Since my winter bicycle was stolen, I’ve been scrambling to make other arrangements for the rest of the winter. Introducing, the Liahona Mission.
The name Liahona, of course, is a Book of Mormon reference. Read about it at Wikipedia here.
Why a bike with a name that references the Book of Mormon? The story (according to a 1997 source) goes like this:
“We have a gentleman from Taiwan who was a convert to the church, and he wanted to be more helpful to missionaries,” says [Michael] Spence, a lifelong Mormon who rode a 10-speed Schwinn on his mission 30 years ago, “and he said, ‘You know, these bikes are really bad.’ ” So Spence and the grateful convert created the Liahona Mission Bike, a 21speed mountain bike sold exclusively to Mormon missionaries, also known as elders. Spence assembles the bicycles himself-the frames come from Taiwan, the Shimano parts from Japan… Named after a compass in the Book of Mormon, the Liahona’s design is based in part on recommendations from elders-its most Mormon-specific feature is a plastic sprocket guard to keep trouser cuffs oil-free.”
It’s sort of like FUBU for mormons. It’s a bicycle marketed only to Mormon Missionaries. The web site suggests that only missionaries are permitted to buy them, though I have a hard time believing they’d turn down a sale.
At any rate, I was given this bicycle by a friend, and have replaced pretty much anything on it that can be replaced. I’ve still got a few problems with it, though. Most notably, the seat post is now fused to the frame and can’t be raised or lowered, something I wish I’d noticed before I spent $$ on new parts for it. Similarly, the kickstand is fused in place and can neither be used, nor removed (without a grinder). But it will still be a decent bike for tooling around on snow days. It’s no Big Red, but it’ll do.