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  1. #1
    stringbreaker stringbreaker's Avatar
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    1976 bike touring

    I was browsing the Crazy guy on a bike site and there is a journal about the Cookie Lady. Lots of pictures from 1976 and later of course but one that caught my eye was a woman that retraced her tour of 76 and found her picture from that year. She did the cross country ride on a Schwinn Continental. can you imagine how that would have been. I noticed also how many were riding in cutoff jeans too. Just an observation no real point to it.
    (Life is too short to play crappy guitars) 2006 Raleigh Cadent 3.0, 1977 Schwinn Volare, 2010 Windsor tourist. ( I didn't fall , I attacked the floor)

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    Link to that journal?
    Be the person your dog thinks you are.
    T.J.

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    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Here is the main article Cookie House Registry, not sure if this the one stringbreaker is referring to or not.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

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  4. #4
    stringbreaker stringbreaker's Avatar
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    Thank you wahoonc that would be the one. Pretty interesting to see the change in cycling gear over the years.
    (Life is too short to play crappy guitars) 2006 Raleigh Cadent 3.0, 1977 Schwinn Volare, 2010 Windsor tourist. ( I didn't fall , I attacked the floor)

  5. #5
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    I toured in those days on a Raleigh Gran Prix, but a friend accompanied me on a trip to the San Juan Islands. She rode a Schwinn Varsity. I always toured in cutoffs. Did they have Spandex in those days? Weren't bike shorts wool?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stringbreaker View Post
    I was browsing the Crazy guy on a bike site and there is a journal about the Cookie Lady. Lots of pictures from 1976 and later of course but one that caught my eye was a woman that retraced her tour of 76 and found her picture from that year. She did the cross country ride on a Schwinn Continental. can you imagine how that would have been. I noticed also how many were riding in cutoff jeans too. Just an observation no real point to it.
    My wife and I crossed the country in 1977 from LA to Washington DC. Some of the now-old-fashioned elements as I recall:

    Hairnet helmets, woolen bike shorts, jogging suits for colder weather, toe clips, paper maps, phone booths for calls; sent post cards; for cash we used travelers checks and had money orders wired to us at various post offices. We were not into photography, so instead of an SLR film camera, we had a Kodak Instamatic. To track mileage we had a mechanical odometer with a metallic striker affixed to a spoke. For lights we used those strap on D-cell battery powered lights with a front yellow and rear red lenses.

    We rode Merciers, model not recalled, with sew-up tires and fullly loaded rear panniers (not recommended). I recently posted our itinerary:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    The trip was back in May to June of 1977 on our honeymoon as we were moving from Michigan to Boston and managed a two-month hiatus from work. Our original plan was to go from LA to Boston with an eight week deadline, but around Colorado we decided we weren't traveling fast enough, so veered towards Washington to take the train up to Boston. We navigated with an AAA USA Road map showing us the general direction, and then we used state Highway maps for day-to-day routes. It became a standing joke that at every rest stop, at every meal, and settling in at night we brought in a map to plot the next few miles.

    The general route was starting in Laguna Beach where we stayed with a classmate, and within few miles turned inland past San Juan Capistrano and onto the Ortega Highway and our very first mountain pass ever. We passed by 29 Palms and left California at the tip of Nevada into Bullhead City, AZ, through Kingman and onto old Rte 66, to the Grand Canyon; then on to Four Corners, Mesa Verde, CO; crossed the Continental Divide at Wolf Creek pass; then through La Veta pass on into Kansas, through Garden City (where we met a Bikecentennial rider for 1976).

    Through Kansas we paralleled US 50, and crossed the Missisippi in St Louis (on a Sunday). We crossed the Ohio River three times at Madison, Ind, (?) Mt Carmel, Ill, and Maysville Ky, all charming towns. Then through Southern Ohio crossing into West Virginia at Point Pleasant, and through to Blacksburg, VA, and Winchester, VA. On the second last day we easily crossed five named passes in the Shenendoahs. Unfortunately, a rainstorm the day before kept us from reaching Washington on a Sunday, so we entered during rush hour on a Monday, crossing the Potomac on Constitution Avenue (the same Route 50 we encountered in Kansas.)

    Otherwise the weather was outstanding with only that one bad rain day in Virginia. Even the desert was unseasonably cool in May. We did carry about two gallons of extra water in the desert. The hottest days were in Kansas in early June. We were completely equipped for camping but the main plan was to do about fifty miles a day and try to find a place with a shower. Our most rural “stealth camp” (with permission) was behind a barn in AZ. We did at least one century day, in Kentucky, to find a nice place (Maysville).

    The mountain roads out West were long but not too steep since they were federal highways and had to accommodate trucks. Backroads became more plentiful in Kansas, and the steepest hills were on backroads in the Missouri Ozarks, and in West Virginia Appalachians….

    … Every year beginning on our anniversary on April 30 for the next eight weeks I frequently try to recall where we were at that particular time on that date back in 1977.

  7. #7
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stringbreaker View Post
    She did the cross country ride on a Schwinn Continental. can you imagine how that would have been. I noticed also how many were riding in cutoff jeans too. Just an observation no real point to it.
    There's a good point to be made in my opinion. Those people just enjoyed touring and didn't obsess about gear like many in this forum do.

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    I toured California in 1976 on my old Ross,first year touring for me.Bought a custom built Shogun in 1978 ,been riding it every day since.
    Last edited by Booger1; 03-21-12 at 01:30 PM.
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

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    I rode in cut-offs in the early 70's, tried various soft shorts before getting wool shorts w chamois. Nothing like having a stinging bug fly up baggy shorts during a high speed descent to change ones choice of attire.

  10. #10
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I did transcontinental in 1977 and my bike was a modified Motobecane Nomade. Rear panniers on a Pletscher rack with a handle bar bag. I don't recall what I wore for shorts, I did own wool shorts with chamois at that point, and I did own a pair of regular leather cycling shoes with cleats. Panniers were from a Frost Line kit and were bright orange. I had a set of Karimor (believe that was the brand) but they had gotten stolen with my Bob Jackson Tourist about a 6 weeks before the start of the trip. I had just enough money to do the tour, but not enough to buy a replacement bike. The Moby was put together from parts laying about the shop, still have most of it.

    Aaron
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  11. #11
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
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    Cut-off denim shorts, cotton tees, and no helmet, that's how I toured in the 70's.

  12. #12
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    stringbreaker, I cycled through the '70s. Cutoffs and tennis shorts were pretty much the norm (I'm allergic to wool), I wore cross country running shoes on what I remember as a low end Murray 2X5 as starting a family had priority. My wife had a three speed version and the two of us rode many a mile. I can imagine some much younger riders wondering "How could they ride on that, in those clothes?".

    While times have changed and while cyclists, gear and bicycles have improved, it still all boils down to somebody getting on some bike and enjoying the hell out of it.

    Brad

  13. #13
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    Not sure if this is the one but this girl met w/the cookie lady:
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?..._id=1291&v=10D

  14. #14
    Silly Party Member
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    I was riding around SoCal as a high schooler in '76 on my Schwinn LeTour. I so wanted to ride the first BikeCentennial (now Adventure Cycling Association) group ride across the U.S., but parents said no.
    Here's a link to discussion of those trips: http://www.adventurecycling.org/foru...php?board=29.0

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    Quote Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
    There's a good point to be made in my opinion. Those people just enjoyed touring and didn't obsess about gear like many in this forum do.
    ++++1

    I rode sometimes in wool bike shorts, but mostly used "sport shorts" in the 70's. Cotton T's, and a pair of denim pants for evenings. I didn't start using a bike helmet until sometime around 1990. Oh, and those early 1970 rides were on a Schwinn Continental, yellow as can be. Still have my first "real nice bike" that I bought myself, a nice Fuji.
    1965 Moulton Speed 4, 1974 Fuji 12 speed, 1987 DB Ascent EX, 2006 Dahon Speed TR, 2009 Salsa Fargo, 2011 Gravity 29.4, 2011 Salsa Casseroll, 2012 Surly Moonlander

  16. #16
    Senior Member cycleheimer's Avatar
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    A survivor from the early '70s ... like new under the schmutz!

    BTW, really like the pix from '76!!!


    Bike-A-Holic

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    cycleheimer, that's the bike a friend had before he got a Trek 520 in 1990

  18. #18
    Randomhead
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
    There's a good point to be made in my opinion. Those people just enjoyed touring and didn't obsess about gear like many in this forum do.
    having worked in a bike shop near the Bikecentennial route, the trip was usually made on a crappy bike, but many of those bikes were the main worry of the people that rode them. Then again, there weren't a lot of good choices back then unless you spent a lot of money

  19. #19
    Senior Member cycleheimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    cycleheimer, that's the bike a friend had before he got a Trek 520 in 1990
    That was quite a nice upgrade!
    Bike-A-Holic

  20. #20
    Senior Member cycleheimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    having worked in a bike shop near the Bikecentennial route, the trip was usually made on a crappy bike, but many of those bikes were the main worry of the people that rode them. Then again, there weren't a lot of good choices back then unless you spent a lot of money
    I worked at a shop as a kid back then. Some (most) of those bikes back then were a nightmare. We used to joke around about doing the "hammer dance", which meant getting so frustrated with a repair that you took a hammer and stomped around the bike trying to hold yourself back from whacking it. When you got your hands on a nice Japanese bike back then it was sweet. Fujis were our favorite. Things sure got alot better in the '80s.
    Bike-A-Holic

  21. #21
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    having worked in a bike shop near the Bikecentennial route, the trip was usually made on a crappy bike, but many of those bikes were the main worry of the people that rode them. Then again, there weren't a lot of good choices back then unless you spent a lot of money
    True...which is why I spent several month's salary to build up a Bob Jackson Tourist...that got stolen 6 weeks before I was scheduled to leave on tour

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

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  22. #22
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
    There's a good point to be made in my opinion. Those people just enjoyed touring and didn't obsess about gear like many in this forum do.
    Are you implying my obsession with equipment is a fault? On the one hand, I probably had just as much fun touring in the 70's on a cheap 10-speed with crappy gear as I do now - maybe more because it was so new to me. However, my new stuff just works so much better and I worry much less about things breaking. Besides, I probably couldn't tour on that old 10-speed. My 60-year-old knees would explode! I love good equipment, and I enjoy obsessing about it, and I make no apologies, sir or madam.

    (Can you sense my tongue in my cheek?)

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    My parents rode from Warsaw to southern Hungary in the early 70s, I'll find some of the pics they have from that time.

  24. #24
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    I think this thread also shows that touring is about the journey and right mental attitude. It's not about having the "right touring" bike, gear ratios, 700x28 vs 700x32 tires etc... It seems to be more people desiring to tour worry about gear, while back then, people desiring to tour just dreamed of doing it. I love reading journals of touring back in the 70s and even the 80s.

  25. #25
    Senior Member liamof's Avatar
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    Ah the 70's ,
    cut off jeans were the fashion statement along with bell bottoms.
    Schwin continental... pretty much state of the art back then.
    Long hair and good ol rock and roll, those were the days.
    Liam

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