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Tell me the story of your go-to-school bike in one hundred words and less

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Tell me the story of your go-to-school bike in one hundred words and less

Old 02-01-16, 05:40 PM
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uncle uncle
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Tell me the story of your go-to-school bike in one hundred words and less

My better half and I have been visiting colleges with my daughter, who will be going to college in the fall. Some of the universities have quite the bicycle commuting following, with a large number of bikes vying for anchor space on the bike racks and hand rails in front of many of class rooms. Our local university (in city) doesn't; it's more geared toward serving a student population that lives in the city (most likely still with mom and dad) that commutes greater distances. Most of the bikes at colleges today appear to be department store quality mtb's. When I arrived at college in the early 80's (82-87), I remember seeing mostly 10 speed bikes, most of them entry level bike shop quality bicycles. I'm just Hardly anyone who did ride road anything super nice. So, tell me the story of your bike and it's educational past... what was it, how did you use it, and what happen to it. The one hundred word limit is just suggestion, so if you like to wax poetically, wax on.
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Old 02-01-16, 05:45 PM
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My "college" bike:
70-something red Schwinn Varsity.
I told a fellow Marine I needed a bike.
He said "what kind?" I said "10 speed."
2 days later, the Varsity sat outside my barracks room.
He said "$10." I'm sure it was stolen. Chain rusted pretzel.
3-in-1 oil, about $3. Assorted tools I had.
Did the Pepsi Triathlon in Wilmington, passed 1/3 of the field.
Did it again the next year, same bike, passed the same 1/3, I think.
East Carolina University for 2 1/2 years, same bike, with a backpack and U-lock.
I gave it away when I bought a Trek 510.

Choose a Trek 730, 820, 830, Antelope, Single Track, etc.
Simple, Strong, Cheap. You can lock them outside, and if they're not stolen, they'll be fine.
$75 to $150.
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Old 02-01-16, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by uncle uncle View Post
My better half and I have been visiting colleges with my daughter, who will be going to college in the fall. Some of the universities have quite the bicycle commuting following, with a large number of bikes vying for anchor space on the bike racks and hand rails in front of many of class rooms. Our local university (in city) doesn't; it's more geared toward serving a student population that lives in the city (most likely still with mom and dad) that commutes greater distances. Most of the bikes at colleges today appear to be department store quality mtb's. When I arrived at college in the early 80's (82-87), I remember seeing mostly 10 speed bikes, most of them entry level bike shop quality bicycles. I'm just Hardly anyone who did ride road anything super nice. So, tell me the story of your bike and it's educational past... what was it, how did you use it, and what happen to it. The one hundred word limit is just suggestion, so if you like to wax poetically, wax on.
Yup. Mine was an 85 Schwinn World Sport, a HS graduation gift from my folks. It had stem shifters, suicide brake levers, and steel rims. Probably weighed 30 pounds and I think the lowest gear I had was 42x25. To think I used to ride up the Berkeley hills with a backpack full of textbooks and a triple cap in one hand...

I rode it all through college and law school and commuted on it to my first job. I even did a few triathlons on it. It was stolen one night when I drunkenly left it unlocked in front of some dive bar.

It was a crap bike, but I wish I still had it. It would make a great single speed townie conversion.
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Old 02-01-16, 05:49 PM
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My first college bike was stolen within 2 months of purchasing it. It was replaced by what I consider my "actual" college bike... a early 1980's Austro Daimler/Puch Pathfinder AD. It was made from Puch's own 2600 manganese blend of tubing. It was a step above the entry level fair, but still came with safety brake levers (which I had the bikeshop remove at the initial purchase). The original stem shifters were also replaced with downtube shifters. My first additional purchase was a rear rack (for book bag and skateboard storage). Then toeclips, then waterbottle, then frame pump, then yellow Benotto bar wrap. It was a beautiful dark wine color with gold lettering. I rode it thru-out my college years, even a few times to my job across town (when I was long on extra time or short on gas money). I eventually/reluctantly sold it to a coworker at my first professional job... and later it was smashed flat when a car fell on it when it was in the back of the coworkers truck.
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Old 02-01-16, 05:52 PM
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7th grade. There was a bus driver strike. Not only did it stop the public buses, it stopped the school buses.

Van Hise Middle School was about 3 miles from my house. I rode through the neighborhood to a trail that was next to the railroad tracks. I then cut through the cemetery which took me basically to the top of the hill on Mineral Point Rd. Long downhill the rest of the way to school. Nice, but I had to go up that hill on the way home. Strike lasted for 3-4 weeks and I rode everyday with my friends. Nice built in excuse to be late and we tended to get some extra time on the trail next to the tracks. Not bad for a 12-year-old kid.

The bike was a generic diamond BMX frame I bought from a friend for $10. I sprayed it rattle can red. Had red Tuff wheels I bought for $40 from the LBS with great knobbies. I don't recall the the crank and bars. Something cheap I'm sure. I did know a guy with a CMX. Cool bike.
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Old 02-01-16, 05:53 PM
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Mine all got stolen.

I might even add Ladies to the Eighties Nineties MTB recommendation if its a high theft area. The men's frame next to it will get stolen first.
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Old 02-01-16, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
My choice would be a Trek 730, 820, 830, Antelope, Single Track, or that ilk.

Buy one.
Originally Posted by riva View Post
I might even add Ladies to the Eighties Nineties MTB recommendation if its a high theft area. The men's frame next to it will get stolen first.
I have a chromoly frame, rigid, Diamond Back, step thru mtb, which I'm going to put a single ring crank up front, bike rack, cup holder, and smooth city tires. Hopefully it will sufficiently blend in to the herd. Thanks for concern and the comments; much appreciated.
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Old 02-01-16, 06:52 PM
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West Sider, eh?
Originally Posted by iab View Post
7th grade. There was a bus driver strike. Not only did it stop the public buses, it stopped the school buses.

Van Hise Middle School was about 3 miles from my house. I rode through the neighborhood to a trail that was next to the railroad tracks. I then cut through the cemetery which took me basically to the top of the hill on Mineral Point Rd. Long downhill the rest of the way to school. Nice, but I had to go up that hill on the way home. Strike lasted for 3-4 weeks and I rode everyday with my friends. Nice built in excuse to be late and we tended to get some extra time on the trail next to the tracks. Not bad for a 12-year-old kid.

The bike was a generic diamond BMX frame I bought from a friend for $10. I sprayed it rattle can red. Had red Tuff wheels I bought for $40 from the LBS with great knobbies. I don't recall the the crank and bars. Something cheap I'm sure. I did know a guy with a CMX. Cool bike.
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Old 02-01-16, 06:58 PM
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I took my LeJeune TdF to Cornell, but the gearing was all wrong for those massive hills, so I rarely road it. Furthermore, as a yearbook photgrapher, I carried the basic Nikon camera ensemble favored by National Geographic photographers, 2 bodies + 3 lenses, just about everywhere after freshman year, which was too valuable and kinda heavy to lug via bicycle.
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Old 02-01-16, 07:04 PM
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In the mid seventies when I was at Berkeley I rode the only bike I owned, a Pogliaghi Italcorse, to school. There was a guarded bike corral at the Moffitt Library and quite a few very nice bikes in the corral.
Brent
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Old 02-01-16, 07:06 PM
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When I was in the 7th grade my mom bought a new Schwinn Le Tour (yellow) 10-speed from my older sister, who bought it new then never rode it. I think it was a 1976 or 1977 model. We knew nothing about bikes, maintenance, tire pressure, etc, but I rode to/from school in 7th grade through first 2 years in college. I didn't actually ride it to college, but took a bus, but the bike was my only transportation other than a city bus or walking.

Im fairly sure it NEVER got maintenance but never gave me any problems. I could ride it no handed for miles! So that's my story.
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Old 02-01-16, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
West Sider, eh?
West is best.

Although the Memorial boys thought otherwise.
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Old 02-01-16, 07:23 PM
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Early 80s' Lincoln Nebraska. Woodrup Gito-Tour usually stayed in the kitchen of our rented house. My "Pub" bike a Red Lotus with Phil hubs and pedals, Sountour mechs, upright bars, and an Ideale 90 saddle was my main commuter (in hindsight, I really do miss that bike, my friend who bought it from me 30+ years ago still has it, and refuses to sell it back to me!). My other go to shcool bike was a Mongoose Koz Cruiser tricked out with Phil hubs, a Phil spider on the Ashtabula crank, and a corncob 5 speed with a Huret Jubilee mech. I really wish I would have held onto that one too! Oh and I used a huge monster of a cable and padd lock to keep them secure
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Old 02-01-16, 07:24 PM
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I was at a downtown Toronto campus, living about 10 kms away and needed a B-bike. Dad had had a couple of heart attacks and was told to ride a bike for general fitness so he bought a Raleigh Lenton 5 speed with Huret gears. Ride he did but his legs started to really hurt. It took a year to diagnose he also had a "non-familial myopathy of unknown origins", turned out to be Lou Gehrigs. Bike riding was now verboten so I got it and beat the beegeezus out of it for a few years until the right chainstay snapped. Now Raleigh had a lifetime warranty on these gaspipe beauties so I got another but the replacement was enormous so I sold it and moved on.

addendum. My buddy liked the vintage look so he commissioned a bike from George In Kensington Market and it had a Duomatic hub. Jealous, yes! I believe this was the true origin of the deadly virus commonly known as N+1 and life on earth was never the same.

Just like this one except a mans frame. Nice colours really.

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Old 02-01-16, 07:25 PM
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Most of the time, my campus bikes were beat up BMX bikes. It would hang in the closet at the ready, sporting huge chainrings and cranks to get from building to building with a few big stomps. Rack rash was ever-present. Nothing to envy, nothing worth stealing, nothing that could be destroyed. Occasionally would take the girlfriend to class on the fork pegs, but she didn't like riding on the front since she thought it unsafe (and more likely she didn't like being seen on it). Once I got out of the dorms, I had a road bike, but I would never take that to class. I never understood the mountain bikes on campus craze, since my BMX bike was faster, more convenient, and could go over stuff. Not cool, but a very useful very blunt tool.
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Old 02-01-16, 07:29 PM
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My first ride to school bike was a Schwinn Stingray for first grade in 1968. Next up was a used rental Schwinn Varsity for 7th grade. Had all the faults & virtues that we read about. In high school had a Continental (stolen), a girl's Raleigh 3 speed (killed my dating life) , and a handed down Royce-Union 10 speed. The Royce-Onion wasn't that bad. Took a lot of maintenance to keep going.
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Old 02-01-16, 07:44 PM
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I rocked an 88 Diamondback Venom for a few years then got a mag wheeled electric yellow with black splatter 94 GT Performer and thought I had the greatest bike in all of middle school.
...cuz i did.
That thing was abused for 3 years until i was allowed to drive and was hung up.
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Old 02-01-16, 07:58 PM
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My first go-to-school bike was obtained when I still lived in England, It was a black-and-red Phillips single-speed that I got for christmas in about 1965. I was eleven, and all the kids rode bikes to school back then. The bike parking area at the school was huge and we did not use locks. My parents probably gave that away of sold it when we moved to California.

My second go-to-school bike was a red-and-black 1968 Raleigh Record with Simplex derailleurs that I bought with my paper route money. I rode the heck out of that bike and it was still with me as a freshman at UC Berkeley. I sold it in 1973 so that I could buy a used Holdsworth, as I was starting to get more seriously interested in cycling at that time.
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Old 02-01-16, 08:03 PM
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In the late-2000's I rode from my parent's house, where I continued to live while going to school, to the University of Colorado campus a few miles away. Bike commuting was normal enough not to turn any heads, but still isn't very popular because the surrounding city is designed around the self-fulfilling assumption that all people will drive cars for all trips. On campus there are plenty of bike racks in front of every building, and I've never heard of any bikes being stolen on campus, probably because there aren't many people wandering around the campus that aren't students, professors, or staff. As for the quality of bikes I saw/see (I still live nearby and ride over to access the library there on a regular basis) most are fairly typical basic hybrids and inexpensive mountain bikes, with the occasional older or more expensive bike in the mix.

I had two main commuting bikes during those years:
1. A 70's old Puch Odyssey setup like a touring bike with fenders, rack, triple crankset - this was my primary transportation for 3-4 years until the frame was damaged and I built a new do-everything bike that took its place.


2. A mediocre 90's Giant MTB that I used when there was snow and ice to be dealt with, put semi-slick tires and a cargo rack on it. It was the first in a series of ongoing experiments to find the ideal winter bike.
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Old 02-01-16, 08:18 PM
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Mine was a 72 Motobecane Mirage I bought from the town hardware store for 150.00 I earned that summer as a busboy. I rode that bike for 2 summers until I bought a car. However, it left a lasting impression of adventures and exploits on the open road that has remained. It was heavy but it wasnt a Huffy and I did my best to cut weight. I loved that bike and is probably the reason I settle on a road bike and keep it.
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Old 02-01-16, 08:23 PM
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First was a Ross that I rode with my buddies from what was then edge of town to middle school downtown. We always stopped at the convenience store for fruit punch and a game of Defender.

College bike (down the road from Robbie Tunes in Durham) was a 1988 GT Tequesta that a buddy bought me in lieu of payment for helping him build lofts.That was a do everything, ride the bejeezus out of it bike for many years. Mountain biked with it in Duke Forest, the SF Bay Area (Presidio and Mt Tam mostly), southern New England until it was replaced by a Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo. It continued to serve many years as a grocery getter, baby carrier, but ultimately, in 2008, suffered the indignity of being left in the attic of my house when I moved from Memphis and didn't have room in the car. I still have the fork tho.
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Old 02-01-16, 08:27 PM
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Red

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Varsity
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Old 02-01-16, 08:28 PM
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None of my bikes ever went to college.
Decidedly blue collar fleet.
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Old 02-01-16, 09:27 PM
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I bought a mid-70s Schwinn LeTour for $60 from a friend's older brother and started riding it 3 miles to the local junior college (weather permitting; I also had a car). All those uphill mornings paid off, as in my second year there I placed third out of a field of 25 or thirty in the only organized bike race I've ever entered, a five mile hillclimb with about 1700 ft elevation gain (On the LeTour; blue jeans, sneakers, etc).

When I transferred to the University of Washington, I took my now badly bent (backed over by a car) Schwinn LeTour with me thinking I'd find someone to straighten it, or just put the components on another frame. The latter is what happened (Lambert Grand Prix frame, $60, again) and I rode that one to class and work and all over Seattle back in the early 80s.

I still have that bike
.
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Old 02-01-16, 09:53 PM
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I took my BMX racing bike from my earlier teens to college. I liked the nimbleness of darting in and out of walkers and slow cyclists and hopping curbs and other obstacles. Awesome full chro-mo 1980 Team Mongoose with all the goodies. Cost me more than the pickup I drove to get to college.
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