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Time-warp purple Picchio pics...

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Time-warp purple Picchio pics...

Old 07-19-07, 11:21 PM
  #1  
Lew Decker
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Time-warp purple Picchio pics...








Well...Baby steps are good. These are pics of the Picchio I built in about '83. It has been ridden exactly twice in 24 years. I rolled it out of the den into the garage, blew off all the loose dust, wiped the rest of it off and, dang, there was a bicycle under all that crud.

I made the remark in an earlier post that when the frame arrived at my door, I was delighted with it except that it had an eccentric touch...If you look at the last two pics you can see where Angelo Picchio had creased the seat stays and the down tube - the chain stays are also creased - in an attempt to stiffen the frame. I wonder if it worked?

The bike has a Turbo saddle, Gipiemme seat post, Cinelli bar and stem, Campy Record headset, bottom bracket and hubs, Mavic G-40 rims, stainless spokes, Ofmega Mistral crankset, Ofmega Premier derailleurs, and Modolo brakes. Not exactly world-beater components but for closeout specials, they aren't so bad, I guess.

So...Now what? I suppose I will have to ride it. I was a little self-conscious about the size of the frame - a 63 cm - but I'm 6'3" so it seemed like the right choice back then. I looked at some high-end bikes today in a local shop ($10,000 for a bicycle????) and I walked away thinking...Hmmmm...My little Picchio is okay.

Are there age-group rides out there? I checked in a local rag and discovered a group of 60+-year-old riders who meet on occasion. I'd like to try that since I'm closing in on 63. I play hardball on a 55+ team so I'm not washed up...Yet.

I hope I see some of you out on the road.
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Old 07-19-07, 11:27 PM
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Wow, cool bike! I really like that Ofmega crankset.
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Old 07-20-07, 03:50 AM
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Ofmega and Avocet were big in 1983 - I remember that time period well.

As for age, Glenn the Cannibal is the current leader of my weekly pack and, at 68, can motor for 50 miles at 20mph pulling the entire way. I'm 48 and the youngest in the group. Bob is 72 and supposedly is a stronger rider than Glenn.
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Old 07-20-07, 04:53 AM
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My complements - a really nice bike. Only ridden twice. "Special' is an apt model name - it is special. It may cost $10000 for a top-line new bike but you couldn't buy a bike like that today. I suppose the baby steps will only continue on very nice days.
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Old 07-20-07, 08:49 AM
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That is REALLY beautiful! Great rare bike.
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Old 07-20-07, 12:09 PM
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Lew Decker
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What about actually riding it? I plan to but, given its age and condition, am I being naive to think I could thrash around on a backcountry two-lane without some concern for wearing it out? I don't think "worth" is the question - it probably isn't really worth what I have in it - but in terms of rarity and the fact that it is virtually an untouched 80's-vintage Italian road bike, maybe I should think twice about riding off for the hills.

I had a brief fling with a Triumph Spitfire restoration. I enjoyed driving it and would have raced it if I had any more money to flush down the toilet, but there was always the nagging question about pranging the beautiful thing. I go to the vintage races every year and watch the rich guys thrashing about in their million-dollar Ferraris, but it is always THEIR cars, not mine. I often wonder whether I would really have the guts to do that. The Picchio is historically insignificant, but still...It makes me think I should go find a beater to ride instead.
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Old 07-20-07, 12:13 PM
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If you don't enjoy riding it whilst you've got it--then someone else will have the pleasure later.

At least, that's my humble take on the matter .

That is a gorgeous bike.

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Old 07-20-07, 02:46 PM
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Vintage bikes are different that vintage cars in that certain parts that normally wear out are easily and cheaply found. IMO there is not the stigma of non-originality in the bike world that there is in the vintage car world. Check out the "All original parts- how important?" thread in this subforum for more information. As long as the bike is well maintained, the need to replace parts will be usually pretty low, except for things like tires, cables or break pads, which are replaced frequently and are "acceptable" to replace. Even things like bottom brackets are relatively cheap, compared to replacing virtually anything on a classic car. My suggestion is to study up on bike maintenance and give the bike a full cleaning and regreasing. Some new tires, cables and pads and you should be ready to go. These old bikes love to be ridden-I ride my '86 Pinarello virtually every day and it soaks it up with the deftness of other, modern road bikes I've had.
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Old 07-20-07, 07:44 PM
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I didn't know exactly how to put it. I shouldn't have said anything about wearing the Picchio out...I should have used the big C word, meaning Crash the poor thing. At my age it probably is more than likely that might happen, especially given my inexperience. I just don't want to prang the frame beyond repair. But, as the lanky lass has suggested, it would be far better for me to do that than some strange new owner.

Is there a time machine available? In a past life I was a rider - actually, there were times when my buddies and I were the only cyclists on the road. We rode from Monterey to Yosemite to Fresno and back to Monterey once and never saw any other riders, a basic 500 mile trip in 1962. I think that was the year the dinosaurs ate the crops. The machinery? Ordered direct from Sears, Roebuck - J. C. Higgins himself - but the bikes were thinly disguised Puchs complete with Campy components. They were great values - $69.95, I think. One of my riding friends from those years still has his original bike, but he purchased his the year before and it came with Sachs derailleurs - or were they Huret? Simplex? Holy smokes, I can't remember...Old age is crap, and then it only gets worse.

I still haven't ridden the Picchio - I'm not past the Christmas Morning stage - but a ride is imminent. Anyone care to join me???
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Old 07-20-07, 09:13 PM
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It's rare that someone builds up a bike and only rides it twice, but not passing judgment or anything.
I'm gonna be in SO-CAL in a couple of weeks.
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Old 07-20-07, 11:27 PM
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Where is John E.? He's in Encinitas...isn't he?

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Old 07-22-07, 01:41 AM
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I know I'm only 47 but if this is any encouragement the coolest cat in my little bike club is a guy that makes the senior years a thing to look forward to.He celebrated his birthday by riding a century(not metric) in 10 1/2hours.Not a bad way to turn 83! So far he has logged logged 127,000 miles. What makes the number of miles truly impressive is that he didn't start counting till he was 65!!!!!!Now thats being vintage with class!
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Old 07-24-07, 12:37 PM
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Mastershake916 - I had to laugh when I saw your post. I have tried to figure out exactly what happened back then - new job, new baby (he's 24 now), moving, other interests - a typical string of excuses, but the Picchio just stood in the corner and waited. The old saying, "It's about the journey, not the destination" might be the best answer, though. I wanted to build a bike to replace some lost youth. I finished the bike and then moved on to another kind of life.

10speed - I can appreciate what you have to say. I am 62 and I feel every minute of it, but I also still play senior baseball in a 55+ league. Our oldest player just turned 83 - He runs, hits, fields his position and pitches. All of the players who see him out there have nothing but absolute respect for Jerry - he is an inspiration, to put it mildly. So...I try to keep my sniveling to a minimum. What you said about being "vintage with class" is spot-on. I will work on that.

East Hill - I don't know you from Adam's housecat, but you are a nice person. Thanks for the welcome.

As for the Picchio, it is now residing in the family room. I stop and stare at it every time I walk by. It will get ridden. Soon. I promise.

Thanks for the encouragement and the friendly replies. This forum is a nice place to be.
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Old 07-24-07, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Lew Decker View Post
Soon. I promise.Thanks for the encouragement and the friendly replies. This forum is a nice place to be.
Thank you Lew. People like you are what make this forum the nice place it is.

When you do take the Picchio out, will you promise to get us some photos? I would love to see some pictures in the 'where'd you ride today?' thread.

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Old 07-24-07, 01:10 PM
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I'm just a young whippersnapper, but I still have some perspective I think is valuable. Life is short. Wether you are 18 or 80, you never know how much of it you might have left. Don't worry about hurting your bike, go out and ride it. Live life while you can. Obviously if your bones don't heal like they once did, you might want to be a bit more cautious, but seriously don't let fear of damaging your BIKE stop you from enjoying it. RIDE it that's what it's there for. Chances are it will outlast you even if you do have a few minor crashes on it. If it ever is damaged irreparably, shed a tear, and move onto the next bike.

All that said it is a certainty that that bike will NOT remain pristine if you ride it. I recommend that you get the first scratch out of the way right off. take a key to the chainstay or seatstay. Just a little scratch nothing too drastic. With that out of the way you can then go about enjoying it as it was meant to be enjoyed as a bicycle, not an object of art. If you simply CAN'T bear to see that beautiful bike scratched, then by all means buy an old beater. You need a bike you are not afraid to ride. constant fear of damage will spoil your enjoyment of riding. Besides you really shouldn't worry about hurting your bike. Bikes are replaceable. concentrate your caution on your own body parts which are not so easily written off, but even THEN don't let fear of injury stop you going for a ride. Hiding from danger is not really living. Only you can decide what is an acceptable level of risk, but if you don't take SOME risks you're already dead.

Oh P.S. that IS a beautiful bike. I too am dubious about the effectiveness of the creases, but the lugwork and paint are gorgeous, and the crank is Über cool looking! I'm gonna suggest you get a wider spaced freewheel though. Those are racing gears, and I'm going to guess you'll want some lower ones if you have any hills at all.

Last edited by mattface; 07-24-07 at 01:17 PM.
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Old 07-24-07, 01:30 PM
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Baby steps is the approach.....you want to ride it....take it out and do a spin around the block or a park. Don't go far, get the feel (the joy of nice bike), get comfortable. Next time out go around the block twice...... next thing you know you and bike are connected again.

It is a beautiful bike and it want's to be ridden

most important...have fun
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Old 07-24-07, 01:53 PM
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I'm rather curious how you only managed to ride the bike twice? since building it..? Especially since its high end. Great looking ride, love the purple!
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Old 07-24-07, 02:36 PM
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I think I'm a little embarrassed. Yes, it is a fact the bike has been ridden twice in 24 years - once on a trip to Utah/Colorado ('93) where I rode the hills around Durango for a bit (terrific fun), and once ('95??) when the only real bikophile I know needed company on a ride from Encinitas down to the Mexican border to complete his Canada to Mexico ride (he had already done coast to coast). That's it.

What is really curious is that after I completed the bike, I leaned it against the wall in my bedroom and never even took it for a test ride. I know that is hard to believe, but...What can I say? The interest just wasn't there. I'm happy I never sold it, though the opportunities were there. Now I can look forward to riding off into Munchkinland on a truly vintage machine that, dare I say it, needs to be ridden.

There are a few paint nicks here and there - from moving a few times - so I'm not worried about cosmetics. I have visions of my Picchio residing in a place of honor with that patina of having been ridden many times over the years. All I need to do is start.

The bike is as purple as grape Kool-Aid backlit by the morning sun, but it looks blue in the pics.

Thanks for your interest. I will post some riding pics as soon as I go riding. Which way is Torino?
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