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Old 02-25-07, 03:30 PM   #1
iab
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Vintage Ride Distances

I was thinking about organizing a vintage ride this spring (unsupported, I have no resources). My first instinct was to make it a metric because I don't concider those too difficult. It has dawned on me that a metric isn't too difficult on a modern bike and I am new to vintage and have no experience riding a vintage bike for any distance.

Would a metric be too long or just about right? If it is too long, how far would you recommend? The route would be pretty flat, I do live in Illinois. I can throw in a couple of short (about a half mile) but steep hills, but I can make those an optional route. I would also like the ride open to all bikes, vintage and modern.

Your thoughts and experience will be appreciated.
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Old 02-25-07, 03:51 PM   #2
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I took my '78 Kvale on a metric century last fall. The limitation was me, not the bike, but I had no trouble keeping up with/leading my buddy on a Trek 1500. This year, my 50th on earth, the bike and I are going all the way!
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Old 02-25-07, 03:59 PM   #3
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Well I used to ride full centuries back when most of the vintage bikes were new ...'course I wasn't vintage then and could handle it I have ridden a 1970's Raleigh 3 speed over 42 miles in one day with minimal issues. Due to the fact it was not my bike and the gearing was a bit high I did end up walking up a couple of hills, but completed the ride. My personal bike is better geared to suit me and I have ridden metrics on it several times. I think the limiting factor in most cases is the engine not the machine itself.

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Old 02-25-07, 04:01 PM   #4
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Metric is probably just about right for an unsupported ride regardless of what bike I'm riding. I can do 35-40 solo on my vintages with just a couple of bottles and some gels/bars. So a Metric for me would take a bit more planning somewhere to refill bottles and such.
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Old 02-25-07, 04:06 PM   #5
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Yeah, metric.
Imperial is a good distance, but a lot of guys will convince themselves that they can't do it.
Supposing you did this in a sort of 3 leafed clover pattern, where each leaf is around 20 miles, you could add a 4th, somewhat longer leaf for the full on 100. Also, you'd only need to staff one sag, and could advertise it as a 21/42/63/100 mile ride. The Hope Ride (in southcentral Indiana) is run that way, although they have food stops on each clover leaf and their loops are more like 12/25/62/100.
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Old 02-25-07, 04:25 PM   #6
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Mooo,
Good point on the cloverleaf type ride...we used to call those "around the block rides"...mighty big blocks...

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Old 02-25-07, 07:56 PM   #7
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Good points so far. Depending on what people ride as their "vintage" bikes, 100k might be a bit long (think Murray 3-speed). I like the clover leaf idea - but even a three leaf clover would work too (33.4/66.8/100.2). If I didn't live 800+ miles away, I would have considered attending.

Good luck with pulling this off.
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Old 02-26-07, 10:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iab
I was thinking about organizing a vintage ride this spring (unsupported, I have no resources).
I have participated in one marathon-length vintage ride -- great fun!

Quote:
Originally Posted by iab
My first instinct was to make it a metric because I don't concider those too difficult. It has dawned on me that a metric isn't too difficult on a modern bike and I am new to vintage and have no experience riding a vintage bike for any distance.
A given rider can probably cover about the same distance on a well-maintained or well-restored 1960s road bike as on a newer machine, although agruably a bit faster on the latter. The odds of component failure do admittedly increase gradually with age and cumulative use, but I have almost always been able to limp home after breaking a frame (3), a rear axle (2), a crank (2), a spoke (several), a pedal, or a hub flange (been there ... done that). The key with any unsupported ride is to make sure the riders fully realize that it's "every man for himself" and that each individual is responsible for getting himself home and for taking reasonable precautions against a breakdown. I would not hesitate to take any of my road bikes, the newest of which is 26 years old, on a fairly long ride.

I really like the multiloop concept. From where I live, folks can go north on Coast Highway 101, south on the same route, or east through Olivenhain, Rancho Santa Fe, etc., although they would get wet if they tried to west.
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Old 02-26-07, 03:49 PM   #9
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I see no need for different ride plans between new roadbikes and vintage roadbikes with ten gears or more. The lighter weight on a new bike is nice but the heavier weight of a vintage bike does very little to reduce its effectiveness over similar courses. All bets are off when racing but you are talking about a casual ride right?
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Old 02-26-07, 04:10 PM   #10
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Back in the good old days when my 79 schwinn was new we did a couple philadelphia to atlantic city rides. No stress about break downs with a continental, thay just dont break. crossing new jersey is a very flat ride. The bike can still do it but I dont think I can
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Old 02-26-07, 05:30 PM   #11
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I used a '72 Bottechia for several training rides two summers ago when the Felt I was riding was in for repairs
Slow off the blocks, but once up to speed, it was a cruiser
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Old 02-26-07, 07:28 PM   #12
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I think I could do either on a vintage bike but an imperial might be a tad long with no support.

Pick the weekend. I'm only 6 hours from you. If I'm free on the date, I'll do the ride.
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Old 02-26-07, 07:45 PM   #13
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i figure you'd find your older bikes to be more comfortable than their modern equivalents
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Old 02-26-07, 08:17 PM   #14
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i figure you'd find your older bikes to be more comfortable than their modern equivalents
One would definitely want a forgiving and stable frame for a long ride. My Capo would be a great choice.
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Old 02-26-07, 08:28 PM   #15
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(To beat the point into the ground), the limitation isn't the bikes but the riders.
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Old 03-03-07, 08:22 AM   #16
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Sorry to bring this back. What about hills? I have a couple of hills that with a 39/25 make your ears bleed (I know, hard to believe for Illinois, but it's true). The hills are a great part of the routes I ride, should I avoid these for a vintage ride? The granny gear on my vintage bike is 47/22 and those hills will make me cry.
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Old 03-03-07, 08:40 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iab
Sorry to bring this back. What about hills? I have a couple of hills that with a 39/25 make your ears bleed (I know, hard to believe for Illinois, but it's true). The hills are a great part of the routes I ride, should I avoid these for a vintage ride? The granny gear on my vintage bike is 47/22 and those hills will make me cry.
Get off and walk? I do if my gearing isn't suitable. One of my vintage bikes that had half step gearing had a bail out gear of under 20" that bike was built in 1974.

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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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Old 03-03-07, 10:41 AM   #18
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I've ridden over 50 miles on my old 3-speed a couple times. No real issues until I hit two hills that I just couldn't quite pull. Just get off and walk. Tomorrow I'm taking it out for a relatively flat 34 miles. If I lived neaby, I'd definitely show up for the ride. Out here on the Left Coast, it's hard to find people who really enjoy riding the old boat anchors. That's because there's so much money around here, the boats already come with those attached.
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Old 03-03-07, 11:15 AM   #19
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If you make the hills part of the route, no problem. Just be sure to let everyone know that the route (or one of the routes) has a very steep hill. Might be a good idea to have a bailout option for folks who don't think they're up to it, or who won't want to walk their bikes up the hills.
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Old 03-03-07, 11:33 AM   #20
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On our last (first) davis "club ride", which was short - only 30 miles, we had several vintage rides, luged steel dating from '67 up to '93. It wasn't designed as a fast ride, since I'm trying to get something NOT run by the local racing clubs, but everyone did fine. (My steel khs with me on it is actually on the fast end of the spectrum, too)
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Old 03-03-07, 12:16 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcm
I've ridden over 50 miles on my old 3-speed a couple times. No real issues until I hit two hills that I just couldn't quite pull. Just get off and walk. Tomorrow I'm taking it out for a relatively flat 34 miles. If I lived neaby, I'd definitely show up for the ride. Out here on the Left Coast, it's hard to find people who really enjoy riding the old boat anchors. That's because there's so much money around here, the boats already come with those attached.
Vintage Steel is the ONLY way to go IMHO and with a 3 speed you will walk occasionally, but I look on it as a chance to stretch some stiff muscles

Aaron
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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

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RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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