Firstly, I would like to thank the folks of this forum for the information I have gotten from it during the past few months since I've gotten into fixed gear bikes, and more recently, vintage road bike. It was only until recently that I became savvy to certain parts and frames and have used this forum as a reference.
I am no stranger to bicycles. My first big bike purchase as an adult was a 1950's Schwinn cruiser that I bought when I moved out to North Vancouver for a bit. The frame, fork, fenders and chain guard were all original. It used to be a maroon colour, but the decades of use faded it brown, which really gave it a classic look. Over the months I had done some additions made to it. Alloy rims laced to internal drum brake hubs on the front and rear, an 8speed cassette, some vintage style motorcycle handle bars and brake levers as well as a decent 3 piece crank. All of it topped off with a Brooks B72 saddle. Man, that thing could fly, but did weigh around 50lbs, and despite the gears the North Vancouver hills proved to be difficult. Brought her back to Kitchener-Waterloo but not shortly after part of the frame broke and I was slightly devastated.
Instead of getting it welded, I bought my friends old bike polo bike. It was just a single speed Norco that he'd built up pretty solidly. I welcomed the shaved weight and really did enjoy the simplicity of the single speed. From there, I was drawn to fixed gear bikes.
Not many people ride fixed gears where I live. The first time I saw someone on one, it was my friend Andreas. Mind you, he was from New York, so he'd definitely became savvy to it long before anyone I knew. I do recall that he'd been hit by a bus, or more like he hit a bus, and I thought it was so stupid to be ripping around on a bike with no brakes and no helmet. Other than that, I knew of the legendary skateboarder, John Cardiel, had picked one up after his accent that left doctors saying he wouldn't be able to walk again. They should probably watch his Macaframa part....
Well, don't knock it until you try it! I do have a front brake and wear a helmet, but I am so hooked! I found a decent setup on pink-bike. It certainly isn't a nice Italian frame and there isn't a single NJS part on it, but it isn't some cheap-o and it has been serving me well thus far. I think the frame is some generic Taiwanese frame and fork made of Chromoly, alex rims laced to formula hubs, all-city cranks and handle bars, rictchey classic headset and stem and I've already made the switch to SPD's with some shimano m540 pedals. The simplicity and maneuverability is astonishing and I really can't get enough.
Since then, some of my friends have gotten into it and some have even dusted off their bikes and got back on one again. A good friend of mine from skateboarding has a slew of nice fixed gears and road bikes, but I had no idea as he'd stopped biking years ago. It's great to see him on a bike again.
All in all, this is my new passion. Skateboarding filled that spot for me for over 13 years, and I will continue to do it, but cycling and the community around it is so new and exciting. I have yet to take a spill on my bike, but when I fall skateboarding, it hurts more and stays hurt for longer, which is a huge incentive to just go for a rip on my bike when I've got the urge to go fast.
Now I've got an interest in vintage road bikes, particularly Marinoni's at the moment. I've never been apart of a forum and thought it was time that I joined considering I've learned so much thus far and can only hope that I can contribute something someday.
Well, thanks for reading my short story and quite possibly the longest Newbie introduction.