Back in the Saddle again?!
I used to be a mildly serious rider back in the seventies, the ten-speed era. I stoped riding after my commuter bike was stolen in Phila., PA. The roads were bad and my commute to work necessetated a car. I dabbled in rollerskating ,cause you could stow your gear in a shoulder bag- no chance for your stuff to disappear..... After becoming a father, I decided to start riding again- I needed to improve my health and stop my expanding waistline. The years of skating, sking and old Soccer injuries left me unable to run or even use a treadmill without knee pain. I remembered biking as a fun way to exercise without as much stress on my knees. The gym membership thing never worked as I needed to schedule time away from parental responsibilities to do it. One day, I had an epiphany-Why don't I trade in my morning commute on the bus and subway for a bike ride! Then I'd be killing the proverbial two birds with one stone. Although I still have my dear old ten-speed, I realized I needed a more modern (read index shifting, more ruggedly built) bicycle. I found a late eighties Trek; hard tail non-suspended mountain bike at a yard sale for $50. Bought the whole thing! But the frame size was for someone like 5' tall, at most. I obtained a larger sized, decent cro-moly frame (of the same style/vintage) at Boston's famed Bikes not Bombs salvage shop and had the fun of swapping over the groupo and wheels (who cares if its only a 21 speed!). I've been slightly upraging the bike ever since. nothing crazy, just linear brakes and twist grip shifting. As an homage to my old ten speed roots, I added a Brooks saddle- Back in the day,foam /plastic saddles with leather shells were for wannabes. Real cyclists rode Brooks.
Anyway, I've been commuting 8.9 miles (each way) during the summer and fall, for the last two years or so. Now I'm hoping to create a reasonable re-chargable lighting system to increase the length of my commuting season (I refuse to spend more on a lighting system than I did on the whole bike...)...... that's what led me to this forum; Google searches kept pulling up threads from it. I decided it was time join up!
I find the technlogical improvements in equipment, since the days of the ten speed, fascinating. But I am forever puzzled at the need for some of the more exotic stuff for the weekend duffers. Its about the ride not the bike! I see people spending way too much on exotic stuff. I guess I've become enamored with the vintage stuff- maybe its because I can actually aspire to own the stuff now, that I couldn't afford back in the day. A hand-built; lugged frame made by humans, is WAY more beautiful than the robotically assembled; TIG-welded aluminum frame that all too common today. But enough of the Luddite- Rivendale speech, I am looking forward to using and contributing to this forum.