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Old 01-21-06, 10:51 AM   #1
Mild Al
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As of this morning, I have logged 2013 miles on my old Roadmaster MTB. To mark the occasion, I'd like to say a few words in honor of this humble machine.

When I started cycling last summer, I was on a very tight budget. (I have three kids; one of them just started driving; one is seriously involved in orthodontics.) My dad had this old Roadmaster sitting unused in his garage, so he gave it to me. That was in August. I started out riding 3-5 miles a day, mostly around the neighborhood. Then I headed out on some country roads in the area and began to add miles. I discovered that I could ride 9 miles to my office and 9 miles back. In December, I put 467 miles on the bike, including 27 miles on New Year's Eve. In the process, I have really grown to love cycling.

I realize that this is not a "real" bike by some standards, and I realize that it has its limitations. It's heavy (32 lbs.); it rattles and squeaks sometimes; and, because it's a 10-speed, it has a narrow gear range (about 35-100 gear inches.) It has 40-psi 26 x 1.75 tires, which help to make it slow (13-14 mph average) though I mostly blame the engine for that.

On the other hand, nothing has broken in 2000 miles. I've replaced the tires and tubes (which had been sitting--flat--for months in the garage), the front brake pads, and the handlebars (just a matter of personal preference). I've lubricated the chain every month or so with a heavy dose of STP Lithium Grease from a spray can, and I'm probably going to have to adjust the rear derailleur pretty soon; it's a bit balky lately. But that's about it. Otherwise, it's been a reliable, steady mount that has carried me through various kinds of weather, including a couple of heavy downpours, without complaint. And for the terrain I have here (rolling hills, usually about 2%; nothing more than about 6%), the gear range has been entirely adequate.

When I save up enough money, probably this summer, I'm going to buy a fancier bike. But I'm going to keep the old Roadmaster for running errands or riding trails. It has shown me that even a low-end bike, if properly assembled and maintained, can be a viable means of transportation. And I've had a lot of fun with it.
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Old 01-21-06, 10:55 AM   #2
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hilarious!

I recently attended the annual auction of abandoned and recovered bicycles in Chapel Hill on the UNC campus, and by far - more Roadmaster frames than any other...

- what that means, I have no idea...

... nonetheless, yay for your Roadmaster !

(seriously, though... was this one of those old AMC gaspipe Roadmasters, or one of the Sprawl-mart 'bikes'?)
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Old 01-21-06, 11:12 AM   #3
Siu Blue Wind
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That bike is old faithful, built like a tank. If it was your dad's it's probably from when they were more attentive to durability. Keep that old monster. It's good memories. I wish I still had my old bike. And that too was a Roadmaster. I used to think I was master of the road when I was on that thing.....
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Old 01-21-06, 11:13 AM   #4
Mild Al
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Originally Posted by * jack *
hilarious!

I recently attended the annual auction of abandoned and recovered bicycles in Chapel Hill on the UNC campus, and by far - more Roadmaster frames than any other...

- what that means, I have no idea...
I teach at a small university, and I see a lot of Roadmasters here, too. It's a great bike for college students because it's so inexpensive; if it gets stolen, it can be easily replaced. (Mine can't; it has too much sentimental value )


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... nonetheless, yay for your Roadmaster !

(seriously, though... was this one of those old AMC gaspipe Roadmasters, or one of the Sprawl-mart 'bikes'?)
I don't know exactly how old it is. It originally came from Wal-Mart, but it says "Made In USA," so I'm guessing it's fairly old. My dad doesn't remember when he got it.
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Old 01-21-06, 12:02 PM   #5
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this is an example of a true utility cyclist. would that every cyclist had this man's dedication, skill, and strength.
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Old 01-21-06, 08:13 PM   #6
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I have a "newer" one.mine is about 2 1/2 or so years old now.no real problems with it I just wanted to get a better bike.Now I have one.I will keep my old beast for when the rest of the family rides.As has been said it is built like a tank."except the wheels" and they seem a little soft.
congrats on the miles.and longevity.
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