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To the C&Vers of BF: do you have a local C&V community or do you go it alone?

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To the C&Vers of BF: do you have a local C&V community or do you go it alone?

Old 12-23-18, 07:13 PM
  #1  
AdventureManCO 
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To the C&Vers of BF: do you have a local C&V community or do you go it alone?

First of all, thank you to all of you here. I'm relatively new to the C&V world of bicycles, and have dived in head first (acquiring over 15 bikes in the last couple of years with no stop in sight. I never knew it could be this fun. I'm able to combine something nerdy (like this) w/ something utilitarian (commuting to work) and it is a beautiful harmony. I'm not even that big of a bicycle rider, probably averaging 500mi a year or less.

I love learning everything I can and I have already learned so much. Just tonight, I found a great idea on here on how to fix a flat spot in a rim on the cheap. Literally every single topic on this forum is interesting to me. That said, I don't know of a single other person around me that does this (although I'm sure there are some). I see a lot of thread topics around getting together, wrenching on old bikes, shooting the breeze, etc. It all sounds so fun. Something in the 'gentle note' post really resonated with me, primarily that this is a lonely hobby.

That being said, I hope it isn't always that way, and I'm sure I'm responsible for any lack of community I sense. I do really enjoy going to the local co-op and volunteering when I can, and that helps.

I'm curious - do you have a local C&V community or do you primarily go it alone? To those that have a community around this interest, how did that happen and what would you recommend to start? There is so much going for this hobby - cheap bikes (the 'cheap' being optional), exercise and health benefits, alternatives to the car commute grind, and increasing mechanical skills, to name a few.

Thanks and Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-23-18, 07:35 PM
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Seattle is home to a lot of old bike nuts, but I tend to go my own way with help from my on-line friends.
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Old 12-23-18, 07:38 PM
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In NC, I was not alone as a C&V fan, but maybe singular in my level of enthusiasm. I had a close friend who shared the fever, but had 2-bike restraint.

Here in IN, not much. I met one guy who had 4-5 C&V bikes, but I've only seen him once, on one ride. There's a strapping guy from Ireland, sits on his BMC or Dogma and grins when I roll up on steel. He's a fan, just not going to do indulge. In the pace lines, I can tell they're nervous when I'm on DT shifters, but that goes away after I pull a couple of times. I've worked hard to be a good pace line rider, so that helps in crowds.

I'm not exactly the guy you want to ride with, at first glance. Not sure why. I don't think it's the bike. I take a while to warm up.

A couple bike shops know me, and are very nice about C&V. The young wrenches really like C&V. That's how it is.

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Old 12-23-18, 07:38 PM
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I pretty much solo it, plus BF C&V, of course.
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Old 12-23-18, 07:41 PM
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Been going it alone. I'm fine with that.
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Old 12-23-18, 07:42 PM
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I know a few guys but no real community to speak of. Seems most mature guys stick to themselves and c&v is just not that big with younger groups.
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Old 12-23-18, 07:50 PM
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We did have some, probably gone the way of the dodo for the most part now with VC done. Still have a strong BF contingent so we'll see.
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Old 12-23-18, 07:53 PM
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I'm the lone c&v'er in the group I ride with.
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Old 12-23-18, 07:53 PM
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There are a few C&Vers here in Kalamazoo, including BF member Irwin7638. I have a couple of non-BF friends who ride C&V bikes. I see a few C&V bikes on club rides or area charity rides.
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Old 12-23-18, 08:17 PM
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Add another to the solo riders.
Did random group rides for a while but never really took to the whole "here's when we're leaving and here's where we're going" thing.
I'm pretty unsociable anyway, so it all works out.
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Old 12-23-18, 08:38 PM
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Lots of vintage regulars on the Pasadena vintage ride, 1st Sunday each month. Some from as far away as Santa Barbara, San Diego, and points in between. We try to hook up at Eroica, too. I'm the only regular vintage rider in my club, Channel Island Bike Club, but I keep working on the carbonizers, even though sometimes I are one.
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Old 12-23-18, 08:41 PM
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I never got into the "group ride" sort of thing.

I've talked bikes with a few people out at rest areas- if they've got old bikes- it's just their bike- nothing special, they're not excited or tied to their bike- it's just their bike that they ride.

One guy said "nice 720" about my bike. Once.

The kids at the LBS (that closed) weren't so much interested in my old bikes... but I think they got a kick out of me being charged up about them.
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Old 12-23-18, 08:44 PM
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Pretty much go it alone. Small college town here. There are a decent number of vintage bikes around and not just with the college students. There's one guy I saw a couple of years ago on a beautiful blue Vitus 979 - haven't seen him since. Word travels around town that I'm the guy who likes old bikes, especially French. The LBS owner will call once in awhile with parts I might be interested in. My physical the****** has an 83 Pinarello but pretty much rides his new Specialized all the time. I would love to have that. The shop owner has owned it since 1982 and in some ways I think he appreciates that he can talk old steel bikes with me.
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Old 12-23-18, 08:53 PM
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Lucky enough to have met a few people with my affliction. I have one friend who is a 52-54cm and I'm more a 58-60 so we do quite a bit of trading. If you are in an area that has bike swaps, it's always a good place to find a few vintage guys.
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Old 12-23-18, 10:17 PM
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I have two friends, that are also Forum members, that are pretty close to me. We feed each others sickness and do ride together a few times a season. There are more members in the area, though farther away. There is usually a group ride in the spring that attracts more members from the area and beyond. The owner of my LBS collects vintage bikes and is always interested in seeing what comes through my garage. Most of the time I do go ride alone though. Group rides are fun but it is pretty hard to coordinate everyone to a date and time. Busy lives.
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Old 12-23-18, 10:29 PM
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Aside from periods of time when I've worked in bike shops, cycling and an interest in C&V in particular has been a solitary hobby. The rare exceptions have been the pleasure of meeting a few of the people who post on this forum over the years (one even kindly loaned me a bike to use for a few days while visiting his area), and I do have a good friend locally who's also into old bikes, and occasionally we trade parts or help out in other ways, but we have such different schedules that we've done almost no riding together the past few years...
@AdventureManCO what part of the state are you in?
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Old 12-23-18, 11:30 PM
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I know people who have old bikes, but they are not collectors or really interested in old bikes. I think they just held onto their old bikes when they got new ones. They bring the old ones out on occasion for a change of pace.
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Old 12-23-18, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve Whitlatch View Post
I have two friends, that are also Forum members, that are pretty close to me. We feed each others sickness and do ride together a few times a season. There are more members in the area, though farther away. There is usually a group ride in the spring that attracts more members from the area and beyond. The owner of my LBS collects vintage bikes and is always interested in seeing what comes through my garage. Most of the time I do go ride alone though. Group rides are fun but it is pretty hard to coordinate everyone to a date and time. Busy lives.
I think I saw once that you are in the Chicago area? If so, I’d love to know what LBS you are talking about. PM me if you don’t want to post it.

I myself am in the Western Suburbs.
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Old 12-24-18, 12:43 AM
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One of the cool things about living in the Twin Cities is that there are any number of dedicated bike groups - gravel grinder, mtb, fat tire, and to a lesser extent, C&V. A small group of enthusiasts usually organize a couple C&V rides during the year, but there is not a regular ride group that I know of. A few of the C&V riders are members here, and they really kniw their vintage stuff. OTOH, there is a pretty intense group of 3-speed fanatics that host a couple major events during the year, and those outings are a ton of fun! As far as weekly rides, my group of friends will ride a lot of different bikes depending on the ride we choose and our mood for the day. I split my time equally between my 1980 Pro Miyata and my C’dale CAADX. But I have one buddy with whom I will do the odd 3-speed outing. I think the groups are there if I were to look more deeply.

My buddy and me before taking off on the annual All British Cycling Event.

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Old 12-24-18, 02:30 AM
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There are not a lot of cyclists around here and those that are don't care about anything but the new stuff. That's why I am restoring a tired sun baked Centurion for my oldest Grandchild. I'll start my own C&V fan club! We spent a couple of hours today tearing it down and when I get everything gathered up and cleaned up we will spend time putting it back together. We already ride together when we can and always have a good time. Restoring this old bike and riding classic steel together will be the icing on the cake. We may not have a c&v community where I live but the one here is helping me out big time with this project. We have been playing around on a tandem some too.
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Old 12-24-18, 04:11 AM
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There are 3 of us here in my town; me, myself, and I.
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Old 12-24-18, 05:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Fahrenheit531 View Post
Add another to the solo riders.
Did random group rides for a while but never really took to the whole "here's when we're leaving and here's where we're going" thing.
I'm pretty unsociable anyway, so it all works out.
+1. Its why i usually tour alone. Now going to the grocery or coffee shop or bar with my gf works for me. Just cant handle guys in lycra.
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Old 12-24-18, 06:01 AM
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Add another to the solo riders. Primarily because, being retired, I choose to pick the best weather days of the week for rides. No schedules to coordinate. And I'm not too interested in regular group rides: too much coordination, 'just wait for Bill.....and Frank......and now wait for Beth....' and I'm sure to ride faster than most and slower than many. Naw, just plug in the ear buds and sail along in the moment. Stop whenever I like and change plans whenever I like. JRA.

There are several other forum members in the region but no gatherings. My friend who owns our LBS likes the C&V bikes and we work together on restorations. He does much older ones, '40 & '50s tanks. That's nice camraderie.

I do enjoy road trips and getting together with forum members. CCRT, Northern Rail Trail, Farmington Canal Trail, etc. Always a good time. Planning to do many more.
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Old 12-24-18, 06:16 AM
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There is actually a C&V group in my area. They meet every now and then for lunch or dinner and have discussions. But, I'm an antisocial misanthrope and never socialize. I mean it's bad enough that I have to ride with a few of them, I have to be social too? Actually, I consider myself a rider, not a collector. I just like riding vintage stuff. I do show up for their annual vintage ride.
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Old 12-24-18, 06:18 AM
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Another solo rider. Have been all my life. The family moved every couple of years growing up so only knew solo rides. The last place we lived, there was some opportunity but the habit and convenience, as @Prowler stated, just kicked in. I now live in Fredericksburg VA and I swear I am the only BF member here. Haven't seen many older bike either. Being a college town, Mary Washington University, the bike ridden are more lower end or MTB's.
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