Rico’s Crusty Shovel

Rico's Rusty Shovel

It’s a odd story of an oddball bike. In 2012 I received a call from Bud in Austin TX. Bud’s shop was legendary for old bike kooks and I had traded vintage bikes & parts with him for 30 years. (Sadly, he died & his shop is but a sweet memory these days.) He called me and said, “I got a dirt cheap bike for you. It has got great bones, starts, runs and is ugly as hell….” I had to see for myself.

The bike had been a beauty in the 1980’s. Apparently, a carb cough backfire had caused a fire that burned down the bike and it’s owner’s million dollar barn. The owner who was a rancher, pushed it out back to sit with the rest of his old broken tractor collection.

I bought the bike sight unseen over the phone. The list of ball-busting I received for buying this junker is too long. Fueled with spite for all the haters, I got the bike running. I was riding it with a single tank and three wires. My plan was to make a chopper out of it and then sell it. Instead, I ended up falling for it. After years of riding pretty bikes, fresh show-off builds etc., the Burner grew on me quick.

In the past few years I’ve turned it into a finely tuned road bike. I’ve rebuilt everything while leaving it ugly. I built a hot engine trans geared for high-speed travel. I ride it 300+ days a year. It’s become my shop bike for getting parts, so I added my 99-year-old grandmother’s bicycle basket to the front end. Being an engine and bike builder who rides a junker instead of something fancy that shows off my work is probably not a good idea. But well after 30+ years of building bikes, I ride what turns me on and keeps me young.

My long-trip bikes sit idly while the barn burner serves as my magic carpet on all my cross country trips, 3-4 day camping trips and so many rides I’ve lost count. My riding buddies laugh seeing me on this smoky, leaky, choo-choo but that doesn’t matter. Having fun and enjoying every mile and every stop with your friends, whatever you may be riding is what counts!

Rico Fodrey
Hi Bond Modified
Pomona, CA

Rico's Rusty Shovel

Rico's Rusty Shovel

Rico's Rusty Shovel

Rico's Rusty Shovel

Rico's Rusty Shovel

Rico's Rusty Shovel

Rico's Rusty Shovel

Rico's Rusty Shovel

Rico's Rusty Shovel

Rico's Rusty Shovel

Rico's Rusty Shovel

Rico's Rusty Shovel

Rico's Rusty Shovel

Rico's Rusty Shovel

Rico's Rusty Shovel

Rico's Rusty Shovel