Hello all. Still riding my first serious bike, a 1975 Raleigh Gran Sport. At 35, it's been on six RAGBRAIs & is headed for another this summer. After a long series of upgrades (now down to three original parts - frame, fork, handlebar), I've tried to keep it true to the original touring flavor. It still has downtube shifters (now indexed), wide flange hubs (Campy SR), randonneur bar, 27" wheels, Brooks (Pro) leather saddle and of course the original Carlton frame & fork of Reynolds 531 steel. I run 21 speed gearing and 27x1.125 Panaracer Pasela TG tires. Yes, it's a bit heavier than today's bikes, but the road feel is sweet...especially with those smoothly curved forks. It can handle about any road conditions (even Iowa gravel) and never lets me down. With reasonable care and some luck, I think it may be able to keep rolling right out to 50 years.
I'm interested in exchanging thoughts with other riders of vintage steel touring bikes.
Here in central Iowa, we're looking forward to the completion this fall of the High Trestle Trail, which will soon carry riders across the Des Moines river 13 stories up on a new bridge build on old railroad pylons (http://www.inhf.org/trails/high_tres...l/a2wtrail.htm).
I also enjoy leading Scouts pursuing the Cycling merit badge. Life is Good.