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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

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Old 06-28-08, 07:51 PM   #1
Bud Bent
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Any 50+'ers make a trip like this one?

Early tomorrow morning, four of us in north Texas are leaving early and making the nine hour drive to Hays, Kansas to visit the RANS bicycle and aircraft factory Monday morning. My friend will be bringing back a prototype bike to try in some brevets; the rest of us will just be test riding some bikes and getting a tour of the factory from the owner. We'll all be headed home by Monday afternoon.

This seems like a very different trip than any I've ever made. The four of us never even make any kind of guy trips (we're the same four who raced as a team in The Texas Time Trials last fall, but our wives came along then). Any 50+'ers ever do anything like this?
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Old 06-29-08, 03:14 PM   #2
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I HAVENT EVER ,I wouldnt like the drive but what a trip [keep us posted /Ken
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Old 06-29-08, 03:30 PM   #3
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In a previous life-or so it seems- I used to race karts in endurance races. 6-12 and 24 hour races. My trade was as a 2stroke mechanic- and I had a lot off success racing Internationally. Then at one meeting-I got a command (That was what it was like) to attend a meeting at the Italian Factory that made the Engines I raced. And take my race engine from today untouched and my other engines aswell. Arranged the trip about 3 days later and 1,000 mile drive and I turned up at the factory. My engines were stripped- measured-rebuilt and Dyno tested and I was asked to strip and rebuild an Engine. 3 hours later and I was given factory support for my racing. No more engines to buy- no more parts to buy for them and on top of that-I had to race incognito. So no big sponsors logo's over everything. No Money involved- but 3 engines a year- and All the spares I could break was well worth it.

Ridiculous thing was- There I was at the Biggest manufacturer in the world of Kart Engines and all I saw was one small workroom and about 3 mechanics.
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Old 06-29-08, 03:34 PM   #4
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We used to leave all the wives behind and disappear to the Western Pacific, and Indian Ocean for 6 or so months.

Will he be trying out an X-Stream?
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Old 06-29-08, 03:37 PM   #5
Tom Bombadil
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We used to leave all the wives behind and disappear to the Western Pacific, and Indian Ocean for 6 or so months.
Did the wives ever complain?
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Old 06-29-08, 03:38 PM   #6
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A few people here have posted reports of their trips to Trek and Rivendell.
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Old 06-29-08, 05:39 PM   #7
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Nope. But that don't mean that I wouldn't like to.
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Old 06-29-08, 09:39 PM   #8
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As Tom mentioned earlier, last year hubby and I went to the Rivendell mothership and even met the man himself! Test rode a couple bikes and got sized. Next fieldtrip will be to see Bruce Gordon's shop in Petaluma.

Sounds like fun! We expect a report. With pictures.
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Old 06-29-08, 09:47 PM   #9
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As Tom mentioned earlier, last year hubby and I went to the Rivendell mothership and even met the man himself! Test rode a couple bikes and got sized. Next fieldtrip will be to see Bruce Gordon's shop in Petaluma.

Sounds like fun! We expect a report. With pictures.
Can I go? I have spoken to Bruce a couple of times and he is a very interesting guy with a tremendous talent.
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Old 06-29-08, 09:58 PM   #10
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Have visisted with many framebuilders/manufacturers, inluding Rans.
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Old 06-29-08, 10:09 PM   #11
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I once flew to Missouri to test fly a Citabria. Does that count?
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Old 06-29-08, 10:42 PM   #12
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We used to leave all the wives behind and disappear to the Western Pacific, and Indian Ocean for 6 or so months.
I have done the same, but I do not think these work related trips count.

For me, the guys took a trip to a skydiving competition.

Another guy trip was up to Canada for snow skiing.
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Old 06-29-08, 11:35 PM   #13
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Early tomorrow morning, four of us in north Texas are leaving early and making the nine hour drive to Hays, Kansas to visit the RANS bicycle and aircraft factory Monday morning.

I've been to the Calfee factory and the Tallerico factory and the Co-Motion factory. Almost went to the DeSalvo factory but found out it was also his home, so I passed. I think it adds just a touch of something to the buying experience. Calfee and Tallerico were in my backyard, Co-Motion I hit on a biz trip.
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Old 07-01-08, 07:58 PM   #14
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What a fun trip! We had dinner with the owner, Randy Schlitter and his wife Kim Sunday evening, rode bicycles into Hays with them for lunch Monday, and rode all kinds of bicycles after we toured the plant.


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Old 07-01-08, 08:08 PM   #15
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Well, I went to the Gitane factory in the mid '70s, applied for a job and got it. But I had to turn it down because the pay was no better than slinging pizzas like I was doing, and the commute took an hour instead of 10 minutes.

Does that count?
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Old 07-02-08, 09:56 AM   #16
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If anyone would like to see all the photos from this trip, the photo album link is here. Click the next photo, rather than the slide show, to get all the captions.
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