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50 Years Ago: August 1969 in Bicycling! magazine

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50 Years Ago: August 1969 in Bicycling! magazine

Old 08-13-19, 09:51 AM
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50 Years Ago: August 1969 in Bicycling! magazine

Before RAGBRAI, there was TOSRV. I haven't done either for various reasons, none of them good. I will do both.
In another article, with respect to cranks, a guest author believes longer is better.

As usual, let me know if you'd like to see something else listed in the ToC and I'll do my best to send you a pdf.
Just send me a PM that includes your email address.

Note the Road Test (Hetchin's) was included previously as a separate post in C & V.









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Old 08-13-19, 10:36 AM
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Just imagine the carnage of all those helmetless riders. I bet everyone of them perished on that ride.
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Old 08-13-19, 10:47 AM
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Ah yes, TOSRV before the Bike Boom. Which meant you probably had a week to get your registration in before the ride filled up.

Once the Bike Boom hit, all those new riders just HAD to do TOSRV. By the time I made my first one in 1973 (two guys in the Presque Isle Bicycle Club made 1972 as their first, and then reported back) you absolutely had to turn around your paperwork within 24 hours (US Mail, of course) to have any hope of making that year's pre-determined maximum attendance limit. Wait a couple of days and you were out.

And back then, they had some kind of banquet for the five year and up riders. Which, I guess rapidly became unmanageable. At least that's why I figured I never made my fifth. I rode 1973-1976, and then, for some reason everybody in the PIBC who was coming up on their fifth TOSRV got their paperwork about a week or ten days later than the club members who had fewer rides under their belt. Of course, in an absolute panic, we had the forms turned around in the requisite 24 hours - and every one of us got turned down for getting our paperwork in too late.

Unfortunately, I haven't been back although I've had a couple of occasions in the past fifteen years when it was in my plans. Would still like to do it one more time.

And during the Bike Boom, TOSRV was the equivalent to Daytona Bike Week for the motorcycle crowd. You went if only to actually see some of those bikes you'd read about in the magazines.
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Old 08-13-19, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by brianmcg123 View Post
Just imagine the carnage of all those helmetless riders. I bet everyone of them perished on that ride.
Helmets, schelmets. We didn't need those things. Back then, I wonder how many of those riders were riding stoned, or tripping. I did the 1975 Saturday side of the ride on a hit of microdot - and did four of my buddies that went down with me.
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Old 08-13-19, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by brianmcg123 View Post
Just imagine the carnage of all those helmetless riders. I bet everyone of them perished on that ride.
Back then, if 30 people fell, bounced their head off the pavement and dragged their skulls on the ground for 10' ripping open their ear/scalp, they would typically be worse off than if 30 people did the same thing today. Besides that, you made a good point.
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Old 08-13-19, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by sykerocker View Post
Helmets, schelmets. We didn't need those things. Back then, I wonder how many of those riders were riding stoned, or tripping. I did the 1975 Saturday side of the ride on a hit of microdot - and did four of my buddies that went down with me.
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Old 08-14-19, 07:58 AM
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I have a copy of "American Cyclist" from '66 or '67. 45 participated in TOSRV and hoping to keep the entry fee for next years event to under $2,75. A group photo was taken of all who participated. And it even included several women!😏
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Old 08-14-19, 10:54 AM
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I love the advice in the long crank article to crush your frame under a car (after cutting a section out of the seat tube) in order to raise the BB.
And as someone with short legs and not very flexible hips, I can’t fathom riding with his recommended crank lengths.

As for TOSRV and helmets, my father (a nerdy engineer) rode it on a PX10 in 69 or 70 wearing an orange mountaineering helmet because actual bike helmets weren’t really available. I doubt that fashion statement inspired very many imitations.
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Old 08-14-19, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by brianmcg123 View Post
Just imagine the carnage of all those helmetless riders. I bet everyone of them perished on that ride.
exactly! i mean what would you expect with no disc brakes, either?
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Old 08-14-19, 11:27 PM
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I liked the 'Long Crank' article, too. I have often thought of this. I have a fairly high bottom bracket, so some extended length would be easy to accommodate. I just never see truly long cranks. 175's, yes, but the 216 I 'should' have? Never!
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Old 08-15-19, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by brianmcg123 View Post
Just imagine the carnage of all those helmetless riders. I bet everyone of them perished on that ride.
I try to NOT imagine the saddle sores and chafing under all those jeans after 2 days and 200+ miles.
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Old 08-15-19, 11:36 PM
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Thomas Avenia
US Distributor of Frejus
131 East 119th Street
New York, NY 10035

I drove up there once trying find this place. It was in an area referred to as "Spanish Harlem". I was intending to look the bikes over and likely to buy one.

I vaguely recall a phone call ahead of time to ensure he would let me in and sell me a bike.

If I recall correctly, I found the place, or what I thought was the place, but for some reason I was too intimidated to park and go in. Parking was problematic, I remember that. It was not a conventional retail bicycle store. As I recall, it may have been a small, upstairs warehouse or commercial facility.

I could be completely wrong and may have never found the right place.

131 E 119th Street seems to no longer exist. There is a large, relatively new apartment building on one side of the lot and a small brownstone on the other (125 E 119 St). Things change after 50 years.

Last edited by Bad Lag; 08-15-19 at 11:40 PM.
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Old 08-16-19, 05:15 AM
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"I thought I knew. But now I know. 'Spanish Harlem' are not just pretty words to say.

Until you've seen this trash can dream come true, you stand at the edge while people run you through."

Sounds like a dangerous neighborhood.
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Old 08-16-19, 01:12 PM
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All of New York City is dangerous. East Harlem is not really any worse or better than Harlem or any other residential neighborhood in the City. I've been to East Harlem several times with no trouble.

Last edited by Bad Lag; 08-16-19 at 01:22 PM.
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