Preservation Bicycle # 2: The 1975(?) Gitane Tandem Touring

What we have here is a 1975 Gitane Tandem Touring (it could also be 74 or 76) that is looking for a new home to begin the next chapter of its journey.

Tandems need a pilot and a stoker, and although the catalog says “Men’s Ladies Tandem Sport” this “Tandem Touring” is ideally suited for Hers/Hers, His/His, Theirs/Theirs, Hers/His, or any other combo as long as one person is about 6’0 and the other is around 5’6 (give or take a couple of inches).

1975-ish Gitane Tandem Touring (Orange)

1975-ish Gitane Tandem Touring (Orange)

1975 Gitane Tandem Sport (White)

1975 Gitane Tandem Sport (White)


MAKE: Gitane

MODEL: Tandem Touring

YEAR/AGE: 1975-ish

SIZE: 61cm front, 55cm back (5’11 - 6’3 pilot, 5’4 - 5’8 stoker)



New tires, tubes, and cable housing for sure. If it was me, I’d switch out the handlebars for something a little wider and shinier. And lots of new grease! Probably $100 in parts needed unless you decided to build or buy a new wheelset, and then add another $150-300. All of this work could easily be done at BBP, but we’d also recommend some toothbrush cleaning time at home while watching a movie.


Ok, there’s a registration tag that says City of Boise, but we don’t see a date. Probably mid 70’s, so it was likely born and raised in Boise Idaho. There’s an old school analog odometer that reads out 0412.3, and we can tell that it has been ridden more than that. Our guess is it hit 9999 at least once and started over, so let’s just say it has at least 10,412 miles on it. The lack of rust indicates most of its miles took place in the dry climate of Idaho. We can also tell from the bottomed-out stoker saddle, also pushed all the way forward, that the original stoker was probably around 5’3.

What other stories can we discover from these pictures?


About the Bicycle Preservation Society



Turning Your Trash into Treasure

New (Re)Cycled Bicycle Process at BBP

Everything we do here in the shop depends on the support and donations from our community. We are so thankful for everything that you do, and we appreciate you thinking of us when you decided to find a new home for your bicycle. If you have donated with us recently, you may have noticed things have changed a little bit with the process. We wanted to bring you up to speed to ensure your donation experience goes smoothly.

If you’ve been to the shop during the summer time, you know how busy it can be at the front of the shop with people waiting to get back to the shop floor, purchase parts, or ask questions. Donations taken to the front of our shop create quite the bottleneck in our space. In order to improve your BBP experience, we have started taking donations through the back of the shop only. So, the next time you come to donate, please pull your vehicle around to the back alleyway and ring the bell. A BBP staff/volunteer will come out to greet you.

As a recycling center, we do our absolute best to take in and re-use as much as we possibly can, however, there are times when we just do not have the capacity to take everything. In fact, there are times when taking the wrong kinds of donations actually hinders our ability to fulfill our mission. Please review our donation policy HERE to support us by ensuring you’re bringing donations that fuel our mission.

I have a bicycle to donate...what do I do next?

Bring it on down during our official donation hours, which are Wednesday through Saturday from 11am-5pm. We want to make sure that your bike goes to good use, and in order to ensure its safety, please donate only during donation hours. But first! We need your assistance before you drop off your bikes to help us maximize our space and ensure we can process the bicycles more quickly and efficiently. With a few simple steps, you can help us get these bicycles into our programs and into the hands of those who need it. In just 5 short minutes, you can make a HUGE difference.

  1. Please wipe down your bicycle before dropping it off. You wouldn’t drop off your dirty drawers to the thrift store, would you? Ok, bad example, but you get the picture. Grab a wet rag and boom, new bike! This saves our mechanics oodles of time, allowing them to fix more bikes for the community.

  2. Please turn your handlebars sideways. If you have handlebars similar to the left, loosen only the two side bolts (not top bolt), turn handlebars, and re-tighten. If you have handlebars similar to the picture on the right, loosen top bolt, turn handlebars, and re-tighten. This helps us maximize our storage capacity.


3. Please remove pedals. Go HERE for video instructions.

We understand not everyone has the time or the tools to do these things. If you do, and you are able to help us out with the bars and pedals, it would be greatly appreciated. If not, we still love you and value your donation. At the very least, please wipe the bike down. This little thing really does make a big difference. If you see things growing out of your bike or a spider has made a nice little home somewhere on it, that is a sure fire sign a wipe down is necessary. Shoot, even a quick spray with a hose helps!

It is within our mission to build a stronger community through affordable refurbished bicycles. With these little steps, we are able to realize our true potential as a bicycle co-op and get more quality bicycles into our youth programs and the greater community at large!

As you can see, bikes pile up fast!


Now that I’ve donated my bicycle, what happens to it?

The life of a donated bicycle can go in a few different directions.

  1. Bicycles that have a lot of life left in them will be refurbished and resold at affordable prices, making bicycles accessible to all

  2. We will pull usable parts off of bicycles and re-sell those in our parts room. This invaluable process helps ensure someone can find a quick, inexpensive, and efficient replacement part for their bicycle in order to keep them rolling.

  3. Older or more heavily used bicycles will be recycled. We leverage our community partner Pacific Steel and Recycling to ensure that bikes BBP can’t reuse are recycled rather than thrown into a landfill. Funds generated from recycling go directly back into BBP Programs.

Thank you for donating and for helping us get refurbished bicycles out to the community!

Rollin' Through Boise Bike Week: The fun so far!


Boise Bike Week is in full swing! It has been a sunny filled week so far, with much more to look forward to. BBP helped launch the week with a national Cyclo-Femme ride on Mother’s Day.

CycloFemme was founded in 2012 to unite riders across the globe regardless of gender, age, ethnicity or bicycle preference, and this year included over 79 rides around the globe!

On Sunday, 30-40 people met at BBP and rode together to Botanical Garden who was celebrating National Gardens Day with free admission, and Treasure Valley Cycling Alliance hosted a panel on Women in Cycling.

The panel included discussion about creating a welcoming space for women in the shop, mountain biking and other male dominated spaces within the industry, the importance of e-bikes to disabled riders, and learned about WTF!

No, not what you’re thinking…


WTF (Women, Trans, Femme) Bike Explorers is a group dedicated to “a movement toward more connection, gender inclusivity, and racial equality within bicycle adventure travel through supporting, celebrating, and connecting communities identifying as Women, Transgender, Femme, Queer, and/or Non-Binary who use their bicycles to explore (albeit the outdoors, themselves, eachother, etc.)”

Danielle, a WTF Bike Explorer Member and BBP Supporter spoke of how every step of cycling; finding a bike, repairing a bike, finding compatible parts, etc. are moments that she and other Non-Binary individuals risk running into an unwelcoming or unsafe environment. Because of this, its important for an organization like WTF Bike Explorer’s that provide positive bicycling experiences for everyone!

I encourage you to find events of your own to check out, but here are a few below to get you goin’! Thank you Treasure Valley Cycling Alliance and everyone involved for hosting such amazing events.

Bike for Ice Cream: TODAY (5/14) and Tomorrow (5/15)! 3-6PM at Goody’s

  • Ride your bike to Goody’s! Between 3-6pm if you wear a helmet you get a free scoop!

Ride of Silence: Wednesday (5/15) 6pm at Ann Morrison West Entrance.

  • To HONOR those who have been injured or killed.

    To RAISE AWARENESS that we are here.

    To ask that we all SHARE THE ROAD.

Coffee Outside: Thursday (5/16) 7am-10am on Friendship Island at Esther Simplot

  • Load up your bike with your favorite outdoor coffee brewing equipment (or an empty mug and a smile) and pedal over to Friendship Island in Esther Simplot park for a celebration of bike travel and hot beverages!

SWIMBA Beginner Mountain Bike Ride: Thursday (5/16) 6pm at Camel’s Back Park

  • Meet at the tennis courts at Camel’s Back Park for a beginner mountain bike ride. The ride will be open to all skill and fitness levels, with a short basics clinic to start. There will be at least two groups with one being a women-only group. Plan to ride for about an hour, with possibilities of a longer route if there is interest

Bike Power Happy Hour: Friday (5/17) 3pm-5:30 outside Bittercreek

  • Celebrate National Bike To Work Day and Boise Bike Week 2019 with Bittercreek Alehouse, Treasure Valley Cycling Alliance, and others. Earn a FREE beer simply by parking your bike at our pop-up bike valet on 8th street during the event.

Pedal Powered Parade: Saturday (5/18) 2pm at the Captiol

  • Meet at the Capitol for a pedal powered parade to the State Street Block Party at ITD Headquarters. Our route will follow some new Low Stress Bikeways identified by ACHD.

State Street Block Party: Saturday (5/18) 2-6pm at ITD Headquarters

  • Head to the Idaho Transportation Department campus for a block party hosted by VRT. There will be food trucks, live music, a bicycle rodeo, a traveling trolley exhibit, and other fun activities. State Street bus service (route 9) will be increased to every 15 minutes between the hours of 1-7 PM to make it easy and convenient to get to and from the party


All New Bicycle Preservation Society

What: Bicycle Preservation Society (BBP’s BPS), a program that continues the story and journey of historic and interesting bicycles.

Why: Each bicycle has its own history. There are a stories baked into its faded paint, memories polished into it’s aluminum brake levers, and experiences worn into every cog. If you dived deep enough you might discover where a bicycle has gone, how far it traveled to get there, what obstacles it overcame, and who it came in contact with along the way. BBP’s had frames donated that were ridden in the Tour De France, ridden around the world, and ridden around Boise everyday for 50+ years. Each bicycle has a story to tell and hopefully continue.

Most steel framed bicycles that come into BBP have plenty of life to live. In fact, these frames will outlive all of us (hopefully not in a landfill). Unfortunately BBP does not always have time to repair each one, and many are taken apart never to ride again. And that’s where you come in.

How: The Bicycle Preservation Society is a program that attempts to bring new life to special bicycles through story telling and match making. Each week BBP will feature a new Preservation Bicycle, with details about its history, recommendations for its revival, and tips for the perfect match/rider (size of rider and type of riding).

Interested adopters will fill out a short adoption application, pledging to do their darnedest to bring it back to riding condition and committing add some more miles to its journey.  We will prioritize riding over collecting and parting out.

How much: Each bike will come with a recommended adoption fee, usually around $40, but we will make our best effort to be flexible if the perfect match is lacking funds. Our goal is to find someone who will love and ride each Preservation Bicycle. Adoption fee also covers membership to the Bicycle Preservation Society, which will someday get you a sticker and not much else.

When: Now, check out our first preservation project below.

Preservation Bicycle Number #1


Make: Nishiki

Model: Competition

Year/Age: 1974 / 45 years old

Size: 58cm for someone 5’9 -6’0

Adoption Fee: $40

Recommended Repairs:

With a new/used 700c wheel set, 38mm tires and tubes, and perhaps some updated long reach caliper brakes, this could be a smooth riding daily commuter or light touring bike. Probably $150 in parts needed. a little less if you can find the right used stuff at BBP. All of this work could easily be done at BBP, but we’d also recommend some tooth brush and cleaning time at home while watching a movie.

Bicycle History:

Well, we know that registration for this bicycle renewed on April 30th 1989 in Missoula Montana, aka the bicycle town (see registration sticker below), and we know that it was donated to BBP in 2019. Based on the beautiful wear and tear on the paint, the existing front handlebar bag, and markings than indicate a rear rack was once attached, we can assume this bicycle has covered great distance with gear. It’s not rusty, so in hasn’t spent much time on the coast or in the rain, so we’re guessing those miles took place on the open roads of Big Sky country.

What other stories can we discover from these pictures?

Who adopt this Preservation Bicycle and become the first member of BBP Bicycle Preservation Society?

Another year, another great Idaho Gives!


Thank you to everyone who donated last Thursday during Idaho Gives. You not only helped us raise $12,525 through individual donations, but also an extra $1,250 because we won 2nd place for unique donations in our organization level. That’s right: you are officially a “BBP Unique Donor”!

It’s worth knowing the impact of your dollar, and here at BBP you impact a lifetime. With your donation, our 2019 goals of 1000 bicycles donated to kids, 40 Mobile Fix-It’s a month, and so many other small, big and ultimately empowering experiences and opportunities for kids to come. You have helped us continue to provide programs, resources, parts and best of all, a community to come to!

This is your impact, and for that we are endlessly thankful to you.

On Idaho Gives, we had quite the Pedal-Powered day. In case you missed it, check out some highlights below!

I met up with Jeremy Maxand of Idaho Access Project in Barber Valley to discuss the importance of accessibility of neighborhood amenities for the disabled community, and how bicycle advocates can work to improve infrastructure amenities for our fellow community members.


In the afternoon, Jimmy visited Christa and the Mobile Fix-It crew and got to know some of the kids coming for bike repairs!

Many of their bikes came from BBP, and Faiza was excited to de-winter her bike and get ready for sunny adventures! The Mobile Bike Repair is a great example of the BBP Experience that continues for many of the kids we give bicycles away to. We look forward to keeping kids like Faiza and her friends from the Civic Plaza rollin’ through the future!


What we are most thankful for at BBP and something that stuns me daily, is your commitment to helping us provide access and education to bicycles for all. Whether you donate, volunteer or support our efforts through our membership program, you create the BBP Experience.

Thank you for riding,