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Old 08-12-10, 03:18 PM   #1
Allvit54
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Hello from Maine...

...greetings and salutations.

My name is Todd, I'm over 50 and, well, I guess I would fall into the 'über-Clydesdale' weight category in the cycling community vernacular. I've never been 'athletically inclined', and cycling has long been one form of exercise I could handle without making myself look completely out of place.
I've always been a strictly recreational rider going all the way back to my childhood and young adulthood in the 1960s and 1970s. Those were the days of the 'English' bikes and I had a couple, both Phillips...the first I bought in the fall of 1967; it was black with the 26x1 3/8 wheels that were pretty much standard on those things...but it had the somewhat unusual Sturmey-Archer 'Twinshift' arrangement. It was the SA planetary hub with an added bellcrank attached to the left side of the axle operated by a second shift cable; it pushed in on a pin when the left side shift lever was pulled back and added the extra two speeds. It was operated by a pair of plastic levers mounted on the top frame tube. And those levers were fragile...within six months they had both broken off about halfway down...but the system was still operable and I got about five years and a lot of miles out of that bike. Then, when I graduated from HS in 1972, I got a Phillips 10-speed...my first encounter with dérailleurs. It had the 27x1 1/4 wheels and a Normandy 28-14 freewheel, and 52/40 chainrings...and those nasty cottered cranks. (Those were more or less standard on the English bikes, from what I understand...but I hope I never see them again... ) The bike was also equipped with the venerable Huret Allvit dérailleurs (which inspired my user name). One thing I learned over the years was how to perform various maintenance and repairs on bikes, and I liked the way you could completely disassemble those dérailleurs for cleaning...they were all bolted together instead of pinned/riveted...they don't make 'em like that anymore (to the best of my knowledge, which admittedly isn't what it should be). I put a lot of miles on that bike, too...especially the summer of 1974...made nearly daily trips to a girl's house...she lived about 18 miles away...also wound up losing about 40 pounds in the process...and then the front fork broke on it...
...well...I entered the military in 1978 (USAF) and got stationed in England. While I was over there, I bought a Raleigh 'Arena' at a local bike shop. Again, I lived 12 miles from the base...but I rode back and forth on that nearly every day...even got caught in a terrible storm on it one day...had to ride all 12 miles home in wind and rain...took three days for everything to dry out...when that assignment ended and I got stationed in North Carolina, I used it there, too...I eventually gave it to my son; he rode it for a while...
...my last assignment, as it turned out, was the former Bitburg air base in Germany. While I was there, in the fall of 1985, I bought a 12-speed Peugeot P8 at the BX (Base Exchange) for $140...assembled it myself out of the box. Rode that around for the rest of the time I was over there...one Sunday afternoon, I got on the B257 in the center of Bitburg and rode it about 13 miles to the Luxembourg border...there was a wonderful mile-long climb along the way...
...as far as what I ride now: I still have the Peugeot...Helicomatic rear hub and all. (I Googled it last night and read up a little on it...despite all the negatives, I like mine and have not had a lot of trouble with it.) In fact, I'm about to try my hand at rebuilding the rear wheel (the original Rigida rim is severely warped...but that's for another thread...). I've made a few minor upgrades to it and want to start using it again. I also have a sort of 'Franken-bike' ATB that I built out of a Next 'Wal-Mart Special'; I'm using that to get my legs back under me. I completely stripped this thing down to the frame and replaced the components with mostly Shimano parts...not top-of-the-line components by any means, but still a major improvement over the no-name Chinese parts that were originally on it...fitted it with hybrid tires and I have a decent little 21-speed cruiser that will be great on hills (it now has a Shimano 42/32/22 chainring with 175mm Shimano cranks and a 28-14 7-speed Shimano freewheel)...half of its ratios are 1.50 or less...
...bottom line: I've been a casual rider for years, off and on, and I'm not afraid to do my own work on a bike. I'm reasonably competent with mechanical things, including fairly small ones (I also worked as an electronics technician for many years...I'm not afraid of small stuff!); I know my way around the workings of a bike fairly well but I don't make any claims to being any kind of 'master bike mechanic'. Thus, I'm also not afraid to ask a few questions or do a little Googling for information if I'm not familiar with something.
...Anyway, glad to be here. I'll be looking around, and I'm sure I'll be asking for help and/or advice here and there...
...and sorry for the long-winded introduction...

Last edited by Allvit54; 08-15-10 at 10:12 PM. Reason: found model number of Peugeot...
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Old 08-12-10, 03:24 PM   #2
10 Wheels
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Hello Todd. Welcome to Bike Forums.
Post a pic of the Peugeot when you get it finished.
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Last edited by 10 Wheels; 08-15-10 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 08-12-10, 05:28 PM   #3
tenzing211
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Ayuh Maina!
I'm up in Bangor doing lots of riding in and around the area up here. If you like climbing hills, we got it! There are lots of good rides in Maine. I have been riding the Trek Across Maine for the past 6 years and thoroughly enjoy it. The Lobster Ride is great. Check out the Bicycle Coalition of Maine for info on other events coming up.

See ya out there!
Dave
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Old 08-15-10, 10:21 PM   #4
Allvit54
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Originally Posted by tenzing211 View Post
Ayuh Maina!
I'm up in Bangor doing lots of riding in and around the area up here. If you like climbing hills, we got it! There are lots of good rides in Maine. I have been riding the Trek Across Maine for the past 6 years and thoroughly enjoy it. The Lobster Ride is great. Check out the Bicycle Coalition of Maine for info on other events coming up.

See ya out there!
Dave
...erm...where did I say I LIKED climbing hills? ...that climb heading into Echternach was a bear...like I said, I'm working on getting my bike legs back under me; I'm not trying to tackle too many hills yet...oh, and I'm about 110 miles away from you, give or take...it'll probably be a while before I'd be even remotely ready to try to ride from here to Bang-town...

...note to 10 Wheels: will indeed try to get some pictures of the P8 once I get the wheel fixed (need to scare up some 302mm and 298mm spokes) and figure out how to post them here (don't know my way around the forum well enough yet!)...probably put a write-up on it in the C&V section...

Last edited by Allvit54; 08-15-10 at 10:26 PM.
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