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Collecting Schwinn bikes, riding alone, fixing-up the Paramounts, joiing a local club

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Collecting Schwinn bikes, riding alone, fixing-up the Paramounts, joiing a local club

Old 12-26-11, 06:50 AM
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Hoss Cartright
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Collecting Schwinn bikes, riding alone, fixing-up the Paramounts, joiing a local club

After the huge weight loss project, then some very painful Plantar fasciitis in the foot from all that power walking.. What to do? hmmmmm..... Why not get one of those vintage Paramounts off the wall and make it go.. After all, I've owned them for 15 years and never rode them farther than one trip around the block...

OK, fast forward to June 2011 when it finally stopped raining.. (Pretty much rained the entire months of April and May) I'm working my way up to regular 20 mile daily loops out here on the Prairie. The county roads are nice and in square grid pattern layed-out in one mile separations. A few minor hills but basically flat. And get this! I can do this ride and most days not a single car passes me! Riding here is like sailing.. Wind is a fact of life here. When it isn't windy, that's what you notice 'cause that's unusual. (I live in the center of the largest wind-turbine farm in Indiana.)

Hold on, I'm going to get to the point..

So I usually ride into the wind first so as not to sap my strength at the end of the ride. Then have only a side wind and tail wind to deal with on the last 3/4 of the loop. So, I do this for almost three months, every day. Feeling a lot stronger. climbing those little hills and pedaling into the head-wind in higher gears is how I can tell my strength increases. (plus shorter ride time) Sometimes venturing out to go about 30 miles. Riding to the next towns and getting a granola bar at the Casey's General Store etc. So I get a cheap wireless computer. "This is cool, should have gotten one of these sooner." But being that I ride the same basic loop every day, can calculate that pretty much I have ridden about 800 miles in less than three months.

The 700c adventure.. After spending some serious money on a bunch of 27" Pasela tires for my three riders, I place a test-set of 700c wheels onto one of my Paramounts. (Bontrager hard-case tires) wow! OK, so off to the bike shop and two sets of wheels with 6-speed clusters and Bontrager tires for the Paramounts.

The boredom sets-in - Riding alone out here is terrific fun. Then day after day it gets old. "Hello white farm house with friendly Golden Retriever, hello broken-down Fiero in front yard." etc...

August 2011, joined the bike club - So, off I go to try the Lafayette Indiana bike club. (Wabash River Cycle Club) Joined via the web site. Show up for the first time at a Saturday ride and nobody else comes.. OK, this is not fun? Turns-out to be a fluke, I persevere and the next time it is about a dozen of us out doing 30 miles. I felt welcome, they have been super nice and I am having terrific fun. I thought I was a "C" class rider but it seems that the class designations by average speed are a little skewed. The average speed tends to be the low side of the typical ride. Class "C" and "B" are mostly fast guys who tend to "race" each other. So, I think I am a "D" person for sure. As I am not interested in racing a bunch of guys to prove a point and wouldn't want to be the straggler dragging them down. In the "D" class I have no problem staying in the group. (except on hills where my 200 pounds is a disadvantage) So, I found the group I like, they are nice people and even though we almost always ride above the "D" class average speed perfect for me. Ended-up with 520 club miles this year, so about 1300 total miles for summer/fall 2011. Not bad I guess for just getting back into the sport?
First time to group-ride for 30 years. (I rode with the Lafayette club known as "The Purdue Wheelmen" in the 1970s and as a teenager did centurys all the time.) So far in this latest adventure at 54-years of age, 50 miles is as far as I have gone in one day

Riding vintage iron - I honestly believed that there would be other club members who rode and appreciated the fine "art" of a vintage road bike. Turns-out I am the oddball. Not a problem, the story of my life. Out there riding in the "D" class I find out that at 15~17 mph average speed the vintage bikes are not a problem, and even though some of the club members were intrigued by the beauty of my bikes and talked about how they hadn't seen one for a long time etc.. They typically are much more interested in the fine art of carbon and brifters and flight decks. So, I have in my head a ton of knowledge from the 1970s and don't know squat about modern bikes. (But I'm learning as fast as I can)

Finally my point - Now I ride with the club all the time (weather permitting) and have found a forum on the Internet where others have similar interests in the appreciation of vintage road bikes. WHEW! I am not alone. For a while, I was thinking I was pretty much nuts.. Now I know that maybe I'm still nuts but there are others out there somewhat like me.

Thanks guys for the welcome, I'll try my best to not be a straggler and stay away from Zombie threads

Sorry for being long winded

P.S. I have almost 50 Schwinns dating back to the 1940s - My Paramount web page

I'm 20 pounds heavier in these images.
1972 Paramount P15-9


1980 Super Le Tour, I bought it new when I was a 23-year-old pup - Low-balled the local dealer and he accepted


This 1964 Collegiate is actually pretty fun to ride. I have it all decked-out in period accessories. (except the modern seat) I would never attempt a club ride on it. I would not want to be "the straggler" and hills are a bear


1958 Jaguar


Schwinn-built B.F. Goodrich Challenger. Original paint! I have this fully serviced and ride it occasionally. I have the original tires and leather seat. They are too fragile to use



1973 Apple Krate - Restored

Last edited by Hoss Cartright; 12-26-11 at 07:07 AM.
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Old 12-26-11, 07:03 AM
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That's a great story.
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Old 12-26-11, 07:03 AM
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Gotta love that Goodrich bike, beautiful. And that Jaguar. All the bikes look great! You do some fine work.

Great job on the weight loss too!
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Old 12-26-11, 07:44 AM
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Great story and welcome. I'm 36 and just getting into road cycling. I've tinkered with vintage bikes for several years now but have just started riding pretty seriously for about six months now and have been doing it on a 1980 Fuji Royale. I love the looks I get from those out on carbonfiber Specializedgianttreks. Its not everyday someone goes blowing by you on something with so much shiny chrome. LOL.
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Old 12-26-11, 07:52 AM
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Nice web site Jim, enjoy seeing the restored and the original bicycles you have. That Orange P15 Paramount is really sweet. Very well done sir!

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Old 12-26-11, 07:55 AM
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Very nice collection of bikes, great work too.
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Old 12-26-11, 08:17 AM
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great looking bikes thanks for sharing your story
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Old 12-26-11, 08:31 AM
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Holy smokes!, you've got some fine bikes...and it sounds like you're having a blast.
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Old 12-26-11, 08:52 AM
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Great bikes. That '64 Collegiate is very cool......lots of bling!
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Old 12-26-11, 08:57 AM
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Jim,

Welcome to C&V. I'm glad you were "nuts" and persistent enough to find us and add to the collective wisdom of the group, especially the Paramounts.

I have to also admit you are inspiration. I'm just shy of 54, am overweight (need to drop at least 50lbs), ride a mix of vintage steel and modern aluminum, and have been contemplating a group ride experience.

The group I'm considering is actually riding on a stock car track oval about 30 minutes from the house. Their season goes from late April to October and I have a 20 year old Cannondale that should be perfect for this. I have no idea if I'm right for this sort of thing, but I won't know unless I take the plunge and try.

Let me encourage you to jump in and start threads about some of your oldest Schwinns. There are not a great deal of threads about Schwinns older than 1960. They always create interesting discussions. And they are very much a part of Americana.
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Old 12-26-11, 09:12 AM
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Captain Kangaroo says, "Schwinn bikes are best." Recommended reading: "No Hands -- The Rise and Fall of the Schwinn Bicycle Company."

See my signature -- everything I ride is vintage steel. I do not hesitate to take the Bianchi on club rides or Capo #1 on slower long-distance rides. For national holidays and parades, there is no better vehicle than my red-white-and-blue made-in-USA Schwinn mountain bike, which I bought from a San Diego firefighter.
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Capo: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324
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Old 12-26-11, 09:18 AM
  #12  
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Very nice collection! I still can't get over your picking up two P15-9 Paramounts for $250. Congrats!
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Old 12-26-11, 09:26 AM
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What beautiful Schwinns, and such an inspiring story about your return to active riding.

Thank you for sharing both!
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Old 12-26-11, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
Captain Kangaroo says, "Schwinn bikes are best." Recommended reading: "No Hands -- The Rise and Fall of the Schwinn Bicycle Company."

See my signature -- everything I ride is vintage steel. I do not hesitate to take the Bianchi on club rides or Capo #1 on slower long-distance rides. For national holidays and parades, there is no better vehicle than my red-white-and-blue made-in-USA Schwinn mountain bike, which I bought from a San Diego firefighter.
All of my bikes are vintage steel bikes too, except for one which is a 07 Mercian Vincitore. But I ride the vintage jobs most of the time. I don't have anything real valuable like vintage British, French, or Italian. I have a 84 Trek 660 I bought new as a frame and fork and had all Superbe stuff hung on it, I rode this bike a lot but this last year I retired it till I can get it repainted; then I have a 84 Fuji Club I bought used for $100 last spring with about 5 miles on it (original tires still on); a 85 Schwinn Le Tour Luxe I bought used last winter for $100 in pristine condition with about 250 miles on it, it will be my long haul touring bike; a 87 Miyata Team I bought new has maybe 3,000 miles on it; 88 Miyata 712 I got used about 12 years ago for $25 and it might have had 1,000 miles on it when I got it and I probably put 3,000 on it, it's now my main road bike.

I did see a Fuji Club sell for $650 in a Louisville KY LBS, not sure why someone would spend that much for it, personally I don't think their worth more then $300.

I would love to find a Paramount or a British, French or Italian bike but they go for insane prices. I almost bought a 71 Colnago at a garage sale I saw hanging off the rafters in the garage, but the guy who bought the thing new in 71 was 80 years old and weighed 300 pounds or so, wouldn't part with it even though his wife was trying her best to have him sell it to me!!! He had no idea what he had up there on the rafters; his wife said he only rode it the summer he bought it, then it hung where it was hanging when I saw it all those years!!!
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Old 12-26-11, 10:14 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by John E View Post
Captain Kangaroo says, "Schwinn bikes are best." Recommended reading: "No Hands -- The Rise and Fall of the Schwinn Bicycle Company."
....
The TV commercial tag line at the time was if I remember correctly, "Boy I like my Schwinn bike, Schwinn is the finest Bike!"

It imprinted on me, many years later when it was time for my second bike, it had to be a Schwinn.
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Old 12-26-11, 12:22 PM
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Welcome! Thanks for the great story and for sharing your beautiful Schwinn's.

I'm fixing up a 1968 Schwinn, the first Schwinn I've ever owned, and have to say that I am really impressed in the workmanship and quality, particularly the paint/chrome. I'm coming to understand why the old Schwinn's have such a devoted following.

Btw, is that the price tag still on the Jaguar?
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Old 12-26-11, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
The TV commercial tag line at the time was if I remember correctly, "Boy I like my Schwinn bike, Schwinn is the finest Bike!"

It imprinted on me, many years later when it was time for my second bike, it had to be a Schwinn.
As I recall it from my childhood:

I'm so glad I got a Schwinn bicycle!
I'm so glad I got a Schwinn bicycle!
Boy I like
My Schwinn bike!
Schwinn is the finest bike!

I couldn't find it on YouTube, sorry.
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Old 12-26-11, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by gaucho777 View Post
Welcome! Thanks for the great story and for sharing your beautiful Schwinn's.

Btw, is that the price tag still on the Jaguar?

Those tags on my bikes have the date I bought them, when they were serviced and what I did. What I paid and build date S/N related info. When the tires were replaced etc..

For example; when I buy one for $35.00.. I write the price in reverse in the corner of the tag 00.53 ($200.00 = 00.002) etc.etc..
Many years ago (before my first 486 'puter) I started doing this as it was a good way to keep track of them when I have so many. Especially the maintenance part of it. I still do it this way because the info is right there with the bike if someone asks about it, or I am glancing at it thinking of taking it for a ride.

Thanks for all the kind compliments guys.
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Old 12-26-11, 01:20 PM
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Beautiful bikes, great story!
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Old 12-26-11, 03:18 PM
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JIM DOES NOT DO APPRAISALS.

cool stuff!
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Old 12-26-11, 04:08 PM
  #21  
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Great story, great situation. I spent a couple of summers on Culver Lake.

Those windmills are spooky. It's like they're all looking at you, and slowly turning.
I think they get closer when you turn away.
Tripods.
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Old 12-27-11, 08:09 PM
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Very cool story, and love the paramounts(very classy looking)
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Old 12-28-11, 04:11 AM
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Welcome and congrats on your health and cycling achievements! You have a very nice collection and that Paramount deserves to be ridden. We're a pretty easy going bunch here. Lot's of smart folks and very generous too with their assistance. I think you'll enjoy it here.

I'm thinking of joining up with the local bike shop's ride group soon. You've inspired me to do it, as I also get bored with the lone rides and same scenery. Except for the drivers trying to kill me.
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