George and Jeanne Omelenchuk circa 1964.
(The bike that Jeanne is on is
the very same bike that now belongs to Ken Denny.)
I received these photos and the message below from Ken Denny:
Thought you'd like to see some pix of my 1960 Omelenchuk that I spent the winter overhauling.
The bike was built by Michigan builder George Omelenchuk (more on him later) for his wife Jeanne, who won four National championships on this steed. The bike is completely original. I spent the winter fabricating a new rear axle, case hardening it and fabricating/hardening and blackening (parkerizing) the complete bolt kit to G.O. specs.
George was a true Renaissance man. He was a machinist/tool and die maker, watch/clock maker, gunsmith, photographer, and who knows what else. He fabricated his own components for the 30 or so bikes he built in his lifetime, including hubs, bars/stems, rims (check out the radical drilling!), tubing, fork crowns, dropouts, pedals, bearing races/journals, and even extruded his own spokes! Herse couldn't hold a candle to the comprehensiveness of Georges work, IMO. He even did his own plating and anodizing.
This bike is complete with G.O. hubs, tubesets, fork crown, rims, spokes (triple tied and soldered), bar/stem (modeled, it seems after GB Mercking limp-dick stem and strada bars), early Campy seatpost with Brooks/Campagnolo saddle, original Clement Tipo 3 tubulars. Both front and rear axles are 130mm. The wheels are original from 1960 and have never been re-trued. They are as true and round as day one. Original chrome is perfect, as are all the decals.
I have forged quite a good friendship with Jeanne after acquiring this bike from my friend last year. She is tickled pink that guys like us take an interest in vintage cycles She gave me George's photo archives as well as her national championship trophies and jerseys. I'll have a special display of Jeanne/George at Lars this year, and she has expressed an interest in attending, but it is a long drive for her in her 1966 Corvette, but you never know.
I hope you enjoy the pix and discover that there were some truly great builders right here in the USA.
April 17, 2006