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Old 01-21-11, 08:27 AM   #1
KonAaron Snake 
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Karma, Lasting Influence and the Miracles of Modern Communication

I hope that some of the people in this forum will appreciate this story...and I have this childish sense of excitement tingling in my pores!

25 years ago my father and I trash picked a Schwinn Triplet. It needed a lot of parts, love and work...but this was before the internet era, and there really wasn't a vintage cycling hobby...at least that we knew about. We visited and called every shop we could think of trying to hunt down parts for this bike...my father put me to work cleaning the bars and rims with navel jelly. We even ended up talking to Frank Schwinn, who lived in NJ at the time. Finally we went to Via Bicycles in Philadelphia...which I've of course become intimately familiar with as an adult living in Philly. Curtis hooked us up with a mystery guy who had purchased a triplet from him and who had modernized it with Dura Ace drive train, phil hubs...etc.

That man had a profound effect on me, remember...I was an impressionable 12. He was smart...funny...cool, very generous...and he LOVED bikes. He imparted a lot of my love for bikes and for racing. Even at 12...I knew I wanted to be like him. I remember advice he gave me on sizing, training, cadence...he told my dad, when asked about why bikes today don't have kick stands, "that's what trees are for". He gave us his old parts for free...so that we could restore our triplet.

Fast forward twenty five years...

I'm probably around the age he was when I met him...maybe a little older. I recognize that bike, and that gentleman, to have been the defining moment in my love for bicycles. I'm talking about my triplet on the CR list...and I get an email back from a gentleman telling me about his old triplet...which he got from Via and which he'd modernized. It's very obvious it's him...I remember the Schwinnn decal and the extra welded on top tube. He has no memory of me, or of giving us these parts...but I remember him! Reflective kindness on his part had a profound effect on me and all of these years later I get to tell him that.
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Old 01-21-11, 08:33 AM   #2
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Karma? Pfftt! You're just getting what you deserve.

Great story, I love when things like that happen.

I have memory about people I've met in the far past, and intricate detail of events. I will run into guys who don't know who I am, and tell them about an event that happened 30-40 years ago. I love the look as they recall.
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Old 01-21-11, 08:36 AM   #3
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well said, KAS. nice story, well written.
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Old 01-21-11, 09:00 AM   #4
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That's a great story Aaron!

That reminds me of when I was looking for info on my Colombia tandem many years ago on my dial-up internet connection. It wasn't long before I found Sheldon Brown's website and I was overwhelmed by his enthusiasm for cycling.

People who share their knowledge with such passion never fail to leave a mark on us.
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Old 01-21-11, 09:10 AM   #5
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fabulous story!! I would love to meet up with some of the people who influenced me when I was younger.

poor Mr Meckley tried as hard as he could one night to teach me about "spining" I never really got it.
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Old 01-21-11, 09:23 AM   #6
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...teach me about "spining" I never really got it.
That's a new one to me.

I'd love to be able to tell my uncle about the influence he had on me.
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Old 01-21-11, 09:38 AM   #7
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Very nice.
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Old 01-21-11, 10:18 AM   #8
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Via and Curtis were around 25 years ago? Wow.
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Old 01-21-11, 10:24 AM   #9
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Via and Curtis have been around a LOT longer than that...I think dating back to the late 60s...at least early 70s.
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Old 01-21-11, 10:49 AM   #10
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Dude! Thanks for posting the story, it was great! I just wish the guy had remembered you and your dad. =0( and your right about Via, been there ever since I can remember and I'm 45.
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Old 01-21-11, 11:47 AM   #11
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and Curt always ran it? I assumed he was in his 40's or early 50's at the latest..

My first Via experience was probably about 1999 or so, so not that long ago.
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Old 01-21-11, 11:52 AM   #12
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Their website says 1982...but I thought longer somehow.
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Old 01-21-11, 12:09 PM   #13
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Great story and one that adds that little extra to life. Though not on a personal level, well, sort of, I can offer a similar experience...

As a Bicycles for Humanity volunteer, I collect donated bicycles from people who have no way of delivering them to our organization. One day, my close friend(pictured) joined me for a day of collecting bikes. Close to the end of the morning, we picked up a old, but in very good condition, Leader mountain bike.

My buddy looked odd, for a moment, and then exclaimed - "that's my old bike!" Apparently, he had given it to a needy friend nearly twenty years earlier, only to have the bike come, full circle, back into his hands. And, once again, he would be the vehicle that helped get it into another set of needy hands.

I felt the moment to be kinda cool and decided to preserve it. That's my friend, who happens to be vacationing in Mexico right now. The full circle bike, he is holding, arrived in Sierra Leonne about two weeks ago.


And I am, still here in Thunder Bay, freezing my - well, you know...
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Old 01-21-11, 02:34 PM   #14
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Great stories, Aaron and Randy!
I was having one of those bummy/heavy mornings, and these stories put a smile on my face. Made me recall my bike defining moments as a kid.
Priceless feeling.
'think I'm gonna go for a ride.
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Old 01-21-11, 02:43 PM   #15
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Thanks WNG...I'm glad it made someone else feel good. It made me feel GREAT last night!
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Old 01-21-11, 02:50 PM   #16
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That's very cool. Small World indeed.
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Old 01-21-11, 07:30 PM   #17
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If some kid knocks on my door 20 years from now holding a bike I built, I'm running out the back.

Great stories, guys.
Cycling grabs people like you, and those you describe,
because you "get it," and let it.

I think in the backs of your minds, perhaps even farther forward,
you can't stand someone not being able to ride if you can do something about it.
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Old 01-22-11, 02:42 AM   #18
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Love all the stories. I was brought into cycling by my contemporaries, so meeting them later would be just as neat, though in a different way.

So....
here's to hoping we'll grow old together, gradually riding more upright bars,
matching our tire width to our age, shrinking our gear ratios a little more each year,
and grouching about how much better things were 20 years ago...

...just like we're doing now .
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Old 01-24-11, 08:05 AM   #19
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Great story Aaron, thanks for sharing!

Quote:
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matching our tire width to our age,
I have never heard this, and find this hilarious and wonderful. Thinking back to the last 8 years or so, this is spot-on, though I may have reached my limit for a while at 35.
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