into a really slick basket liner.

From another angle.

From another angle. LOVE the skirt guard and fenders!

What a neat way to build a really special bike. Thanks for sharing, Emma!

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11 thoughts on “Emma’s Custom Ride

  1. Cyclin Missy says:

    What a great bike! I love the skirt guard, and the seat looks comfy.

    I also completely agree with the fact that biking seems to get more and more charming as I age. When I was a kid, I rode for fun and to get to friends’ houses or my summer job. But now I ride for fitness and a whole lot more for fun! And to work some style into it, too…I love it!

  2. Mamavee says:

    It’s so true. the feeling of coasting down a hill is as special to me now as it was when I was 11 years old. I think being on a bike and frolicking in the water are two ageless delights!

    that bike is super cute and I love the basket liner.

    ( I love hearing about women getting new bikes and hopping on. I think perhaps 5 people on my facebook friend list have gotten Townies or a similar bike in the past month. It’s exhilerating!

  3. Emma says:

    Trisha and Dottie,

    Thanks so much for featuring my bike! As a real newbie to the bike community, I feel so welcome by you and your readers.


  4. sara says:

    What an awesome anniversary gift. I love that Emma’s hubs customized it himself with the help of his bro AND that even his mom got in the act with those cool basket liners. That makes it so much more special! Great color & awesome skirt guard.

  5. Welcome to cycling! It looks like your husband put a lot of thought into that bike with nice results.

  6. Karen says:

    I am thrilled for you. The bike is wonderful! Your husband is a jewel for sure. The basket liner is so unique. I would love to use a coffee shop for my office and meetings. Happy pedaling.

  7. Doohickie says:

    Now… if only Schwinn would sell ’em like that new!

  8. dottie says:

    That bike is amazing – a work of art! And what a cute picture of Emma – thanks so much for sharing your story with all of us!

  9. Pearl says:

    Great bike! And what a thoughtful gift! Yesterday, I just got my bike back with my final “adjustment,” a rear rack and saddlebag panniers. Now it is just what I wanted, and I cannot wait for the new semester to start at My U so I can commute on The Bike everyday. Currently, I am checking out routes to favorite and new coffee shops here in DFW.

  10. Emma says:

    *blushing* Apparently the bike community is cool AND super-nice. :) Yay!

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