08-22-08, 10:37 AM
Hi everyone. Believe it or not, this is the first forum I've ever joined so if i'm messing something up, please tell me. I have lived in the Chicago area for the past 30 years but grew up in a small town in Ohio. My father was a cyclist when it wasn't very popular in the U.S. He rode to work almost all year long (1950's), 5 days a week, co-founded a club in the early 60's and rode well into his 70's. Until 1960 his main bike was a big, black Schwinn that he modified by mounting a derailieur over a 3 speed hub. He taught myself and my 3 brothers a lot about the bicycles of the time. In 1960, we all went to Detroit to pick up a new bike for Dad. He had ordered a new red Rochet touring bike for a shop there. The guy that owed the shop was named Gene Portuese (not too sure about the spelling but my dad pronounced it "Port-too-wee-see). Very colorful guy. My father ordered this Rochet with a 15 speed (which no one had at the time) and being the machinist he was, specified how many teeth each cog should have so that none of the ratios were duplicated. We waited there all day until they got those gears right. He almost never rode this bike to work, but he put lots of miles on it on the weekends. He passed away in 2001 and I inherited his beloved Rochet. It's still beautiful.