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How did your cycling interest progress?

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How did your cycling interest progress?

Old 08-28-09, 12:39 PM
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How did your cycling interest progress?

Like many of you, I assume, I enjoyed riding my bike as a youngster and did some BMXing. I learned to drive and was into cars for a while. I generally liked the cool older cars more, but didn't have the money to buy any of them so it was mostly reading and drooling over pictures.

Next, I got into mopeds. I had 4 at one point and still enjoy and drool over a cool old moped, but am not into them as heavily as I used to be. I still have one, and my dad has one that I traded to him.

Now, I'm getting interested in cycling and cool old bikes. I also find it very cool how many of the names I know from mopedding pop up in the world of bicycles. Motobecane, Puch, Batavus ...

I seem to be going in reverse of what you would think as I get older. Instead of moving to more powerful and flashy vehicles I'm moving downwards to less and less power as time goes on. I wonder if someday I'll get into insect powered vehicles or something.
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Old 08-28-09, 01:02 PM
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My intrest in riding two wheels had been going on since childhood since my first tricycles I shared with my brothers, through my first 10 speed when I was around 11 with a bike that I thought had the name "Eagle" on it. It had fnice metal fenders and lights, all black with a real 10 soeed derailleur. I can't remember all the other details on it, because you just don't notice those things with all the distraction you have as a kid Unfortunately it was stolen from our garage one day, along with my younger brother's bike that had the brand name "Phoenix" on it with a three speed rear hub trannsmission Didn't have a bike for a long time till college. Then, European racing bikes (Peugeots, Motobecanes and Gitanes) in College and then a sort of rebirth into bicyclcing again recently after being totally distracted away from it by work post graduation from University and my other "hobbies". I did share my interest in bicycles with motorcycle riding too, also from gradeshool to the present. From minibikes and on-off road bikes in the 70's, "standard" (unfaired) roadbikes in the 80's to my present Honda VFR750 sportbike today, I have always ridden motorcycles, much more infact than I have ridden bicycles but I find them interelated in obvious and subtle ways.
I did consider getting into MTB during the 90's but it never really caught on with me and I never got one, but I still do eye them (specially Cannondale with the fancy "Lefty" one sided front forK) once in a while because the gear looks soooo interesting to me.
BTW, my intense involvement in cycling in the 80's was fueled by my classmates in college in the school of Architecture I was attending. Many in the school were amature and professional road racers. My classmates introduced my to high performance road racing bikes and riding them fast and I got hooked real bad. I passed on the love of road cycling to my younger brother who followed me in college........NO!, the movie "Breakaway" was not in any way responsible in convincing me to take on cycling back then.....Sheesh!!
84 Peugeot PSV

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Old 08-28-09, 02:52 PM
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+Avid motorcyclist since the 1970s (still going strong). Got back into bicycling for fitness. Rebuilt my old college bike (U08) and the insanity started there.

I did turn my motorcycle workshop into a bicycle workshop. My hydraulic lift table is now functioning as a workbench..
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Old 08-28-09, 03:05 PM
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THis could be a book/simply put though The saturday race in sagamore village and the commuteing through the city of Portland from near Westbrook to munjoy hill I developed rideing skill to last a lifetime./Kenneth
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Old 08-28-09, 03:26 PM
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started with road bikes as a teen.got into MTBs in 86' and went hog wild over them.About 5 years ago started really enjoying road riding now I love any bike and are always working on upgrading, building, adjusting.flipping or giving them away in certain cases.The kids in the neighborhood know to take bikes to me if there's a problem and every bike that gets sold or given away has a lifetime service warrenty
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Old 08-28-09, 03:39 PM
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Bicycles = Freedom

Age 4: rode bicycle with training wheels 3.5 miles to store across major highway in Belton, TX. I skedaddled while store owner was preoccupied calling my parents. Made it back home before being caught. (But was still in serious trouble since the store owner tattled.)

Age 15: rode bmx bike from Diamond Bar to Huntington Beach and back. Some 70 miles ridden almost entirely standing due to hard plastic bmx seat which was too low anyway.

Age 15: rode rusty, borrowed 10-speed to Newport Beach. MUCH, MUCH easier with seat, variable gears, and knowledge of the Santa Ana River trail (what a dream compared to riding 70 miles in stoplights on Valley View Blvd all day long.)

Age 16: was given Schwinn Voyageur for Xmas and made a habit of riding to the beach almost every weekend. Discovered the San Gabriel River Trail.

Age 17: bought Schwinn Peloton and began climbing Mount Baldy, Azusa Canyon, racing USCF, (DNFed first four races due to pile-ups. (Peloton still in possession, never bent nor damaged despite crashes.) Became known as "Jerky Legs" in school due to persistent repeated road rash. Began drifting toward triathlons to avoid pile-ups. Qualified for and competed in USTS National Championships, finished mid-pack.

Age 18: finally applied for and received CA drivers license. Won first USCF race in Dripping Springs, TX. Finished '88 HHH in 5:10 due to two flat tires. Placed in several USCF races around Austin and advanced to Cat-III. Bought beloved '84 Masi Gran Criterium (still in possession.)

Age 19: moved to the Limburg, the Netherlands (near Flanders). Forced to race in International Class against olympic squads; repeatedly dropped, discouraged. Continued riding all over Northern Europe including Luxemburg, Koln (Cologne), Belgium, and the Ruhr Valley. Would get off work at 5pm, ride 150km round trip to Cologne & back, and get home just as the sun was setting (at 11pm!)

Since then, some dabbling in triathlons, but now riding more for joy than for interesting cocktail party conversation.

P.S. Motorcycles had their hooks into me even before that:

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Old 08-28-09, 03:43 PM
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About ten years ago my new young Doc said I could stop running at forty or stop walking at eighty, my choice. I asked about biking and he said OK, so I went home and dusted off the old Atala. The rest is, if not history, is at least documented here.
You know it's going to be a good day when the stem and seatpost come right out.

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Old 08-28-09, 04:22 PM
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Cool stories everybody.

I forgot to mention what really got me started recently actually riding. I'm a pretty serious soccer player and tore my ACL in June. Just yesterday was the first time I was able to do any sort of jogging or anything and won't be able to do any real running for another month or so or any sports until January. But for the last 2-3 weeks I've been able to ride a bike. It's fun and that's kind what got me more into it.
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Old 08-28-09, 04:31 PM
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old dudes and old bikes go hand in hand ... we all regress in the end. can't wait to get back on my stingray when I shrink
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Old 08-28-09, 05:15 PM
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Well, I rode from as early as I can remember in the 60's until my late teens around 1980. It was 1974 that I bought my first Bottecchia. After that I got into cars and motorcycles and whatnot. Then I joined the Army. Finally when I got out of the Army and came back home in 1990 I didn't have a car at first so I got the old Bottecchia out of storage from my parents house and started riding. I would have liked to buy a new Bottecchia like one of the really cool red/white/chrome models that were still available in the early 90's but as I was essentially broke that wasn't going to happen. Then in 1996 I got hit by a truck while riding the Bottecchia. I healed up, it didn't so I started riding an old Peugeot I had picked up from the Salvation Army. I slacked for a couple of years in the late 90's and then moved to Colorado. I jumped on the old Peugeot when I got here and OMG! Between the altitude and the hills it damned near killed me so I got a mountain bike. Then a new road bike. But I still missed my old Bottecchia. So when I found one on eBay I snapped it up. That got me "officially" into vintage cycling. And that's how the story goes...

Never cared much for mopeds. I remember once when I lived in Germany I was in a club and there was this huge group of young guys maybe late teens to early 20s, all dressed in full GP leather racing outfits. I figured they must be a local motorcycle club. When I walked outside I saw like 25 mopeds all lined up in the parking lot. I laughed my rear end off.
  • I'd still like to be into cars but I don't want any car I can afford and can't afford any car I want
  • I'd still like to be into guns but I don't want to make it too easy for my wife to get rid of me if I come in late one night
  • I'd even like to be into brand new high-end carbon fiber road bikes but I don't have a spare $12,000 laying around

Oh well, old bikes will just have to do.
1959 Bottecchia Milano-Sanremo(frame), 1966 Bottecchia Professional (frame), 1971 Bottecchia Professional (frame),
1973 Bottecchia Gran Turismo, 1974 Bottecchia Special, 1977 Bottecchia Special (frame),
1974 Peugeot UO-8, 1988 Panasonic PT-3500, 2002 Bianchi Veloce, 2004 Bianchi Pista
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Old 08-28-09, 06:50 PM
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Summer 1962, turning age 12: I was finally able to balance a bicycle safely. My father bought my friend's black mid-1950s Schwinn middleweight, with a 2-speed Bendix coaster hub, a gearshift which looked like a handbrake lever, and paperboy "ape hanger" handlebars.

Christmas 1962: I asked for a 10-speed and my brother and I received the cheapest ones my father could find, matching bottom-of-the-line Bianchi Corsas (mine was red with gold trim, his was gold with red trim) -- Huret Allvit gears, cottered steel Bianchi-labled Magistroni cranks, serrated steel rims, wingnutted high flange aluminum hubs, steel Universal sidepull brakes. From then on, I was completely hooked on the only sport I have ever truly loved.

March 1971: I bought an American Eagle Semi-Pro for the princely (to me, as a starving UCLA undergrad) sum of $149.95 at my local bike shop, Rancho Park Cycles in west Los Angeles.

Summer 1971: I completed my first century ride, actually a metric double, with my cousin and one of my college pals, going from Los Altos Hills down Highway 17 to Santa Cruz, then north along the coast against a stiff headwind and back over the pass to his home. I think I slept for 10 to 12 hours after that 12-hour ride.

February 1972: While out cycling, I met a 50-year-old gentleman who convinced me to train for the upcoming Los Angeles Wheelmen Double Century with him.

June 1972: In my one big athletic accomplishment, I completed the DC in 12 hours, 18 minutes, along the flatter coastal route. (That same year some guy turned in a time of 9:03 on the tougher highland route, which detoured over parts of the Malibu hills, where I had been training.)

October 1976: I have my one close encounter of the wrong kind with a motor vehicle, when a motorist left-crosses my path during a 25mph descent in a semi-residential neighborhood. Suffering a concussion, double fracture of the left clavicle, and two facial lacerations (chin and left cheekbone), I decide to upgrade from my heavily padded Kucherik "hairnet" to a Bell Biker helmet. My 1960 Capo frame had buckled in the top tube and the downtube just behind the butting. I had it straightened and rode it for a few more years, until the downtube began to rupture.

1994: I spot a Capo at a yard sale and want it for nostaligia's sake. I negotiate a price of $20, although I eventually spend far more than that on a professional repainting.

1995: Having bought my elder son a mountain bike, I decide I need one, too, and I buy a gorgeous made-in-U.S.A. (Greenville MS) red-white-and-blue Schwinn from a San Diego firefighter -- how's that for patriotic?

2002: My neighbor gives me his brown Bianchi, since he now prefers to ride a mountain bike.

2009: This once-pudgy, completely uncoordinated posture class dropout is now pushing 60, with a very healthy cardiovascular system honed by 100,000 miles of bicycling experience. My first two bikes were a fat-tired Schwinn and a Bianchi road bike, and that's what I ride today, as well.
"Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." --Theodore Roosevelt
Capo: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger (2), S/N 42624, 42597
Carlton: 1962 Franco Suisse, S/N K7911
Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
Bianchi: 1982 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069
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Old 08-28-09, 07:36 PM
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Five years ago, in my early 50s, I thought I would get a bicycle. My wife announced she was buying a bike. Neither of us had cycled since childhood, but I thought I would like to try it with her. I bought a 1974 Sears Huffy 3-speed, put some new tires and tubes on it and, one evening, my wife and I took our new bikes for a 5 mile ride to a local cemetary.

I was so sore the next day! I couldn't ride for a week.

That started it. I now ride about 5000 miles a year and my car just sits in the driveway.... sulking.
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Old 08-28-09, 08:40 PM
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Early to middle grade school: I always enjoyed riding bikes with my friends. One day I was jumping curbs with my discount store Monark (Huffy) sting ray knockoff when my wheel comes a bit loose. I go in and tell my mom who tells me to wait for dad to fix it. This is totally unacceptable to me, I go find a wrench and tighten it myself and go back to having fun. I loved having the power to fix things myself and not have to wait for a parent or a bike shop! This will serve me well throughout life.....

Late grade school: I start buying my friends old bikes, cleaning them up, riding them for a while and flipping them using free ads in the Pennysaver. If I got $20 for a $10 bike I was in hog heaven!

6th grade, Christmas 1969: New red and black Raleigh Grand Prix for Christmas! I still keep buying and selling other bikes, plus keeping as many as parents will tolerate.

9th grade: Buy new Nishiki International. Attach cheap plastic clicker odometer and ride all over everywhere, places I dared not go on the Raleigh due to not trusting it.

10th grade: Get dream job in LBS, repairing and assembling Gitanes. Work there from January until August 9th (day Nixon resigned) due to LBS owner being a 24 year old moron with no idea how to run a business. Within 6 months his shop closed. Gitane cut off his credit, he started selling Maserati bikes.

March 1974: Day I have been waiting for all my life. DRIVER'S LICENSE!!!!! Bikes see much less use, eventually get sold.

Mid 80's: Pick up an orange Gitane Gran Sport Deluxe for $15 at swap meet. Ride occasionally, not all that much. Hey, at least it had SunTour derailleurs so it shifted.

2000, plus or minus: Buy a used Univega Rover mountain bike at neighbors garage sale for $50, start riding with my son. How did I ever give this up? WHY did I give this up? It is really fun. What was wrong with me????

2000-present: Get a Trek Multitrack bike at LBS new. Ride it until I ride an old Giant road bike that is given to me. That's it, the Trek is done. I have resumed the road bike addiction. From this point on it is time to start buying and restoring the bikes I did not have in my youth, leading eventually to my Paramount addiction. Get Mrs. K interested in riding, she usually rides with me on the weekends these days. I still buy and sell bikes and parts to finance the habit.

And some still say I am an overgrown kid. I think they are right!
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Old 08-28-09, 08:49 PM
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Started with a cheap 16"-wheeled Kent kiddie bike which became a 20" Murray so-called BMX. It took a horrible Huffy FS Elite Kensington to get me on anything with 559mm wheels and up.

Then the '47 Schwinn ballooner popped up - that was the beginning of the end.

Funny thing though - the first roadbike (which signaled an end for the ballooners) was a Kent from the trash. What goes around, comes around.


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Old 08-28-09, 09:23 PM
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As a kid, bikes were my life. Then I got a drivers license. Rode 10 or so miles a year from age 18 to 48. Then my kids outgrew their bikes so I gave my bike to my oldest son. After I gave my almost unused bike away, I figured I still needed something to ride should the desire hit me. I bought an old MTB, fixed it up and did a few test rides. The "test rides" got farther and more frequent. 1,000 miles later, a friend gave me a '77 Schwinn Le Tour he dug out of a dumpster. I liked road bikes! Bught an entry level road bike a few months later (it is now my commuter) and eventually bought an awesome, lightweight bike that has carried me over more miles than I would have ever imagined.
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Old 08-28-09, 09:33 PM
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First bike: Strawberry Shortcake bike. Pink as all hell, and a vinyl front basket with a fake flower on it. It was a hand-me-down from my cousins. I must have been 4 or 5.

Second: Schwinn Dyno. Little BMX bike. White with coaster brake single speed hub. I barely remember it. I do remember racing it in the park in Greensboro, NC. There was a pro race beforehand I'm told and they ran the kids aftwerwards. I do remember having a paper plate with number this beast though.

Third Bike: Schwinn Aerostar. Another bmx'ish machine. This time, blue, but still single speed coaster brake. I started making trails in our backyard in Hagerstown, MD. I had a little trail network set up. I remember seeing a Boys Life magazine with a Parkpree? mountain bike for the first time. I loved the suspension! Also, The Tour DuPont came through Hagerstown at least 2 years in a row. I remember seeing a nasty crash where the riders piled into the corner of a porch and knocked the column out.

Fourth Bike: Trek "Jazz" Latitude. My first mountain bike in 1990 I think. I started riding trails here in NY. I remember saving for a long time to afford my Rock Shox Quadra 5 fork. I have no idea how I would have saved for this, but my parents insist they didn't help. The frame was so small, and I think the steerer tube had to be custom ordered from RockShox. I still have it, but the bike is long gone.

Fifth Bike: Trek Mountain Track 830. I got this in 1996 after starting to work a little bit. Rigid cromoly in Indigo Blue. I still have the frame set and most of the original components. I started taking road rides after school and climbing as many hills as I could find. My dad still rides in the AM, and I joined him a few times.

Sixth Bike: Gary Fisher Kaitai. This was a seriously awesome bike. The geometry is super comfy and I love the paint. I started riding this bike with my current club and I impressed them with flat pedals and leather work gloves. This bike became my first single speed, which I would later pass on to a needy guy.

Seventh Bike: Specialized Epic XC. This bike was $2g of lust that quickly wore off. Cheaper than a divorce though I suppose. I kept the components for bike eight and traded the frame for what would later be bike 10.

Bike Eight: A road bike made it into my world, a KHS Flite 500. I did naughty things to this bike unfortunately (Rattle can!) and can't bring myself to ride it anymore. I still have the components and nice Reynolds 520 Frame with carbon fork.

Bike Nine: Surly Instigator frameset. I put bike 7's components on it. I love this bike, and I still ride it frequently! Heavy as hell and running 2.5's that measure wider than that, it's a comfy solid ride.

Bike Ten: Dean Colonel. I would keep this bare for a while and direct my attention towards my newly acquired Bike 11. Dean got a custom build with eno hubs, eno crank, and other goodies. So light and nimbly bimbly, we get along just fine thank you very much.

Bike Eleven: Puch Rugby Sports 3-speed. Nice ride and cleaned up well, it's what I made my entrance to this forum with. Sold it for $120 more than I paid for it. It was a great distraction to present life at the time.

...there's more, but it's time for bed.
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Old 08-29-09, 05:37 AM
Death fork? Naaaah!!
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Originally Posted by kevinsubaru
Fifth Bike: Trek Mountain Track 830. I got this in 1996 after starting to work a little bit. Rigid cromoly in Indigo Blue. I still have the frame set and most of the original components. I started taking road rides after school and climbing as many hills as I could find. My dad still rides in the AM, and I joined him a few times.
Like this?

You know it's going to be a good day when the stem and seatpost come right out.

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