Long time lurker here . . . coming up on my 50th birthday (Jan 1st), so I wanted to register and become an official member. I thought I'd post early, and take a few moments to say hello and introduce myself to the group. From lurking, I feel as if I know many of you already.
I've been a lifelong cyclist, going back to my coaster-brake Schwinn in childhood. The feeling of freedom and the exhilaration of forward motion has not diminished for me -- although lung capacity certainly has!
Growing up in Philadelphia, I loved the LBS . . . the old wooden floors and smell of new tires. My rides took me far out of my permitted riding area, which worked out fine until I got a flat long from home, and had to be picked up and driven back. It was my first lesson on on-road preparedness (once I was allowed out of the house again).
Jumping ahead to my young adulthood, I moved to the Lehigh Valley of PA to begin working at Rodale Press, after they purchased Bicycling magazine. I used to read the old Bicycling magazines in bed at night as a kid, so it was like a dream come true employment wise. I worked in the marketing art department, so if you ever received a "send no money now" subscription offer package from Rodale and/or Bicycling magazine, I was part of getting it together.
The Bicycling magazine editorial offices were located in a small house that Rodale purchased, just behind the main building at 33 E. Minor St. in Emmaus. It was a magical time, indeed.
If any of you visited Rodale or Bicycling mag back then, and saw a 1974 Raleigh Professional in the bike rack outside the main doors, that was mine -- which was no big deal at the time actually (especially considering the latest and greatest that would be seen around the offices). But I loved my Raleigh Pro . . . make no mistake about it!
Later on, as we moved into desktop prepress operations, the legendary framebuilding icon Jim Redcay (mentor to Tom Kellog) became my supervisor. I'm sure that many of you are aware that Jim left the framebuilding field, but may not have known exactly what field he moved in to (his first move was to Ross Bicycles, taking over the Signature series after Tom Kellog left. After Ross folded, Jim came to Rodale).
In our new capacities, Jim and I took care of the drum scanning, color editing and separating for press, of photos used by Rodale in their publications -- with Jim being the technical wizard behind putting all of it together -- more of a systems administrator. The department grew several-fold under Jim's management (he had several typesetters and page-layout employees under his supervision as well).
I left Rodale on my 15th anniversary day with the company to begin my own work and open my own laser and holography studio full-time -- a long time passion -- which I still have to this day. At first, it was difficult (as many start ups are), and at one point (10 years ago) after so many years of a steady paycheck at Rodale, I had to sell my Raleigh Professional to put food on the table for a family of five. Words cannot express how much I still miss that ride to this day. It was a true companion.
Along the way, I managed to purchased an older bike that was in like-new condition in a local shop -- a rare bird indeed . . . a Cignal Road Series (steel) with Shimano 600 throughout. Because I had limited funds back then, I've grown very fond of the frame -- so I am keeping it and currently rebuilding it with full Campy throughout. Cignal were known for lower end bikes, but the road series was a very nice frameset. I'll include a picture below.
I look forward to becoming a part of the forum, and perhaps get to meet a few of you somewhere on a ride out there . . . .