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You just never know who you'll meet while camping...

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You just never know who you'll meet while camping...

Old 06-05-21, 07:33 AM
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You just never know who you'll meet while camping...

We returned yesterday from camping for the week in central Oregon. The weather was perfect, although warmer than usual for this time of year.

To my surprise, the couple that were the camp hosts had a couple of sweet Mondonicos, which they had purchased new years ago from the now-defunct Salem bike shop South Salem Cycleworks (actually, they still have an online presence).

What was more surprising was to discover that Russ and I were both members of Capitol Velo Racing Club, at different times (me from mid-late 80s, him in the early 90s). So we had a great time discussing old times, mutual people we knew, and of course bikes. I told Russ about Bike Forums and got his email address, so hopefully he shows up here and joins the fun.

Russ let me take a few shots of the bikes:








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Old 06-05-21, 07:37 AM
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Awesome story, AND the Mondonico’s! You just don’t see those every day.
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Old 06-05-21, 08:13 AM
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Beautiful bikes, great story
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Old 06-05-21, 10:13 AM
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Those are indeed rare and beautiful bikes -- thanks for sharing.

My only cycling and camping story is from a morning in 1972, when two of us were cycling up Mt. Wilson (just northeast of Los Angeles) and encountered a troop of Boy Scouts breaking camp. Their leader said to us, "I'm glad I'm not with you. Where did you start -- Glendale?" "No, Santa Monica," my friend replied. "I'm really glad I'm not with you!"
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Old 06-05-21, 01:48 PM
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He still has several frames in stock, he's very proud of them as he should be, but....

https://www.sscycleworks.com/bicycle...ames-sale.html

And Torelli's

https://www.sscycleworks.com/bicycle...ames-sale.html
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Old 06-05-21, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
He still has several frames in stock, he's very proud of them as he should be, but...
Those prices are steep, more than I'm willing to pay for something that's not custom made for me.
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Old 06-05-21, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by johnnyace View Post
Those prices are steep, more than I'm willing to pay for something that's not custom made for me.
Agreed, I've been aware for a long time, looked at them many times, met the guy once and he was pretty full of himself, bragged about all the bikes he had.

I looked him up and thought no wonder, mostly too overpriced so they don't sell. Too bad too, those should be on the road.
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Old 06-05-21, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
He still has several frames in stock, he's very proud of them as he should be, but....
$1500 for a dented Mondonico f/f.

I am really enjoying the color palette on the cycles in the OP. An eye for detail down to the bottle cages. Awesome!
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Old 06-05-21, 02:25 PM
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Silly prices imo.
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Old 06-05-21, 02:28 PM
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@johnnyace

No full on pics?
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Old 06-05-21, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
Agreed, I've been aware for a long time, looked at them many times, met the guy once and he was pretty full of himself, bragged about all the bikes he had.

I looked him up and thought no wonder, mostly too overpriced so they don't sell. Too bad too, those should be on the road.
Well, I wasn't gonna bring it up, but since you did...
Yes, Mike is very full of himself, opinionated, and a braggart. Many people had a hard time with him. Russ and I talked about that a bit. The thing about South Salem Cycleworks, though, was that they were the only place in Salem for years that was still carrying bikes like this. All the other stops in town had the usual Giant/Trek/Specialized big-brand focus, and nothing Italian. But the prices, yeah... consequently, I never bought a bike from him, but did have some work done there, and those prices were decent.
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Old 06-05-21, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
@johnnyace

No full on pics?
No, sorry. The bikes were locked and stored under a tarp (he uncovered the bottom 2/3rds of the bikes) at the front of their camp trailer, and there was a new, very large steel chain around both bikes. Helene gave Russ a bit of a hard time about this, as I knew BF members probably would. I was surprised by it myself! But the paint was fine. Anyway, I decided to avoid THAT shot.

We will be returning to the same campground in August, and they will still be hosting, so hopefully we can get a ride in together, and I can get more pics.
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Old 06-05-21, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by johnnyace View Post
Well, I wasn't gonna bring it up, but since you did...
Yes, Mike is very full of himself, opinionated, and a braggart. Many people had a hard time with him. Russ and I talked about that a bit. The thing about South Salem Cycleworks, though, was that they were the only place in Salem for years that was still carrying bikes like this. All the other stops in town had the usual Giant/Trek/Specialized big-brand focus, and nothing Italian. But the prices, yeah... consequently, I never bought a bike from him, but did have some work done there, and those prices were decent.
Well you're right and I get it but when you're the only real game in town it speaks volumes when you think its right to gouge that much. His bragging would be fine if it wasn't mainly an attempt to bolster his pricing.

We all like to talk up and show off our work, deals, acquisitions, etc. but we know our audience and are usually quick to be corrected if need be, price reasonably and have respect for our collective wisdom.

If the labor rates were decent then that's a bit redeeming as long as consumable prices were also in line but that can be a bit self regulating as you can easily price shop those things and call BS when they are out of line.

Of course he is entitled to his opinion, business model and all else but its not rocket science, he has a lot of frames that may actually be losing value as his target audience ages out and didn't buy any when they were in the thick of it, let alone now.
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Old 06-05-21, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by johnnyace View Post
No, sorry. The bikes were locked and stored under a tarp (he uncovered the bottom 2/3rds of the bikes) at the front of their camp trailer, and there was a new, very large steel chain around both bikes. Helene gave Russ a bit of a hard time about this, as I knew BF members probably would. I was surprised by it myself! But the paint was fine. Anyway, I decided to avoid THAT shot.

We will be returning to the same campground in August, and they will still be hosting, so hopefully we can get a ride in together, and I can get more pics.
No worries,

sounds good, maybe take him an inner tube to cut up and cover the chain with. I've also seen some people wrap the whole chain with tape then cover it with the tube, to make it a little more easy to wrangle and not flop around on the paint.
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Old 06-05-21, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
Those are indeed rare and beautiful bikes -- thanks for sharing.

My only cycling and camping story is from a morning in 1972, when two of us were cycling up Mt. Wilson (just northeast of Los Angeles) and encountered a troop of Boy Scouts breaking camp. Their leader said to us, "I'm glad I'm not with you. Where did you start -- Glendale?" "No, Santa Monica," my friend replied. "I'm really glad I'm not with you!"
I got pretty much the same reaction in 1980 when I was 'on tour' from Cleveland OH to Madison WI. I had started my day at 6am-ish outside of Antioch IL near the IL/WI border, north to Muskego (to say hello to my aunt/dad's sister), then went north of Waukesha/Pewaukee, then west on towards Watertown (another aunt/mom's sister). I stopped at a diner on the outskirts for a bite so my aunt wouldn't feel the need to feed me (already rode 85+ miles by this point)... Folks at the diner couldn't believe that I had ridden that far... When I told them that four days ago (I was into day five), I had left Cleveland, they were flabbergasted!.(I got a free meal out of telling my story).. After a quick visit with mom's sister, it was on to Madison. In all, a 125-mile day, all by 8pm.
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Old 06-05-21, 11:23 PM
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I find interesting the edges the head tube and seat tube color breaks were done - blue to “champagne”
the headtube color break is pretty typical, the seat tube at the tube edge, not the outer lug edge is interesting.

centaur in century finish... uncommon

cannot run a bigger rear tire!
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Old 06-06-21, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Cougrrcj View Post
I got pretty much the same reaction in 1980 when I was 'on tour' from Cleveland OH to Madison WI. I had started my day at 6am-ish outside of Antioch IL near the IL/WI border, north to Muskego (to say hello to my aunt/dad's sister), then went north of Waukesha/Pewaukee, then west on towards Watertown (another aunt/mom's sister). I stopped at a diner on the outskirts for a bite so my aunt wouldn't feel the need to feed me (already rode 85+ miles by this point)... Folks at the diner couldn't believe that I had ridden that far... When I told them that four days ago (I was into day five), I had left Cleveland, they were flabbergasted!.(I got a free meal out of telling my story).. After a quick visit with mom's sister, it was on to Madison. In all, a 125-mile day, all by 8pm.
Being the only recreational road cyclist in a large radius, I get this quite frequently. You went all the way to Cacalchen!? That's a long way! 36 km roundtrip.
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Old 06-06-21, 03:58 PM
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In the mid 70's, 3 hippie looking guys on loaded bikes camping in county parks in small town Tennessee was still a rare and maybe suspicious curiosity. Most people were friendly and we never got overly hassled. At least once we got the idea that the deputies in the town we left had notified the deputies in the direction we were headed. Only once did they want to look through our bags and we froze when one said 'You're lookin' a little glassy eyed'. We knew better than to have anything leafy on this trip. They were OK letting us keep our little bottles of Jack. We were never more than 60 miles away from Lynchburg and even now there are dry counties where alcohol sale is limited but there are plenty of open secret places that thrive. One of the stores we stopped at had the classic old guys on the shaded porch and one of them was carving with a pocket knife. John was into pocket knives, had one of his own and got into a discussion with the guy and wanted to trade knives. He was interested but not enough to trade. One of the locals told us about a lake and waterfall that we would never have known about so we took the side trip. It was great. Hours later we rode back through the town by the store and that old guy stepped out into the street to stop us and trade knives. Exciting stuff, I know. The crappy plastic Simplex derailleurs on my cheap French bike decided to crap out so I did a lot of that trip with only 3 or 4 noisy gears. Interesting coincidence here. I still have that bike and it was my Covid summer resto-mod job and is better than ever. Stout, smooth and quiet with a few hundred new miles on it already. The 70's Cyclone rear, barely used mid-80's Sun Tour XC front, freewheel and 30T chainring are from South Salem Cycles website. I don't know anything else about him but in my emails and conversations with him he was friendly, courteous, educational and helpful to a guy who had never completely torn down and rebuilt a bike from the ground up.

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Old 06-06-21, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Medium Size Dog View Post
In the mid 70's, 3 hippie looking guys on loaded bikes camping in county parks in small town Tennessee was still a rare and maybe suspicious curiosity. Most people were friendly and we never got overly hassled. At least once we got the idea that the deputies in the town we left had notified the deputies in the direction we were headed. Only once did they want to look through our bags and we froze when one said 'You're lookin' a little glassy eyed'. We knew better than to have anything leafy on this trip. They were OK letting us keep our little bottles of Jack. We were never more than 60 miles away from Lynchburg and even now there are dry counties where alcohol sale is limited but there are plenty of open secret places that thrive. One of the stores we stopped at had the classic old guys on the shaded porch and one of them was carving with a pocket knife. John was into pocket knives, had one of his own and got into a discussion with the guy and wanted to trade knives. He was interested but not enough to trade. One of the locals told us about a lake and waterfall that we would never have known about so we took the side trip. It was great. Hours later we rode back through the town by the store and that old guy stepped out into the street to stop us and trade knives. Exciting stuff, I know. The crappy plastic Simplex derailleurs on my cheap French bike decided to crap out so I did a lot of that trip with only 3 or 4 noisy gears. Interesting coincidence here. I still have that bike and it was my Covid summer resto-mod job and is better than ever. Stout, smooth and quiet with a few hundred new miles on it already. The 70's Cyclone rear, barely used mid-80's Sun Tour XC front, freewheel and 30T chainring are from South Salem Cycles website. I don't know anything else about him but in my emails and conversations with him he was friendly, courteous, educational and helpful to a guy who had never completely torn down and rebuilt a bike from the ground up.
Great story, tx for sharing, these are the experiences that make life great, interesting and so cool.

I think the guy at SSC has likely mellowed a bit by now and from above has always helped with parts, shop work and the like.

But that doesn't change the fact that his prices on the frames are beyond IMO.

Their are a couple that I have looked at several times but I never even tried to make an offer for them being so far out there.
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