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Christmas Eve Eve musings

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Christmas Eve Eve musings

Old 12-23-09, 08:01 PM
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Christmas Eve Eve musings

Admittedly, this is nothing more than a bit of quiet thought on a quiet evening. It got started with the realization that my sister and brother-in-law were off for the annual Christmas gathering of his family. Now, I introduced Beth to Don 24 years ago - partially in repayment for picking up the girlfriend he desperately wanted to be rid of (didn't last long, but boy do I have the memories). They got married ten years later and are still together. However, it goes back further than that.

Don's older brother Bill was my best friend, regular training partner, and fellow trouble-maker (sex, drugs and rock 'n roll variety) back in the Presque Isle Bicycle Club days in Erie, and his father rode with the club on a regular basis. I'd promised Beth that I'd take a picture of the garage wall to pass on to the two of them - they both still ride occasionally, and had heard that I'd gotten back on the saddle. Took the following picture:



While running it through Picasa to clean up and upload, I got to thinking. It's been a fairly rough year on this end, and there's been more than a few times when I've wondered if life was going to get any better. At those times, all I've got to do is walk out into the garage with a bheer and sit on the steps and look at the collection.

At which point things get back into perspective - and you know, life isn't all that bad, no matter what slings and arrows are launched at you. As long as you've got a nice wall of steel and aluminum, ready to ride at the moments whim, life's pretty damned good after all!

Merry Christmas guys, and may your New Year have you finding that dream Mercian just sitting in the dump waiting for you, totally ignored by everyone that passes through.
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Old 12-23-09, 08:26 PM
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Hope you have a good Christmas! Nice looking pic.

Jake
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Old 12-23-09, 09:47 PM
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Bikes have a way of keeping you in the moment.
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Old 12-23-09, 09:54 PM
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Nice post.

I had a pretty bad year myself, but in the grand scheme of things I have it really good. Met some new great people this year, got myself my first roadbike, and am embarking down some paths that will hopefully lead me to new glories.

You're right though, having nice bikes at the ready makes even the worst day tolerable. If only more people could realize the power of, "screw this, I'm going to go ride my bike".

Happy holidays to everybody at BF.

-Mike
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Old 12-23-09, 10:19 PM
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Thanks for helping to keep things in perspective, Syke. They're definitely one of the highlights of my life as well. In some regards, this has been a bit of an "off" year. On the other hand, I've had several amazing things just fall into my lap. I've been blessed with bikes - now if only there were more opportunity to ride...

I'd like to make a special request for one of our own. Gilberto, (whom you may remember by the avatar with his two cute children wearing cycling caps) has been serving in Afghanistan for a few months now, and isn't scheduled to return until May. Please keep him, his wife, and astonishingly well-behaved children (I got to meet them, and it was plain as could be he does a great job of being their father) in your thoughts/prayers through the Holidays. I'm really looking forward to his safe return, and to going for a nice, long ride with him after he gets caught up with his family.
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Old 12-24-09, 06:22 AM
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I've prayed a great deal for our troops the past two months. I'll add Gilberta. I'll especially pray hard for them this evening.
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Old 12-24-09, 07:16 AM
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Merry Christmas Skye and everyone else here in C&V. I've been blessed this year that I was spared the troubles that have befallen many with the downturn in the economy and such. However, with many friends and family effected it is impossible not to be somehow effected as well. A good collection of fine riding bicycles does better for one's spirits than a collection of fine spirits. At least in my opinion the beneficial effects last much longer and there's no painful hang over the next day as long as one takes care to hydrate on the ride!
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Old 12-24-09, 07:43 AM
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Happy Holidays everyone.

When biking, my favorite part is stopping, taking a deep breath, and enjoying the view for a moment. There's a pause at the end of the year that let's us do this - put things behind us and look forward.

Have a good 2010...

now back to making pies...
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Old 12-24-09, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by sykerocker
... Merry Christmas guys, and may your New Year have you finding that dream Mercian just sitting in the dump waiting for you, totally ignored by everyone that passes through.
^^That HAS to be the most compelling, deeply touching and beeeauuu-tiful Holiday sentiment I've ever heard!
(You really ought to write cards for Hallmark.)
Thanks sykerocker!
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Old 12-24-09, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by akcapbikeforums
Bikes have a way of keeping you in the moment.
AMEN!

Aaron
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Old 12-24-09, 02:25 PM
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Thanks Sykerocker - you're absolutely right, spending time among one's bike collection is a particularly calming form of meditation - the stress just seems to evaporate after a short time - even the smell of old bikes - rubber, oil, leather - has that effect on me. For some people I guess beautiful paintings have the same effect but bicycles are art in 3 dimensions and involve more senses.

Many of us have had a rough or challenging year. My thoughts are with Gilberto and his family and I wish him a safe return to his family, home and beautiful bike collection, likewise anyone else in a similar position.

Wishing all C&V Forum members and readers a Happy Christmas (or alternative mid winter festival if this is more appropriate) and a safe, healthy and successful 2010 (and the odd Mercian, Paramount, Merckx, Fuji or Holdsworth find ! )
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Old 12-24-09, 04:09 PM
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I'm counting my blessings and the many wonderful people I've met here in C & V are among them. There is no way to fully thank Gilberto and his many comrades in arms who are volunteers in service to their country and all of us, but prayers are a good beginning. May the creator's blessings come to us all.
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Old 12-24-09, 05:01 PM
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Though not a wonderful collection as you have offered I too know the solice that can be had by just listening to my thought while sitting alone in my workshop. Sometime it's the only place where I can gather my self after a stressful day.
On this day I'm lucky to have my sons hope from school to visit for a few days. Your post is most appreciated because it hits what many feel toward this time of year.. a little sadness and a recollection of maybe some tough days but then remembrance of what we have gained in the end. Hopfully you all have... love,friendship and peace....but most of all...


A bike with fenders....cause it's snowing out there

Merry Christmas
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Old 12-24-09, 05:20 PM
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This is a rather bad Christmas Eve here, as the wind is gusting up to 50 mph and it's raining ice/snow. Christmas Eve and Christmas day church services were canceled all throughout the area, so there will be lots of people sitting at home with their families around the fire tonight and tomorrow morning. I suppose it's the perfect time to think about the year and what we plan to do next year, but this is going to be a very stormy Christmas. No Christmas day bike ride for me
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Old 12-24-09, 05:31 PM
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I took the afternoon off today, and enjoyed a leisurely ride through the beach communities that I grew up in. I have always felt especially drawn to those areas this time of year, as so many pleasant childhood memories reside there. Today it was Christmas memories, such as being allowed to ride my new red Raleigh Grand Prix home from the LBS on Christmas Eve 1969. I passed several old LBS locations, two former Schwinn stores and the one where I got my Raleigh. When I was a kid, bikes and Christmas just went together, and some of my strongest memories are those of receiving the bike I so eagerly anticipated.

This year has had it's share of ups and downs, a year ago I was looking toward 2009 with some pretty strong reservations. I am happy to say that I survived it, and hope that 2010 will be a wonderful year for all of my Classic and Vintage friends. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and maybe a new C & V ride or two!
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Old 12-24-09, 05:47 PM
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Thanks for the appropriate sentiments, Syke, and thanks for mentioning Gilberto, USAZorro. I wasn't aware that he'd been sent over.

This hobby and this site both bring a lot of good into all our lives; it's only appropriate to be grateful.

Happy Holidays to everyone out there. Keep doing what you're doing.
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Old 12-24-09, 05:57 PM
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We all owe a thanks and a prayer to those who give up comfort, life, and limb for others, generally for people they don't know, many of whom don't appreciate it, both home and abroad.

It's been a tough year, and I hope 2010 will be different. Bikes are really more than recreation; they move a man across the land, and a cyclist is the only man to really fly under his own power.

My garage, and my bikes, are a refuge, solace, a source of wonderful frustration and peaceful contemplation. I may want to toss my mixte into the ocean at times, but would be privileged to do so.

Few things have changed mankind's state on this earth as much as the object of tomorrow's celebration. If that remains to be so in 25, 50, or 100 more years remains to be seen.

For now, though, I'll push my faith towards those who serve far away. They simply deserve it.
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Old 12-24-09, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Rabid Koala
I took the afternoon off today, and enjoyed a leisurely ride through the beach communities that I grew up in. I have always felt especially drawn to those areas this time of year, as so many pleasant childhood memories reside there. Today it was Christmas memories, such as being allowed to ride my new red Raleigh Grand Prix home from the LBS on Christmas Eve 1969. I passed several old LBS locations, two former Schwinn stores and the one where I got my Raleigh. When I was a kid, bikes and Christmas just went together, and some of my strongest memories are those of receiving the bike I so eagerly anticipated.

This year has had it's share of ups and downs, a year ago I was looking toward 2009 with some pretty strong reservations. I am happy to say that I survived it, and hope that 2010 will be a wonderful year for all of my Classic and Vintage friends. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and maybe a new C & V ride or two!
Did the same today in San Diego too UNREAL WEATHER!....I was thinking the same fact RE: X-mas and bikes....to me my first feeling of freedom was after getting a Sears 20" bike in 1968-I was 8 years old...Not sure where in SD your beach communities are...I grew up in south CV/IB in the 60's and 70's. The bike shops I knew as a kid are gone but the buildings are still there. The IB Schwinn store still has a logo.....really neat feeling. I recently watched a documentary," Bustin Down the Door" The movie was about the early days of pro surfing in the mid 70's and and how a small group of Australian and South African surfers really helped create what is now a multi-billion dollar a year industry.( Kinda like what Gary Fisher and Keith Bontrager are to mtn biking). The irony is these guys really just loved what they were doing and never imagined the what it is today. They would have done it for free and, most still healthy and surf on a regular basis in their late 50's and early 60's. They never thought of it as a job. So at the end of the movie, Michael Thompson, a former pro surfer, looks straight into the camera and says, "think about it? What have you been doing for 45 years?" referring to the fact that these guys, and others, have been surfing for over 45 years just because of how it makes them feel. Replace surfing for cycling...pretty cool-Some of us have been riding on two wheels for a long time. In fact, it is hard to remember a time when I did not have a bike or two in the garage. I can still see that red Sears 20' bike under the tree on Christmas morning..... Merry Christmas and Happy New Year all
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Old 12-24-09, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by webike4fun
Did the same today in San Diego too UNREAL WEATHER!....I was thinking the same fact RE: X-mas and bikes....to me my first feeling of freedom was after getting a Sears 20" bike in 1968-I was 8 years old...Not sure where in SD your beach communities are...I grew up in south CV/IB in the 60's and 70's. The bike shops I knew as a kid are gone but the buildings are still there. The IB Schwinn store still has a logo.....really neat feeling. I recently watched a documentary," Bustin Down the Door" The movie was about the early days of pro surfing in the mid 70's and and how a small group of Australian and South African surfers really helped create what is now a multi-billion dollar a year industry.( Kinda like what Gary Fisher and Keith Bontrager are to mtn biking). The irony is these guys really just loved what they were doing and never imagined the what it is today. They would have done it for free and, most still healthy and surf on a regular basis in their late 50's and early 60's. They never thought of it as a job. So at the end of the movie, Michael Thompson, a former pro surfer, looks straight into the camera and says, "think about it? What have you been doing for 45 years?" referring to the fact that these guys, and others, have been surfing for over 45 years just because of how it makes them feel. Replace surfing for cycling...pretty cool-Some of us have been riding on two wheels for a long time. In fact, it is hard to remember a time when I did not have a bike or two in the garage. I can still see that red Sears 20' bike under the tree on Christmas morning..... Merry Christmas and Happy New Year all
I was wondering what part of San Diego you were from, not many of us old timers here. Lots of transplants, though.

I grew up on the PB/La Jolla border around the same time. I was referring to the Schwinn shop on Garnet a bit west of Haines, and the one on Girard in La Jolla. My Raleigh came from Ideal Bike Shop on Cass St in PB. None of those shops remain in business, though California Bicycle has been in La Jolla since the early 70's, now catering to a high end clientele.
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Old 12-24-09, 08:13 PM
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Holiday time is always an interesting reflection time...

- you think of the past, you think of the present and you think of the future
- you think of the ones who are gone and cannot be with you these days (and it's painful), you think of where everyone you care about is these days (and you wonder how they are doing and if they are alright), you see the glitter in the eyes of the ones who are with you these days (and just wish you were a kid again to embrace all that care-free hope...)

There is a lot of unpleasant stuff going on these days, everywhere in this planet; but I am sure that there are a lot of souls glimmering for and wanting to make a better future for all of us...

And, yes, this is a time to reflect and be melancholic for what is gone and thankful for what you have and hopeful for what it will be

Lots of stuff churning up there in one's mind/brain/neurotransmitters these days; and a bike ride for sure can numb it all up for a while...

Happy Holidays everyone
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Old 12-24-09, 10:57 PM
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Its been a roller coaster year for my family. Two of my younger brothers (there are 5 brothers) both got into nasty drugs, one ended up arrested and the other overdosed. Both have seen the error in their ways (at least they say so), and my goal for 2010 is to get them out on a bike of some sort and get them occupied w/ something positive.

My wife and I both work tom in the ER so please don't come to visit unless you are bringing coffee or bike parts or both.

On a very happy note, I was the very happy recipient of a brand new yellow Specialized Rockhopper hardtail MTB this morning! Not exactly C&V but way better to ride in the snow! My wife does pay attention....

Merry Christmas to all and a special THANKYOU to all of our armed services!

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Old 12-24-09, 11:10 PM
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I've had a difficult year, too, with my job in jeopardy and taking a pay cut -- but it's still better than being unemployed most of the year, which was true for me five years ago and is true now for so many people I know in the I/T and automotive industries. And, yes, I also have a collection of bicycles that make me smile, and that ride to and from the office on my bike is so much a stress-reliever. So I do feel blessed; my family and I are healthy, and we're looking forward to a better year.

Please, if you have room for one more name on your prayer list for military personnel serving overseas -- my son Lucas is an Army MP on his second deployment in Iraq. He turned 21 over there last fall. He was stop-lossed last spring, and he should be coming home for good next month on the 25th of January. Lucas phoned his mom yesterday to wish us Merry Christmas, saying he'd just returned from a two-day mission, three days without a shower.

Thank you all. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
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Old 12-25-09, 01:00 AM
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Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year u guy,s from us lot "Down Under" !
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Old 12-25-09, 03:04 AM
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Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to all of C&V.

My Christmas wish list is pretty short. I hope that more people can find their way to be kind to one another and that those in harm's way return home safely to those that love them. Here's hoping we all have what we need, at least a little of what we want, and many happy miles of seat time.

Stay safe, and good health my friends.
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Old 12-25-09, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by soonerbills
A bike with fenders....cause it's snowing out there

Merry Christmas
One snowy day had inspired this:
(sung to the tune of Jingle Bells)

Dashing thru the snow
On twenty pounds of steel
Getting sprayed with muck
From my spinning wheel
S.U.V.s are speeding
Getting in the way
Oh, what fun it was to ride
In the snow today

Pinarello, Campagnolo, Guerciotti
Intead of riding in the snow
I should have a lobotomy

Ran into a friend on Tuesday
Riding his fixed-gear
Telling lousy jokes
Didn't bring us cheer
Dodging slush and ice
So we wouldn't slip
At least I didn't take a fall
And break my aging hip

Pinarello, Campagnolo, Guerciotti
Intead of riding in the snow
I should have a lobotomy

Gotta keep it light and merry on Christmas. Merry Christmas! I wish you all the best.

Last edited by gearbasher; 12-25-09 at 09:36 AM.
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