Sterling Morrison's Puch Pathfinder Series II Road Bike - Black
As I carried this ridiculously tall black Puch Pathfinder Series II road bike from a suburban garage to my car, the woman who had just sold it to me said "that bike belonged to my ex-husband, Sterling Morrison of the Velvet Underground."
It wasn't a sales pitch; I'd already paid for the bike. I'd never heard of Sterling Morrison, the Velvet Underground's guitarist, before that, but as long as he was a tall guy, the story would make sense.
With its heavy level of urban wear and a few replaced-as-necessity-dictated non-original parts, this Pathfinder would easily pass for a New York City musician's daily transportation. Riching Schwinn Cyclery of Ft. Myers, Florida first sold it, but I'd like to think it spent most of its life in Manhattan.
Regardless of its history, this Puch Pathfinder is one thing: tall. It's easily one of the five tallest bikes I've ever owned. With an Araya high-tensile steel frame, SunTour shifters and Spirit/Honor derailleurs, Sugino alloy cranks, Dia-Compe alloy center-pull brakes, and possibly alloy rims (currently it has an alloy rear and steel front), this was probably a decent middle-of-the-road road bike when it was new.
But now it's old, and it shows the wear, tear and fantastic patina that come from years of heavy use. Whether Sterling Morrison was the one riding it all those years, I may never know. And I don't really care. But it's a nice story, so I'll believe it.
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