Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Chicago (Beverly)
Bikes: Merckx Team SC, Masi (fixed), Merckx Cyclo-Cross
One Man's View On Nostalgia
Yesterday I took out the old Schwinn I tore down and built back up for a ride around the block. I'm not riding this thing anymore I said, finally.
My wife and I rode the Elroy Sparta trail on a rented Columbia tandem (we more or less found it neglected in a barn and asked if we could take it out for the day).
We had fun because it was a beautiful day and we were on vacation and it was a novelty. It was a noisy bucket of bolts and by mile 20 we were singing the blues. Through the support of a locally brewed beer, we managed 40 miles. The memory is great, but making the memory, not so.
So you buy one and you bring it home and ride it a few times and slowly you realize it's more a chore than a pleasure: it requires so much effort to get it going. Then you're late for work one day and while bustling to get to the car while trying to dodge the tandem you smack your shin on the pedal. At that instant, well, the second instant, the first instant you curse your maker; at the second instant, that Columbia tandem is forever an unwieldy piece of junk to you.
It's a fun idea but the reality requires more work while producing little pleasure. The thing is so heavy you won't put it on the car and take it to the bike path (you'll spend more for a roof rack than the bike itself). You don't want to spend too much, just something to take the kids/grandkids out for a ride; after one trip of you doing all the work and you'll opt for a walk next time.
Leave the old tandem in the back of the barn. Instead, look for something new, a cruiser-style with alloy frame and wheels, something crisp and light. Yes, it's going to cost more but at least you'll ride it. The return on the money spent for that Columbia will be difficult to recoup.
Nostalgia is great until faced with a headwind, a hill or a foul mood.