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  1. #1
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    Introduce Myself to the 50+ Group

    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 . . . .
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Berry Pie..the Holy Grail GrannyGear's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=oldcrank] I loved the LBS . . . the old wooden floors and smell of new tires. QUOTE]

    There's an archetypal image in all our heads of the classic LBS...cluttered, a bit shadowy, that fresh rubber smell, frames hanging from the ceiling, Benotto tape in fish bowl, etc. A far cry from the open, airy, yet somehow empty local Performance outlet.

    Welcome OldCrank....I enjoyed your post and hearing names some of which I recall and some which preceded me. I think you're going to add a lot to the forum-- its a nice mixture of newbies and oldcranks.
    ..... "I renewed my youth, to outward appearance, by mounting a bicycle for the first time." Mark Twain, Speeches
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  3. #3
    sdr
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    Misanthropic Miscreant sdr's Avatar
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    oc

    welcome to the geriatrics ward of BF.

    we usually take turns pushing each other's wheelchairs up n' down the halls. since you're the new guy, and a lot younger than most, we'll expect some great pushing power from ya - we like to go reaaaal fast!

    thanks for your post! it harkened memories of my '69 raleigh super course - coffee brown in color on reynolds 531 alu. i upgraded it to full campy and rode it around the hawaiian islands - oahu, maui, kauai and the beeg island in '71. i can almost smell the plumaria wafting through my nostrils as i'm typing this lil' note.

    i had a hammock that rolled-up to the size of a baseball and would rig a pulley system to hoist my bike up into a monkey pod tree, where i would spend the night...after applying a couple of gallons of mosquito repellant!

    ahh...to be young again!

    welcome to the pasture.

    *sdr*
    “You must be the change that you wish to see in the world” Gandhi

  4. #4
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    welcome
    the lbs was a great place for socializing, meeting fellow riders, talking with the owner and mechanics who were also avid cyclists. time seemed to have a different dimension in those days.

  5. #5
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    Welcome. From your post, I am sure you will be a valuable soure of info. Bob

  6. #6
    Senior Member DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldcrank

    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.
    Hi and you are very welcome!

    The LBS where I bought my bike in 1998 was the exact one you described. The one I frequent today (I moved a few miles) is just a bit less "open" but still friendly, and I know I can spend a few minutes there when I desire, and I know the names of the mechanic and the fitter and the owner, and they all know me, which is a nice circumstance, and we can mutualy discuss local rides and trails.

    I am interested in your opinion regarding another matter.

    In August, 2004, I started a thread in the hope that some of the 50+ riders on the forum might respond to 7 questions I posed.

    Much to my amazement, there have been 100's of responses, and the thread is now a veritable database of information about 50+ riders. Riding history, types of bikes and bicycling, ages, etc.

    Moch of what i see in Bicycling is aimed at the much younger rider, though not all. They did a nice article on a 80+ yo rider last year.

    Would the information, and some of the stories from our current group of 50+ riders be something of interest to Rodale?

    We have some really great sidebars - folks who entered bicycling as a neophyte in their 50's and became excited and accomplished some interesting and amazing goals.

    Any thoughts?

  7. #7
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    Always the young punk in the crowd whose going to drop the old farts......

    What size bike do you ride?

  8. #8
    Senior Member RockyMtnMerlin's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard!

  9. #9
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    Thank you all for the warm welcome. I've enjoyed my lurking days . . . it's hard to find like-minded folks, day-to-day, with cycling (in general). It's all too often viewed as "toy" like (for lack of a better description at the moment).

    DnvrFox, to answer your inquiry . . . to be honest, I haven't read a Bicycling magazine in many a year, believe it or not. I've thumbed through a few at the supermarket, but today's cycling is pretty alien to me. I guess I'm stuck in a time-warp of some sort, i.e., I've had lunch with many greats such as Eddy Merckx (who pulled out a pack of Gitane's and lit up -- you could hear the jaws hit the table); sat at an outdoor cafe and watched a young-and-upcoming kid named Greg Lemond lap the pack (for the 3rd time, no less) et. al., -- but I know very little, if anything, about Lance Armstrong among others, threadless headsets, 10-cog freewheels with triple-chainrings (30 speeds for what?!), etc.

    I've have been on your survey thread and following it (and will be adding to it myself soon), and I would think that the information that it contains would be of interest to the magazine. However, I wouldn't know anyone from the magazine today if I fell over them (many of the "originals" throughout the entire company are now gone). I assume that anyone there now would have been in diapers when I was there.

    I'd suggest that you visit the web site and send them an Email -- with perhaps a link to the thread. Or if you've compiled the information into a spreadsheet or database, send it along as an attachment. They were always open to submissions, and many of the writers at the time were freelance (such as Sheldon Brown). I'm not sure, but it could be the same way today.

    I've been more of a solitary rider throughout my life. Most of the rides that I would do at Rodale would be with a few employees and the late Bob Rodale. I considered Bob a friend and created a few laser holograms for him when I was just starting out. I was also friends with the family -- Ardath, Heidi, Heather, Maria, David (passed away) and Anthony. They are great folks. Just saw Maria at the supermarket a few weeks ago, and I've had Heathers children in my holography workshops.

    Here's an interesting tidbit (maybe, maybe not) for folks familiar with Rodale and their publications (Prevention, Mens Health, Organic Gardening, Bicycling, etc.) -- Bob Rodale ate at McDonalds. I met him for breakfast a few times in Trexlertown, over by the Velodrome. He would order hotcakes.

    On a final note: I discovered late last night that there is a previous Old Crank registered here before me. They have a space between the words, and when I registered I did not -- so it took the registration. They have 4 posts and haven't been active since June. If needed (and you're reading this), I'm certainly willing to change my username to avoid any confusion if you so desire. Just let me know.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclintom
    Always the young punk in the crowd whose going to drop the old farts......

    What size bike do you ride?

    Ha! The only thing that's been dropping lately is my belly!

    As for frame-size, the road bike (above) is 54cm . . . which is a tad below what I would recommend to someone else -- but works fine. I also have a 56cm Peugeot (PGN10 -- Reynolds 501, Huret), which is a little better fit frame-wise.

  11. #11
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Welcome and really nice ride you have there!

    Enjoyed the insights in your note. I agree with others that you should be a very welcome addition to the party.

    By now I'm sure you know all about the Birthday ride!

  12. #12
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe
    Welcome and really nice ride you have there!

    Enjoyed the insights in your note. I agree with others that you should be a very welcome addition to the party.

    By now I'm sure you know all about the Birthday ride!
    Yeah...the birthday ride! You gotta ride 50 miles on January 1st, since that's your birthday, if I remember the original post.

    Welcome to the group, sounds like you'll have a ton of great stories which we'll enjoy reading.
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    Proud member of the original Club Tombay

  13. #13
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    Thanks once again. You do have a way of making one feel welcome. It's a great section of the overall forum.

    Yes, the famous birthday ride. Being able to say you cycled your years in miles is terrific. There's some big secret plan going on between my wife and daughters (grown now) for my 50th, so I'll have to play it by ear.

    Believe me, like many of you I'm sure, I've had my days of where riding would come first. I'm not so unflexable any more. Back in the early 80's, we had two infants at the time and my wife stayed in a tent while I cycled the Central Park 24-hour challenge. God bless her for some of the things she so unselfishly tolerated (we're together 30 years this year).

    So, yes, I'm very excited for the birthday ride -- ASAP -- and many more milestones throughout this 50th year. The Mt. Washington hill climb is also in the back of my mind for this year -- but I may be biting off more than I can chew with that one. I hear it's brutal.

  14. #14
    Senior Member jazzy_cyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldcrank
    The Mt. Washington hill climb is also in the back of my mind for this year -- but I may be biting off more than I can chew with that one. I hear it's brutal.
    I spectated at Mt Washington this summer for the first time. We got there a little late to catch a van and so walked up the road to the half-way point. It was quite the experience to just watch it (including the three unicyclists!). It would indeed be a feat to cherish, although if you are serious, you'll have to sign up by February, including the entrance fee of several hundred dollars as I recall.

  15. #15
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    Indeed, Jazzy, indeed.

    The way I see it is that at this point, and age, is that I'd be foolish to concentrate on, or worry about time (albeit within the time limit, of course). Conditioning would certainly be paramount, along with the ability to suffer -- not just intermittently, but throughout (considering the % grades up the mountain). Focus and just let the seconds tick by. Going in knowing that you'll question your own sanity for doing so. Also knowing that your mind will defeat you before your legs will. It would definately be "Let's Make a Deal" time between mental and physical.

    But oh such a Grand achievement even for just trying.

    There's also a "non official" event hosted a month before I believe. No support or sag/medical, etc. I believe it's $25 and registration opens after the official event sells out. The official event, a month later, is $300 I believe.

    There are a few great web sites out there on it in addition to the web site of the actual event. One cyclist provides very detailed topographic maps.

    It might not be a bad idea to do what you did last year and go visit this year as a spectator. Are you going to enter this year? If so, what are your training and prep plans? Perhaps I'll see you there. We should post again before the event to arrange a handshake and hello.

  16. #16
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    Welcome oldcrank!
    Enjoyed your opening intro. The imagery of the bike shop really took me back. You hit it perfectly with rubber, wood, etc. Our Schwinn shop made keys and serviced Briggs & Stratton mowers. It was a long dark building with wood floors. They also had at least 30-40 new Schwinns of various types. I think the guys liked the bikes after working on mowers all the time. Truly a different era.
    Thanks for jogging my memory.

  17. #17
    Elite Fred mollusk's Avatar
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    Welcome to the group.

    I like the white bar tape on your ride - Very correct retro look.
    I'm the world's forgotten boy. The one who's searchin', searchin' to destroy.

  18. #18
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    Mine was a Schwinn shop too, p8rider. It was a small shop, located right in an inner-city neighborhood. You'd walk up the front steps as if you were going into a row house. Which, come to think of it, it might have been a converted row home that had walls between the rooms knocked out to make one space.

    A small brass bell was attached to the top of the door that would ring when the door was opened.

    That's when the aroma of the bike shop would hit you.

    The slat wooden floor would creak as you made your way in.

    Someone always came from the back upon hearing the bell. Their footsteps creaking the floor, mixing with your own, as they came to greet you.

    The counter was to the left, kept bright by the large window facing the street. Tires were hung on the walls all the way up to the ceiling. "Schwinn Approved" accessories were on display within the case -- back then it was handlebar grips with streamers, a collection of handlebar bells, pedals, "click" type front wheel odometers (click, click, click -- high tech!), mirrors, and the like.

    All of the bikes were lined up against both left and right walls -- all placed resting on their kickstands -- with each front wheel turned slightly on an angle. To see one, they would be carefully pulled out into the narrow isle, and there was just enough space to walk around it.

    There were single-fixture flourescent lights to illuminate the front of the store, and single light bulbs that would be turned on by pulling a long chain towards the rear.

    The back, which would have been the kitchen area, was the shop. No one ever got to go back into the shop, due to the "no admittance" sign glued by the doorway leading into it. Hence, this area remained a very mysterious area to kids like me. What magic was performed back there? One could not help sneaking quick glances into it, hoping not to get caught looking.

    Items purchased were hand-written on a pad -- and the total amount was figured out by adding each item up by an actual human brain.

    Bike shop keeps the original, you get the carbon copy.

    The total was entered into a push-botton style cast iron cash register.

    Something extra was ALWAYS thrown into the bag for free -- even if it was just a patch kit.

    You'd reach for the door handle, pull it open, and the once-again sound of the bell upon closing would -- this time around -- send the bike shop owner back to that mysterious room.

    Maybe that's why we do most of our own repairs ourselves today. We now have one of those mysterious places all of our own -- where the magic takes place.
    Last edited by oldcrank; 12-07-05 at 12:47 PM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member KeithA's Avatar
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    Hey, Old Crank, welcome.

    Many here have a lifelong love of cycling. You certainly trump me in that regard, so I'm hoping to learn a lot from ya.

    From your avatar, you look like you could be Gary's (Digital Gee's) brother.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mollusk
    Welcome to the group.

    I like the white bar tape on your ride - Very correct retro look.
    Thanks mollusk . . . I just bought a NOS cinelli bar and cinelli black stem (along with NOS campy record carbon brake levers) to replace what's on the bike now. Have the bar and stem already, the levers should be arriving today or tomorrow). As for the white tape, I just ordered two rolls of some wild cinelli bar tape (blue with yellow). It may be a bit flamboyant for me, and like you mention, may not match the period of the bike . . . so they may (or may not) stay in the box. Flasy isn't a term that could be used to describe me at all. Thanks for the welcome.

  21. #21
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by KeithA
    Hey, Old Crank, welcome.

    Many here have a lifelong love of cycling. You certainly trump me in that regard, so I'm hoping to learn a lot from ya.

    From your avatar, you look like you could be Gary's (Digital Gee's) brother.

    Actually Keith . . . I'm Gary's first cousin!

    (just kidding DigitalGee!)

    Thanks for the welcome. It's nice to see so many members of the forum that have a long history of cycling going all the way back to childhood. Makes one wonder how many other parts of our lives we've brought along with us into these later years! Long live being a kid!

  22. #22
    Senior Member KeithA's Avatar
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    Actually, you're so right!!!

    It is like being a kid. Remember when we wanted that bike for Christmas? I still get excited by the same things. And, of course, there's that special feeling we get from great rides. Being out there rather than cooped up at home keeps us young. Well, at least, younger.

  23. #23
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Welcome to the geezer corner. Aerobic exercise is the closest thing we have to a fountain of youth.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
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  24. #24
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Welcome Aboard, oldcrank. As you can see, we're a totally serious bunch here.
    Silver Eagle Pilot

  25. #25
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    Thanks again.

    Not to take anything away from the other cycling forums out there, this is the one that I finally decided to join out of the bunch . . . particularly this 50+ section of it. It just seems more like a "neighborhood" feel, more personal.

    Being just a few weeks away from 50, I thought I'd register a little early -- especially before what I assume is a usual rush of new registrations right after the holiday bike-giving . . . or the New Year's resolution registrations.

    Just hours away from getting hammered with a snow storm here in Eastern PA. There won't be any road riding for a while, I assume. I just got a new set of rollers delivered on Monday, but they're still in the box. Haven't been on rollers in years . . . but I guess it's like anything else (shorter learning curve once you've already done it for years -- no matter how much time has passed). I was always one of the unusual ones that really loved roller riding back in the day.

    For years I've been using a stationary. For some reason, a trainer didn't interest me.

    Going to fix the roller area up proper . . . with a wooden platform around it (that the roller assembly will sit in) and galvanized steel rails on each side.

    Once I finish shoveling snow, that is.

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