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  1. #51
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
    I know this may sound like injecting politics into a bicycle discussion but it is actually an historical note. Scientists, or at least some scientists, have been predicting global warming due to CO2 generation for a long time. It just wasn't part of the public discussion. It wasn't controversial enough to be controversial. Nobody took it seriously until people started disagreeing!

    But you are right that public awareness of hydrocarbon consumption was a driving force for some of the bike boom, regardless of whether one's own budget could benefit or not and regardless of what caused that public awareness. Prior to that few people besides scientists and perhaps some policy makers ever questioned whether consuming more gasoline was a good idea. The convenience of personal transportation was just too good to pass up, and sometimes there weren't many alternatives.
    You might have a point about what the scientific community itself was thinkig but people didn't hear that. what they heard was what the print media said because people still read print back then. Newsweek printed this in 1975: http://denisdutton.com/cooling_world.htm

    But that isn't the issue today we don't tend to believe anything either the print media or Scientific community espouses because none of them can do anything without being political. Remember the Gas crisis of the 70s turned out to be bogas and we were supposed to be out of gas in 30 years. That would have been 2005.

    Still reading the list put out by the National Bicycle dealers Association we have yet to sell as many adult bikes in one year as we did in 1975. Close but not more and there were far fewer people in the US in 1975.

    But our memories aren't faulty only the information we got then and now seems to be. I remember when CARB passed a law that All automotive manufacturers would have a Zero Emmisions car in their fleet by the year 2000. All the big companies went to them and said they might be able to give them a hybrid but not a Zero Emmissions car. CARB stuck to their guns and prior to 2000 GM have the EV-1 and Ford had some small EV car. But in 1999 Toyota offered a Hybrid, even if they had a EV Rav-4 fleet in New York. CARB folded and GM removed the EV-1, Toyota discontinued the EV-Rav4 and we were back to were we were 30 earlier with Hybrids that got the same mileage as the real early Hondas and later the Metro.

    And some of us turned back to cycling, one big circle.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  2. #52
    Junior Member larrynyc1's Avatar
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    Cutters!
    It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.

    -- Ernest Hemingway

  3. #53
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    I started riding a bike in the 70s because I still didn't have a car. My parents were of the mind that none of their children would get a driver's license until they could pay for a full year's worth of auto insurance themselves. Even then, you weren't going to drive their car. If you wanted a car, you needed to save and buy one. So, while most 16 year olds were learning to drive, I was saving money. I found that when I had enough saved to pay for the insurance, there were other things I wanted more. Finally, just shy of my 19th birthday I took my driver's test and passed. This was in response to a direct request to do so in order to drive my grandmother grocery shopping once a week. While we were aware that cycling was growing in metropolitan areas, where I lived (central Pennsylvania) there was no real bike boom. There were, however, a handful of college students in town who rode for recreation and inexpensive transportation. I would often accompany them on the recreational rides. The first real adult bike I purchased with my own money was a new Raleigh 3 speed. It was “the bike” to have because it was the same model as most of the “hip” college professors were riding on campus. I was amazed at how often that bike served as an opening for the start of a relationship with some pretty young thing. To them it was “cool” to see a local guy being good to mother earth and not worrying about what other guys thought. The other thing I discovered is that while many of my friends were routinely being stopped by the police checking for alcohol, I could ride carrying almost anything with impunity
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
    Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831

  4. #54
    Senior Member trackhub's Avatar
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    Glad to know that so many still have their copies of Richard's Bicycle Book. I understand Ol' Richard Ballantine lives in England now. Can't help but wonder what he thinks of some things now, such as bike sharing systems, and the vast improvements in bike lighting technology.
    "The Universe never did make sense; I suspect it was built on a government contract." Robert A. Heinlein

  5. #55
    Senior Member Gravity Aided's Avatar
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    I'm sure the dog killing tactics on page 142 are a big hit with the Brits.

  6. #56
    USMC Veteran, 1975-1977 qcpmsame's Avatar
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    Just looked at Amazon.com and ordered a 1973 edition of Richard's Bicycle Book. Noticed he has a current book out, 21st Century Bicycle and they have, through their other sellers, several other editions and his other books, also. Glad y'all bought this book up. I remember reading this and Eugene Sloane's book over and over when I was in my teens and into my 20's. Thanks much.

    Anywho, in answer to the questionaire:
    What do you believe attracted people to bikes in the 1970s?
    A Fad for teenagers and adults and a growing awareness of ecological problems.

    Was cycling, in the 1970s, a individualistic type of sport? Or was it a sport that people built communities around?
    Individual by and large here, few bicycle clubs around and fewer racers for that aspect. No internet to facilitate the group awareness.

    Were the majority of cyclists in the 1970s riding to race? Or just for the enjoyment of getting out on a bike?
    Getting out for exercise for many but also to be seen on a bicycle.

    Do you think the introduction of the 10-speed derailer peaked people's interest in biking?
    Deraileurs ahd been around, mainly in Europe, here they were looked at in puzzlement by many. Something new and exotic as well as not what the Murray or Huffy had on it.

    Were people buying bikes in the 1970s buying bikes for the first time? Or were they upgrading to something better?
    Most seemed to be moving from a single speed, a stingray type for kids or a 26" coaster brake bicycle. 3-speed was exotic to most people.

    Was the bike boom just a fad?
    Yes

    Do you have any stories about your experiences racing in the 1970s?
    No, just enjoyed every minute of the racing and the people I ride with.

    Was cycling an "elitist" sport in the 70s?
    Maybe more something new and exotic or European.

    Do you think people were attracted to cycling in the 70s as a form of escapism from the pressures of society?
    Not really.

    What prompted your interest in bikes?
    I got in ahead of the boom after reading about 10-speed racing bicycles and how they worked in school.

    What prompted your interest in competitive cycling?
    The 2 LBS had top end Schwinns, Gitanes, Bottecchias and Raleighs in stock. I got Bottecchia in 1972 and a Raleigh International in 1979. The International, even though it is primarily a day tourer, was my introduction to top level equipment.

    Bill
    Last edited by qcpmsame; 05-24-12 at 08:07 PM.
    I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

  7. #57
    Member DW_Thomas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by a_morrow View Post
    Does anyone have any stories or memories from the 1970 bike boom? If you could answer any of these questions I'd love to hear your ideas.

    Whatever I experienced was in the farther out suburbs of Philadelphia in eastern Pa.

    What do you believe attracted people to bikes in the 1970s?
    As I remember it (subject to some doubts!) it was the appearance of relatively affordable higher technology (ten whole speeds!!!) and combined with high gas prices and lines to buy gas.

    Was cycling, in the 1970s, a individualistic type of sport? Or was it a sport that people built communities around?
    For me it was mostly individual, practical, riding to work, etc. But occasionally a few of us would get together and ride.

    Were the majority of cyclists in the 1970s riding to race? Or just for the enjoyment of getting out on a bike?

    Neither; more like practicality and transportation with perhaps some interest in improved fitness.

    Do you think the introduction of the 10-speed derailer peaked people's interest in biking?
    I think it helped -- Americans love gadgets whether they need them or not!

    Were people buying bikes in the 1970s buying bikes for the first time? Or were they upgrading to something better?
    I sold the three speed internal "English" bike I rode as a teenager after college, circa 1963. I then jumped into the craze in the early seventies. So it was a sort of return to the fold (and an upgrade).

    Was the bike boom just a fad?
    I think it faded some from its peak, but don't believe it totally went away.

    Do you have any stories about your experiences racing in the 1970s?
    No -- never raced.

    Was cycling an "elitist" sport in the 70s?
    I suppose there was some of that element (isn't there always) but I think participants were a pretty diverse group.

    Do you think people were attracted to cycling in the 70s as a form of escapism from the pressures of society?
    There was probably an element of that -- I'm having trouble correlating dates, but I'm thinking Mother Earth News and back to the land movements and lower impact lifestyles were gaining some attention during that period.

    What prompted your interest in bikes?
    Fitness, gadgetry, fresh air, a nice way to see the countryside ...

    What prompted your interest in competitive cycling?
    I had zero interest in participation; was never very athletic and always pretty risk averse. I did however have season tickets to the velodrome in Trexlertown, Pa for a while, a group of us used to go up and watch after work on Friday nights, as I recall. It was quite exciting to watch.
    Hope that helps.
    Last edited by DW_Thomas; 05-24-12 at 08:07 PM.

  8. #58
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Started riding/commuting seriously in 1957 on a Raleigh English Racer 3-speed.
    Part was economics; rather paid for a house than a car.
    Graduated to a Schwinn Continental (10 speed) in the 70s; then a Peugeot UO-8, followed by a PX-10, Fuji Finest, etc. The gasoline crisis in the 70s got more folks on bikes.
    Started riding tandem bikes with spouse in 1975.
    Enjoyed riding, kept me and family fit and had fun.
    Lots of club rides, touring, centuries, double centuries and some racing.
    So far pedaled over 300,000 miles.
    At age 80 still riding 100+ miles a week.
    Pedal on!
    Rudy/zonatandem

  9. #59
    Senior Member JTGraphics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtragitt View Post
    I have no clue about a bicycle boom in the 70's. I am definitely old enough to remember the 70's.

    I don't recall what I'd call a bicycle boom either but I did have a few bikes when I was younger, A 10 speed Nishiki, Schwinn stingray orange crate (wish I still had that one), a Schwinn stingray that I made into what I guess you'd call a BMX now LOL put a motorcycle motocross bar on it and made a bunch of dirt bike tracks and jumps in all the open fields around. And broke all kinds of spokes from those jumps.
    I actually do recall my first bike some little hard 2 wheeled bike even had a hub like a fixed gear hub I was riding at 2 1/2 years old no training wheels my parents say and I do recall riding it around LOL.
    Last edited by JTGraphics; 05-25-12 at 10:25 PM.
    It may not be fancy but it gets me were I need to go.
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  10. #60
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    My first truly memorable bike was an example of the first Fuji Finest in the early seventies..... first time I experienced a bike with "ultra finesse".....still remember how incredible it felt coming off of my heavier, clunkier Raleigh Gran Sport.
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  11. #61
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post

    I know this may sound like injecting politics into a bicycle discussion but it is actually an historical note. Scientists, or at least some scientists, have been predicting global warming due to CO2 generation for a long time. It just wasn't part of the public discussion. It wasn't controversial enough to be controversial. Nobody took it seriously until people started disagreeing!
    It was in the 70s that they picked up the first traces of GW, and thought that it might be caused by us.

    As to what the other guy said, the ice age idea was shot down immediately. The press liked it, so they made
    a big deal out of something the scientific community never supported.
    ...that this nation, shall have a new birth, and that government of the corporation, by the corporation, for the corporation, shall not perish from the earth.

  12. #62
    Senior Member TacomaSailor's Avatar
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    I didn't know there was a '70s bike boom!
    I rode a bicycle to elementary and junior high school all thru the '50s in Michigan, Iowa, and Virginia. I was delivering newspapers and riding to school in the early '60s. In the middle and later '60s I was on my third bike at college as were most of my friends. I guess I picked friends who rode because it seemed like everyone I knew was a bicyclist.

    What do you believe attracted people to bikes in the 1970s?
    We could drink and do other illegal recreational activities and ride home or to the next bar with little concern for the local police. And - it was still a lot of fun racing around on the bike. We did a lot of camping/touring during the early '70s on bicycles because it was more fun than trying to use the VW for a camper.

    Was cycling, in the 1970s, a individualistic type of sport? Or was it a sport that people built communities around?
    We had quite a community of cyclists doing all kinds of weird things on bikes - but it was a community built around strangeness and the bicycle was just one of many such things. I also did a lot of solo long distance riding when the community got too strange.

    Were the majority of cyclists in the 1970s riding to race? Or just for the enjoyment of getting out on a bike?
    The only racing we did was to get to a dark alley or trail to avoid whoever was chasing us. Bikes were fun and convenient.

    Do you think the introduction of the 10-speed derailer peaked people's interest in biking?
    I can't remember not having 10 gears - my 1961 newspaper bike was a 10-speed.

    Were people buying bikes in the 1970s buying bikes for the first time? Or were they upgrading to something better?
    I was on my fourth or fifth by 1974 but my best friends girl friend bought her first in 1972 in order to join the community of strangeness - she hated it!

    Was the bike boom just a fad?
    I'm still riding 10 hours a week - 40 years later?

    Do you have any stories about your experiences racing in the 1970s?
    Racing? Cars, motorcycles, sailboats but not bicycles.

    Was cycling an "elitist" sport in the 70s?
    Tennis shoes and cut-offs most of the time - unless the bar we were riding to had a dress code - then we upgraded to jeans and tee shirts. Most of the employed members of our town thought we were worthless bums and social deviants so I guess we were elite in some sense. Many of our bikes had been liberated from pawn shops or had been abandoned at the local university - most of my friends thought me a fool when I spent $60 for a NEW state of the art Gitane in 1972. My friends $65 Windsor was even more over the top! Another friend had a newer Paramount that he did race but he was 'special' since he was ex-special forces and had a GI bill income and other "business" activities that allowed him to spend more money on top of the line bikes.

    Do you think people were attracted to cycling in the 70s as a form of escapism from the pressures of society?
    Escapism - Yes but it was not from pressure!

    What prompted your interest in bikes?
    I wanted to get out and explore - walking was too slow so I started riding when I was 10 years old - back then I rode six blocks to explore - now I ride 60 miles to explore. I started working at paying jobs when I was 13 and needed a way to get to work - we lived a ways out in the country so a bicycle was an essential part of life.
    Last edited by TacomaSailor; 05-26-12 at 01:04 AM.

  13. #63
    Senior Member larwyn's Avatar
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    I really didn't notice the "boom" but did, I suppose, participate in it out of necessity. The United States Air Force decided to transfer me from Altus, Oklahoma to Yokota Air Force Base, Japan in 1972. I took them up on their offer to ship my car (a 1971 Toyota which I had just bought) but they managed to load my car on the wrong ship and lost in Australia for a few months (you would thank that a Japanese car which had been in the US for only a year or so would know it's own way back to Japan...LOL). Less than week without the car and after taking the shuttle bus to the base exchange I ended up buying a brand spanking new jet black Fuji 10 speed for the return trip to base housing. Even after my car arrived I rode that bike more than I drove the car for the next 3 years and several months. I gave away the bike before leaving Japan as I was required to shed some weight on my household goods. That was 1976, and I did not return to biking until last year when I picked up a nice 1972 Raleigh Sports (which I ride less than I would like).
    Larry

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  14. #64
    Century bound Phil85207's Avatar
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    Bike boom in the 70s. Who knew?
    Chief Executive In Charge Of Diddly Squat.

    Taking on a long hill is like fighting a Gorilla. You don't stop when you are tired, You stop when the Gorilla is tired.

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    In God we trust

  15. #65
    What??? Only 2 wheels? jimmuller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil85207 View Post
    Bike boom in the 70s. Who knew?
    I don't think it lasted into the 70's. The first bike boom ended in 1869 as I recall. of course, I wasn't there so I may have misremembered it.
    Real cyclists use toe clips.
    jimmuller

  16. #66
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    What do you believe attracted people to bikes in the 1970s?
    Environmentalism, economy.
    Was cycling, in the 1970s, a individualistic type of sport? Or was it a sport that people built communities around?
    Both.
    Were the majority of cyclists in the 1970s riding to race? Or just for the enjoyment of getting out on a bike?
    Transportation and recreation were more widespread than racing.
    Do you think the introduction of the 10-speed derailer peaked people's interest in biking?
    Definitely.
    Were people buying bikes in the 1970s buying bikes for the first time? Or were they upgrading to something better?

    Was the bike boom just a fad?

    Do you have any stories about your experiences racing in the 1970s?

    Was cycling an "elitist" sport in the 70s?

    Do you think people were attracted to cycling in the 70s as a form of escapism from the pressures of society?

    What prompted your interest in bikes?

    What prompted your interest in competitive cycling?
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  17. #67
    Senior Member sykerocker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
    I don't think it lasted into the 70's. The first bike boom ended in 1869 as I recall. of course, I wasn't there so I may have misremembered it.
    The First Bike Boom was from around 1885 (first safety bicycle) until 1900, at which point the market collapsed. The Second Bike Boom was 1971-1974, at which point the market collapsed. Not expecting to see a Third Bike Boom - changes in cycling are now more incremental, and cycling is accepted. Doubt if there's going to be room for another radical revolution and still have it recognizable as a bicycle.
    Syke

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  18. #68
    What??? Only 2 wheels? jimmuller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sykerocker View Post
    The First Bike Boom was from around 1885 (first safety bicycle)...
    Nah, the boneshaker craze of the 1860's. Crashed abruptly in 1869.
    Real cyclists use toe clips.
    jimmuller

  19. #69
    Junior Member Melliman's Avatar
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    From 8th grade (1967) through high school (1971), one not dare ride a bike - very uncool - at least it was in the western suburbs of Chicago. Then it hit - 1970 or 1971 - when everyone had to own a 10 speed, and Schwinn was the only game in town. You couldn't score a Varsity - our Schwinn dealer was a neighbor, so we finagled a yellow Varsity with no neighbor discount. $100, I believe - a LeTour - a pinnacle bike, was $140.

    We rode our bikes everywhere - it became a goal to ride instead of drive - this mode of transportation was perfect for the vibe of the times - they opened a nice trail a mile from my house called the Prairie Path, which became our go to destination on late, hot, summer evenings - scruffy, long hair, cut-offs, tank tops, sandals - cruising for the girls who had obviously not bought in to the bike boom.

  20. #70
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    OMG!!! There was a bike boom in the 70's? Dang, I don't remember that. What I do remember is, I was the only girl in the neighborhood once I turned 12. My parents had a business "in town". My father also worked a full time job in the evenings. My mom had to close up the store. We lived in the country and there was no way my mother was going to cart me or my siblings around, anywhere. So, if I wanted to visit a friend (another female friend), I had to bike it. Growing up in NY state, it wasn't even worth getting a driver's license until you turned 18, because of the time restrictions. So, as I discovered boys and became a teenager, my distance actually increased. A 20 mile trip into town or across the state line, was a piece of cake. In the winter time for social activities, I had to see if my private chauffer (my older cousin) was available. In fact, I remember him referring to himself as my chauffer. So, I guess I can say, my memories of the late 60's and early 70's, is very similar to Volosong's. Just a different state and different setting.

    By the way, Barrettson's bike pics are awesome. I always referred to that bike as the bike from h*&&. I was still a student nurse in one town and commuted to classes & the hospital every day. My ex-hubby was working at the hospital in Montour Falls, NY at the time so of course, we were living in Watkins Glen. Then, Summer Jam rock festival happened and both towns got flooded with people. Communiting back from school that weekend was horrible. I made it as far as the hospital and spent the night in the X-ray department. The next morning, I was just gonna walk home. I wanted out of my student uniform. The radiologist pulled that bike out of the trunk of his car and told me to just use the bike. I definitely have to have a bike fitted to me. That bike was way too much. By the time I got to the end of the hospital parking lot, I realized my feet didn't exactly fit on those pedals. Going down hill was no problem and I grew up riding rolling hills but once I got to the flat portion of the road between Montour Falls and Watkins Glen, I just couldn't pedal and dodge parked cars on the highway .... except when I realized there were nude people walking around the highway. I really didn't want anyone to know how embarassed and naive I was and that I couldn't stop laughing. I just knew no one would ever believe me so somehow, I got the dang bike going again and before long, I was back at my apartment. The return trip to the hospital was another experience, that weekend and no, I didn't exactly ride that bike back up the hill. It was a good 1/2 mile pushing it uphill.

    debbie

  21. #71
    Senior Member Gravity Aided's Avatar
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    The two-foot gear .

  22. #72
    USMC Veteran, 1975-1977 qcpmsame's Avatar
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    What ever happened to the OP? They also posted this in C&V and never replied when asked who they were and why they wanted the input. Hmmmm.

    Bill
    I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

  23. #73
    Cycling Anarchist Trsnrtr's Avatar
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    The bike boom in the 70s in my area seemed to be fueled by two things. First off, physical activity was getting cool at that time and a lot of yuppies rushed to Sears and Penney's to buy bikes. Also, there was a severe gasoline crisis at the time. I don't think the latter meant as much as the former but it did exist.

    I bought a cheap Italian bike from Penney's that was actually a pretty decent bike. It was a lugged frame with a cottered crank, Simplex derailleurs, etc. It was manufactured by Chiorda. I rode some pretty long miles on it until I got 'serious' in the 80s and started riding with my local club.
    Dennis T

  24. #74
    Senior Member tony_merlino's Avatar
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    My experience with cycling in the '70s was not at all elitist, or even sports-oriented - I rode for fun and transportation. I grew up in one of the NYC boros (Queens), and I rode my bike everywhere until I could drive, which happened at the end of the '60s. I didn't get on a bike again for about 5 years, but started riding again in the mid-'70s because (1) I remembered that it was a lot of fun, (2) it was a lot cheaper and easier to find parking for than my car, (3) a bunch of cheap 10-speeds came on the market, and I could afford one. I think I paid about $100 for my Ross "Eurotour II". Although it was unbearably heavy by today's standards (believe me, I know - I used to have to carry it up 3 flights of stairs in my building!), at the time it was lighter than my old 3-speed roadster, and gave me a lot more gear options. Also - it was a really comfortable ride. I rode that bike until the mid '90s, when I bought my first "serious" road bike (A Bianchi Eros that I still ride today.)

    I'm sorry I got rid of that old bike. I'm just starting to appreciate how comfortable and fun those old steel road/touring bikes were. In fact, I recently picked up an early '70s Raleigh Record and have been pleasantly reminded of some of the qualities we may have given up in the name of lightness and performance. I was amazed that this 40 year old bike that I picked up for practically nothing on Craigslist was turning into one of my favorites.
    L'asino di Buridano...

  25. #75
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sykerocker View Post
    The First Bike Boom was from around 1885 (first safety bicycle) until 1900, at which point the market collapsed.
    And not coincidently, 1900 was the time when the Wright Brothers began their experiments with airplanes and some noted bicycle manufacturers began to produce automobiles.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

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