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I feel like they'd laugh...

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I feel like they'd laugh...

Old 12-04-20, 11:13 PM
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Kilroy1988 
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I feel like they'd laugh...

So this evening I sat down to read through a copy of "The Bicycle" from April 1950, which had a lovely article about touring in search of moted manors and touched on some interesting contemporary political issues about congested traffic, polluted rivers, etc... Then I got to thinking about the famous British time trialist Ray Booty, who was the first to break the four hour record during a 100 mile run back in 1956... And I wondered what such blokes would think of me now, day dreaming about spending rather inordinate amount of money finding, fixing up and then trying to sprint, climb, and perhaps even fly using their seventy year old bikes?

I'm pretty sure they'd laugh, and if they were alive today they'd mostly be hanging with the crowd we see constantly pushing the boundaries of cycling technology. Technology that many of us here in C&V refuse to tamper with, if not outright reject.

Just a funny thought that made me wonder for a moment, "what am I doing, exactly?" That's all.

-Gregory
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Old 12-05-20, 07:31 AM
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For some. It’s about the bike.
For some, it’s abut the speed.
Take care to ride what you like,
Or be forced to like what you need.
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Old 12-05-20, 08:08 AM
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Cyclists from the 1950s wouldn't be laughing at us but looking on in shock, the moment they saw everybody wearing masks. Then they'd head straight back, with out even looking at our bicycle technology.
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Old 12-05-20, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
For some. Itís about the bike.
For some, itís abut the speed.
Take care to ride what you like,
Or be forced to like what you need.
Robbie's bringing the poetry! Preach it, brother.
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Old 12-05-20, 08:37 AM
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I think in 1950, there were blokes interested in bikes from 1880. Spending an inordinate amount of time and money trying to fix up and ride their old bikes. Good for them.

While things change, people don't.
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Old 12-05-20, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Cyclists from the 1950s wouldn't be laughing at us but looking on in shock, the moment they saw everybody wearing masks. Then they'd head straight back, with out even looking at our bicycle technology.
You mean the ones who survived the Spanish flu in 1920?

I doubt it.
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Old 12-05-20, 08:58 AM
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If a cyclist from the '50s saw most of our collections (60s/70s/80s), especially you perfectionists, they would be drooling. 6 speed freewheels, alloy components, high pressure tires&rims, etc .

They might hate seeing masks but clipless pedals, power meters, heart rate monitors, performance apps, tracking apps, cell phones would be too much GEEK to resist.

And don't forget - helmets. They will all be gob-smacked - How the heck did they ever survive after riding a bike helmet-less?
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Old 12-05-20, 09:01 AM
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Historian Margaret MacMillan, author of Paris 1919, the definitive account of the Treaty of Versailles, has observed that the flu pandemic of 1918-1919 made surprisingly little durable impact on the popular consciousness into the 1920s. Despite its decimation of productive young adults—20-40-year-olds had the highest death rates and the elderly were barely touched—society just shook it off and mostly forgot about it, going by her research of books and newspaper articles. The international panic and angst about mask orders etc. just evaporated. The dancehalls and speakeasies were jammed full as people enjoyed the collapse of the 19th-Century social order.

We will, too.
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Old 12-05-20, 10:29 AM
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I'm pretty sure they'd laugh, and if they were alive today they'd mostly be hanging with the crowd we see constantly pushing the boundaries of cycling technology. Technology that many of us here in C&V refuse to tamper with, if not outright reject.

If you consider only those that were using every advantage to break a record or win a race, you are probably right - they'd be amused with us. But if you look at the larger population of cyclists of the fifties, those who reveled in the basic magic of the bicycle - how a simple machine can parlay the energy of a brisk walk into a exhilarating sensation of speed - those blokes might be heard saying "disc brakes, brifters, who needs 'em?".
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Old 12-05-20, 10:46 AM
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Good question!
We woudn't have to reach back to the fifties. The folks I rode and raced with in the seventies, those who are still riding, mostly ride modern bikes. Some also have a vintage bike or two.
On the other hand there are a couple of fellows on the Classic Rendezvous list who raced in the fifties and are very dedicated to their vintage bikes.
Brent
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Old 12-05-20, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by obrentharris View Post
Good question!
We woudn't have to reach back to the fifties. The folks I rode and raced with in the seventies, those who are still riding, mostly ride modern bikes. Some also have a vintage bike or two.
On the other hand there are a couple of fellows on the Classic Rendezvous list who raced in the fifties and are very dedicated to their vintage bikes.
Brent
A good comparison! And it does come down to riding style and interest in the machines, certainly... The little weekly magazines I read from 1950s Britain were mostly written by and for people who took their modern gear seriously at the time, including racing and touring types. They are full of advertisements for all the latest gizmos and gadgets that antiquarians now would drool over, but which collectors and purveyors of old things would have scoffed at even then, surely.

My uncle's let me borrow both of his old steel racing bikes over the years when I was low on rides or just wanted something extra to fool around with. He kept them around for some reason, and also restores classic cars and builds model RC WWII aircraft and generally loves old things, but he scoffs at the idea of riding an old bicycle nowadays. He's on a couple year old carbon Eddy Merckx with full Record-11 these days.

I didn't really have the pandemic and masks and actual time travel in mind when I wrote this post last night... I'm sure nearly all the British folks who lived through the bombings of the war and rationing (which was still going on in 1950 for many commodities) would only laugh to think that we're fretting nowadays over some closed shops and having to wear masks. Based on how the pandemic is going for my friends in England, those people'd be turning in their graves!

-Gregory
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Old 12-05-20, 11:28 AM
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I’m pretty sure those 1950 4 hour century ride guys would love to have a 12# racer. Wow, back when men were men, smoked and got drunk after a segment.
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Old 12-05-20, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
I’m pretty sure those 1950 4 hour century ride guys would love to have a 12# racer. Wow, back when men were men, smoked and got drunk after a segment.
Funny thing, as I read through these old issues of The Bicycle from the 1950s I frequently come across mention of how important it is for serious cyclists to avoid habits such as smoking and drinking, to avoid all of the "prepared" meals that were coming up in the marketplaces and focus on fresh food, and have even come across mention of how a proper diet would ideally avoid the "artificial stimulants" of tea and coffee!

I'm pretty certain that in general, it's been realized for quite some time that a physically active body responses much more acutely (and perhaps more adversely) to the affects of poor quality or debilitating food and beverage intake. However, since more people smoked in general back in the day, we see it permeate the advertisement and athletic culture with enough frequency for us to notice it immediately today, while it would have commonly just been understood as a poor choice of habits before. And it was clearly already rapidly diminishing among true sporting enthusiasts by mid-century.

-Gregory

Last edited by Kilroy1988; 12-05-20 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 12-05-20, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Kilroy1988 View Post
Funny thing, as I read through these old issues of The Bicycle from the 1950s I frequently come across mention of how important it is for serious cyclists to avoid habits such as smoking and drinking, to avoid all of the "prepared" meals that were coming up in the marketplaces and focus on fresh food, and have even come across mention of how a proper diet would ideally avoid the "artificial stimulants" of tea and coffee!

I'm pretty certain that in general, it's been realized for quite some time that a physically active body responses much more acutely (and perhaps more adversely) to the affects of poor quality or debilitating food and beverage intake.

-Gregory
Cool stuff! I have a vintage photo off the internet of the oldschool guys riding abreast no hands at a segment and leaning over to light each otherís cigarette.
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Old 12-05-20, 11:48 AM
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OldsCOOL Certainly that! I edited my post a little bit just after you quoted it. Since smoking as a habit was far more common in general throughout most of the 20th century, it was inevitable that many sportmen continued to smoke or were convinced that it had little or no ill-effects on their physical exertions because that was commonly understood among most societies as being true. But besides doctors, I feel confident in assuming that it was actually athletes who were among the first to realize the gravity of the effects such habits had! They would certainly feel it much more than many other people due to the constant stress put on their bodies by working out.

-Gregory
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Old 12-05-20, 12:37 PM
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Or:

Originally Posted by daka View Post
those blokes might be heard saying "Sturmey Archer 3-speed, 4-speed, and 5-speed hubs, Raleigh's self-adjusting brakes, who needs 'em?".
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Old 12-05-20, 12:46 PM
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I feel like they'd laugh...
If brought back to life? Yeah, just give 'em a cigar ... and a blind friend.

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Old 12-05-20, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
You mean the ones who survived the Spanish flu in 1920?


I doubt it.

I don't. The so-called Spanish Flu would be far from their minds. They'd be arriving from the cold war era with the threat of nuclear and biological weaponry. Schools were doing routine 'duck and cover' and gas mask drills. They'd probably think the worst and high-tail it out of 2020.
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Old 12-05-20, 03:30 PM
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I feel like they'd laugh.
Funny how? What’s funny about it? ... You mean, let me understand this cause, ya know maybe it’s me, I’m a little ****** up maybe, but I’m funny how, I mean funny like I’m a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh, I’m here to ******’ amuse you? What do you mean funny, funny how? How am I funny? No, no, I don’t know, you said it. How do I know? You said I’m funny. How the **** am I funny, what the **** is so funny about me? Tell me, tell me what’s funny!

Spoiler
 
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Old 12-06-20, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
I don't. The so-called Spanish Flu would be far from their minds. They'd be arriving from the cold war era with the threat of nuclear and biological weaponry. Schools were doing routine 'duck and cover' and gas mask drills. They'd probably think the worst and high-tail it out of 2020.
You'll be dead in 30 years, but you don't think your average 20-something today won't remember the year they wore masks? Exactly like the 20-somethings did in 1920?

Guess again. People thinking the past was so awesome are the ones with selective memory.
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Old 12-06-20, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
The so-called Spanish Flu
btw, what do you mean by this? Blaming the flu on Spain? Or that the flu happened? If the former, blaming a country for a virus is stupid. If the latter, denying the deaths of 50,000,000 people is jus sad ignorance.
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Old 12-06-20, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
You'll be dead in 30 years, but you don't think your average 20-something today won't remember the year they wore masks? Exactly like the 20-somethings did in 1920?

Guess again. People thinking the past was so awesome are the ones with selective memory.

Yeah I turned 30 during this.

This memory surely isnít going anywhere.
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Old 12-06-20, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
btw, what do you mean by this? Blaming the flu on Spain? Or that the flu happened? If the former, blaming a country for a virus is stupid. If the latter, denying the deaths of 50,000,000 people is jus sad ignorance.
Turning the heat down a little, I think he is referencing ďSpanishĒ as a misnomer. The epidemic certainly did not originate in Spain and is now known, from analysis of stored serum specimens, to have been circulating in North America even before the end of the Great War. Like all novel influenza strains, it emerged somewhere in the Far East after the usual genetic reassortment in birds or pigs and spread on ships around the world.

It earned its ďSpanishĒ moniker only after the King of Spain died of it. The modern scientific convention of naming new strains after the location where they were first detected (Shanghai, Bangkok, Sydney, ...) is much more recent than 1919.
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Old 12-06-20, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Funny how? Whatís funny about it? ... You mean, let me understand this cause, ya know maybe itís me, Iím a little ****** up maybe, but Iím funny how, I mean funny like Iím a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh, Iím here to ******í amuse you? What do you mean funny, funny how? How am I funny? No, no, I donít know, you said it. How do I know? You said Iím funny. How the **** am I funny, what the **** is so funny about me? Tell me, tell me whatís funny!
Spoiler
 

Go home and get your ******* shinebox
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Old 12-06-20, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
btw, what do you mean by this? Blaming the flu on Spain? Or that the flu happened? If the former, blaming a country for a virus is stupid. If the latter, denying the deaths of 50,000,000 people is jus sad ignorance.

I meant that "Spanish Flu" is a misnomer for the 1918-1920 influenza pandemic. It was only called that because the first reports of widespread infection and deaths came out of neutral Spain. The nations at war suppressed reports on the influenza spread in their countries so as not to provide information to their enemies regarding their ability to sustain the war industry.
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