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What brung ya to the dance?

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What brung ya to the dance?

Old 06-19-12, 03:36 AM
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I have been riding bikes since I was 6. Raced junior class back in the mid to late 70's for a few years. Lived car free then car light for about 7 years. Favorite bikes are the British 3 speeds for the most part, but I like old bikes and old stuff in general. Seems to have been better made and made with the intent that you maintained and repaired rather than replaced. I love to tear into something to see how it works and why it quit working and try to make it work or in some cases work better.

My bride and I are semi-empty nesters. It won't be an empty nest until they get their crap out of my garage! I have a son and a daughter, both living in New England at the moment. Both have bicycles that dad built up for them.

My day job that supports my habit; I work in Construction Safety for a national industrial roofing and siding contractor. Been with this company for about 15 years, hope to retire from it. College degree is in Biology...go figure.

Always plan to have bikes around and ride as long as I can.

Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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Old 06-19-12, 04:46 AM
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Rode alot as a kid and young adult, encouraged by parents who also bicycled . Got into the photo business and ran labs and retail for many years, and got stressed and overweight . My current older dog got me back into biking. I was trying to walk her around the block , and fainted . Figured I'd better take charge of the problem, before it took charge of me . I came here to get advice on fixing up a garage sale find (Schwinn World Sport, Ted Williams 10 speed as well) and lurked for many years before posting .
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Old 06-19-12, 06:40 AM
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I grew up sharing a 3rd hand bike with 3 sisters, got a $15 Columbia bike for paper routes when I was 11. I rode that until I was 16, when I spent $200 on a '65 Bel Air and $105 on a Free Spirit 10-sp. The bike was faster. I rode the roads that were paved in my area, and took the Columbia on the gravel ones. When I enlisted, I bought my brothers a $44 Sting Ray clone, sold the Free Spirit to a girl for $105, and the Bel Air had long since been totaled.

In 1981 Pepsi sponsored a new event called a triathlon in Wilmington NC, and a bored Recon Marine decided it sounded like fun. I told a friend that I needed a bike and within a couple of days he showed up with a Varsity with a pretzel chain, obviously an outdoor model, and $10 later I had another 10-sp. Some wrenching and 3-1 oil later, I had my race bike. It became my college commuter because my VW van tended to drop parts and oil wherever it went. After a brief 1987 fling with a Trek 510 (traded for a CD player and 30 CD's), I simply stayed away from cycling. My roommate, however, bought a yellow/white '87 Ironman Expert, and I always thought it was cool.

I bought a $135 Ironman, an '88 Master Purple Haze, on eBay in probably 2009 or so. It came with 8-sp STI shifters and someone had already upgraded the rear hub to 8-sp UG. Probably the last great deal I got on a bike, but that was the siren on the rocks for me.

I have no idea how I got here. I think my porn search engine made an error.
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Old 06-19-12, 06:56 AM
weapons-grade bolognium
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Pretty much a life-long facination with bikes. Love working on them. 2nd Generation (my dad always had a large pile of junkers behind the garage). In the 1970's he had a nice Follis and some model of Panasonic with bar-ends and tubulars.

Didn't really get into serious cycling until I was about 30. Before that, I had built up a lot of nice 1940-50's bikes.

Some time around 1988, a neighbor bought one of the nice, red Specialized Allez. That bike put a spell on me and I decided to start riding road to get back into shape.

Bought a gaspipe Raleigh Grand-prix and hit the road

Here's the progress of bikes as best as I can rememeber:
A yellow and white miyata
Diamondback Interval
Centurian Lemans
Trek 400
Battaglin Cromor
Trek 500
Bianchi Volpe
Litespeed Classic
Steelman Stagerace
Ciocc Designer 84

I think I'm drawn to classic and vintage based on the bike stuff my dad had and my point of entry into road cycling (late 80's). The prices on a lot of the stuff I couldn't afford back in the day is attainable now. I'm sure carbon fiber bikes are great, but I prefer the classic lines of lugged steel.

Loving the bikes more than ever....

Last edited by thinktubes; 06-19-12 at 07:00 AM.
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Old 06-19-12, 07:31 AM
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Learned to bike literally before I could walk(18 mos), in the carpeted hallway of our extra long mobile home trailer my mom & I lived in. I rode miles in that hallway! Always loved something about bikes. Been riding ever since!
Raced BMX after college. Raced Mountain bikes for a few years after that. Had kids. Life got in the way, so I just became a kid hauler or weekend warrior. Just recently got more serious and started regular running(20+ miles a week) with biking about 50 miles a week. Got my first dualthlon July 1st!

I am 38.
I am female.
I have a home daycare that I have run for 11 years now, FT. I also homeschool our oldest son(11)who is Autistic.

What brought me here:
My hubs bought me an anniversary bike, a Quintana Roo CF triathlon. He said I needed something faster than my mountain bike, so I sold it. But then we realized I couldn't pull my youngest son's(4) trail a bike because my CF wheelset has low rider weight limit and the CF seat post can't be clamped onto & torqued side to side. Soooooo......I found a vintage Lotus Elite 600 steely tri. The pedals sucked on it(Wald flats), so I went to searching for the pedals that should go on it and, WAH LAH, here I am

I have posted in a few other sub cats, like tri & single/fixed gear, but I don't browse those or oh & ah at the pics like I do in vintage & classic. There is a beauty I never noticed before.
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Old 06-19-12, 07:38 AM
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I wanted to gab about bikes on the net. I had done so years ago, but Usenet had since become useless. I found bikeforums.

At first, I stayed out of C&V on purpose. I was in commuting, mechanics, and a few other sections. I figured C&V was all about sentimentality.

Then I realized that since I had only old bikes, I was an old bike nut. It wasn't because I disliked new bikes. It was that I just don't feel like buying anything new yet.

Then I saw that C&V is a holistic group, dealing not just with the age of bikes but all aspects of cycling. I spend very little time in the other sections of BF. If I have something to say that is not specifically about old bikes, I'll probably say it here. I do this not because it's relevant to old bikes (and the love thereof) but because I know the people here (and vice versa). So it has become a social circle for me.

I will eventually have a new bike, and I don't expect to be ostracized here. Likewise, I don't think anyone with a new bike should avoid posting here. Ya hear that, Robbie Tunes?

I've learned that I don't care for the posting styles in the SS-FG section or the Road section.
Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

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Old 06-19-12, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider
I wanted to gab about bikes on the net. I had done so years ago, but Usenet had since become useless. I found bikeforums.

At first, I stayed out of C&V on purpose. I was in commuting, mechanics, and a few other sections. I figured C&V was all about sentimentality.

Then I realized that since I had only old bikes, I was an old bike nut. It wasn't because I disliked new bikes. It was that I just don't feel like buying anything new yet.

Then I saw that C&V is a holistic group, dealing not just with the age of bikes but all aspects of cycling. I spend very little time in the other sections of BF. If I have something to say that is not specifically about old bikes, I'll probably say it here. I do this not because it's relevant to old bikes (and the love thereof) but because I know the people here (and vice versa). So it has become a social circle for me.

I will eventually have a new bike, and I don't expect to be ostracized here. Likewise, I don't think anyone with a new bike should avoid posting here. Ya hear that, Robbie Tunes?

I've learned that I don't care for the posting styles in the SS-FG section or the Road section.
If you buy a new bike I will NEVER TALK TO YOU AGAIN! I will chase you with torches and a pitchfork. I will sick our cats onto your grey hounds!
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Old 06-19-12, 09:00 AM
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There seems to be a LOT of nice folks here on C&V, so I've stayed. I spend entirely too much time sitting here, though. Probably should convert some of the time to riding more.
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Old 06-19-12, 09:10 AM
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I grew up in a small town, in the time when summer days and afternoons after school meant "get out of here until I call you for dinner". Having a bike meant I could run the local streets with the other kids. Got a red something-or-other at about 5, a 26-inch Western Flyer that was way too big for me at 8 or so; I ran that thing for years, wrecking frequently before I "grew into it" as they used to say; I still have a small bump on my forehead from an over-the-handlebars wreck that went untreated when I was ten (my Dad was a big proponent of the "walk it off and stop crying" philosophy).

When I was ten we moved to the country, miles away from town, and miles away from most other kids. Both my parents worked and my only sibling was enough older that she was out of the house pretty soon after that; so in the summers I started wandering on my bike (still the Western Flyer - and East Tennessee is really hilly, I developed some seriously strong legs in those days). When I was about 14 my parents gave me a Huffy ten-speed for Christmas; in retrospect it was a piece of crap, purchased at K-Mart or someplace like that, but for me it was a big step up. and I started pushing myself to do longer and longer rides on the empty country roads around my little town. That bike got me through high school and into college.

I'd always had a fascination with nicer bikes. I think it started when I was a kid. The early 60s were they heyday of tricked-out "spider bikes", and I lusted after the ones I saw in the stores downtown. But my parents didn't have a lot of money, and wouldn't spend any of it on a bike they said I'd outgrow too fast (hence the oversize Western Flyer). I remember somebody gave my Dad a used red banana seat and he jury-rigged it to the Western Flyer for a while, I'm shocked it didn't fall off and kill me when I was flying down some hill or other.

Anyway, when I went to college (University of Tennessee Knoxville, Go Vols!) it was 1977, and the Bike Boom had just hit Tennessee. There were a lot of cyclists on campus, and a lot of bike shops in Knoxville. I was putting myself through school, but at the time state universities were dead cheap. One summer I got a job waiting tables, and with tips I was able to save enough in the first two months of summer to pay for the next year of school. So I looked at a lot of bikes, and finally settled on a Motobecane Grand Sprint for about 300 bucks. It was beautiful, the right size for me, and rode like a dream (especially compared to anything I'd experienced before). I rode that thing all over East Tennessee, even went on a couple of centuries. Took it with me to grad school at Yale and rode everywhere for a couple of years. Then in my last year, I was hard up for money, working all the time and living in a shoebox-sized apartment across the street from the University, so I sold my Moto. I think I believed I'd get another bike when I got out of school and started working, but life, and the scramble of living in New York and going out of town a lot for freelance jobs, took over, and I didn't do any biking for years.

In the mid-90s I picked up a secondhand Raleigh Super Course for cheap so my wife and I could do some riding in Brooklyn, where we had moved. The bike was pretty beat up, and a little small for me. I never really "liked" the bike but I found myself riding a lot and doing a lot of long, fast rides as I got older. So about a year ago I decided it was time to upgrade. After looking at prices of new bikes, (agh!) and looking around on Craigslist, I decided what I really wanted was to get some of the magic back I'd had with my old Motobecane. I came to Bike Forums looking for advice and information, and stayed for the company. My current ride is a 1981 Motobecane Grand Jubile from CL that I really love; it's a pretty laid-back ride, one of these days I'm going to get something with more of a racing geometry to go with it. Maybe it's the midlife crisis talking, but I'd love to find another blue and silver Grand Sprint like the one I let go of 25 years ago. Anyway, I have the good people here at C&V to thank for helping me get back into cycling and for all the encouragement and info they've given me.

Other stuff? I'm a theater director and writer, employed as a theater professor at a University on Long Island. Still live in Brooklyn, still married, with a 12-year-old daughter who's getting into taking longer rides with me, but has an unfortunate bias against those "weird old bikes" that I like. Give me time...

Hope I wasn't too long-winded. This is a great thread! I'm loving reading everybody else's stories.

Last edited by Roypercy; 06-19-12 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 06-19-12, 10:23 AM
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Simple, I mostly like old stuff rather than new stuff, and I like riding bikes too.
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Old 06-19-12, 11:34 AM
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What brung me to the dance? I had a weird fascination with bikes since I started school as a 5 year old. I was mesmerised by the freedom older kids seemed to have when they were riding their bikes. I really wanted a bike.

My dad bought me my first bike when I was 10 years old in 1964. It was an Australian made 'Malvern Star' 24" with a foot brake. I loved it, rode it, cleaned it, oiled it and adjusted it to within an inch of its life.

I have never been without a bike since then. I have always ridden and there have been a few years where a bike was my only transport. On one of those occasions, and for about 2 years, I worked about 120 kms from my home. I travelled by bike and train and I could always rely on my bike to get me to my destination.

At my peak I had over 40 rideable bikes but now, as I get older, I have whittled it down to 16. I am now planning my next build - love it.
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Old 06-19-12, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101
When I retired, I pulled out my old college bike, 1974 UO8. It had sustained many moves across the country, and some poor storage conditions: under decks, in basements, garages, knocking around, and whatever. When I finished restoring this bike, I found out I had a bike that was way too big, and on the basic side. So I looked for another project.

Along the way, I sought out like minded individuals, to broaden my knowledge of bikes and components, and gain wisdom.

Now here I sit, well over 300 bikes done, and another 100 or so in the backlog. Oh, how things have changed.....

Now over five years into retirement, I have learned to do those things I enjoy doing (like working on bikes) and avoiding those things I did not care for (like company politics).

If you do the math backwards, you will find I was able to retire pretty early, thanks to some luck along the way, and a plan since 21.
Awesome, Just awesome. It's stories like this that make me happy I took on my second job of helping families, men, women, people make their lives better. I always love when someone can retire early or just enjoy life. That's what it is all about!
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Old 06-19-12, 02:03 PM
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I have been riding bikes and doing basic stuff since I was 6. My first bike was a 24 girls frame (some horror at this but it was bike) balloon tire bike that by dad found abandoned/thrown away and fixed up (nice red/white paint). So fixing/working on bikes is kind of genetic.

I went though this bike, a 26 inch candy apple red copy of a schwinn, a 3 speed columbie (first leaning on adjusting IGH and hand brakes) and an Azuki 10 speed. I grew up in a small town in Montana so reading was my main learnig method for bikes.... "Anybody's Bike book" was my bible. The Azuki came with me into the coast guard (and got ridden in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Bermuda, Florida and the bahamas and NYC). After living in NYC for a while I came out to california and stayed. First 6 months the '82 Nishki was my transport. the '89 Miyata came as I was doing Triathalons (slowly but doing them). Between work and family I didn't ride as much as I wanted. I had LBS convert the Miyata to triple and was floored by the cost and the component downgrade at that cost.

I started changing the Niskhik to a commuter/utility bike as a way of getting more exercise in, and found Bike forums in search of mechanic help.

I find the pure simplicity and elegant design of classic bikes to fit me. (Even did a research paper in high school on the technology of bicycles). So I hang in C&V and totally enjoy the information and nice bikes I see.

Professionally I am IT guy, business application release and quality control, and was a programmer for many years. I have 14 year old and am not retiring any time soon.....but even if could I think I would still work a few days a week. (Dad is 82 and works one day a week....he tried to quit and they wouldn't let him)

My son likes bike and never had a tricycle, just a little bike with training wheels....and when he was 3 1/2 he brought out a wrench and insisted I take them off....he hasn't stopped since. So I am starting a next generation of bike fiddlers.
Life is too short not to ride the best bike you have, as much as you can.

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Old 06-19-12, 02:13 PM
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I started riding to get myself back into some kind of decent shape. A bought a Schwinn Prelude from Academy Sports and Outdoors and proceeded to beat it to death. After several months, maybe a year even my home brewing buddy says to me while we're brewing "I got an old bike in the back of my shed you can have, it's an old road bike from France I think." I happily took it home and started working on the basic stuff, and got it back on the road.

I came here to find out more about it and to get some advice on how far to take a restoration and such. Turns out I have perfectly serviceable 1975 Motobecane Grand Touring that's in good enough shape to ride and enjoy but probably not to keep all the paint original. So I'm still deciding on a new color for it or if I'll just live with some primer showing in some trouble areas.

Really I came for the knowledge base, and wound up staying this long because I find the whole vintage bike thing way to interesting. Now I think I need another bike in my size as the Motobecane is way to big for me, but I'll most likely never get rid of it. The help I get here in picking up a good one for the right price will be invaluable.
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Old 06-19-12, 02:49 PM
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I started from the fixed gear trend 2-3 years ago while in college. Then I became interested road bikes and wanted the fastest lightest machine available but quickly realized I had nowhere near the money to buy one of those. So I started out with cannondale r500 or something. I didn't like it as much as my fixie so I used craigslist for the first time, and doubled my money. I figured I could get a couple old bikes, flip em, and eventually save up for my dream Tarmac SL Pro. But I knew nothing about old bikes and how to fix em: enter Bikeforums C&V. So I finally got my Tarmac, but sold it a month later because I didn't love it as much as my vintage rides.
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Old 06-19-12, 11:26 PM
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I rode single speed, coaster brake bikes from the time I was a kid. It was the source of all freedom. When I was 14 I got a cheap Sears 10 speed and that let me get to wherever I was going much faster. At 19 I bought my first mountain bike, a nice quality, second hand Trek 900. It was way too big for me but I didn't care, and rode it for nearly a year as my only mode of transportation. I saved every spare dime and upgraded to a new Specialized Hardrock Sport in 1989. And rode that through my college years. When I got married the bike got hung up and rarely used.

I went to work in Biotechnology and didn't do much of anything to keep myself fit other than weekend sports and yard work. About 15 years later I went and took a "Health Age test" with my HMO. The doctor told me I was in great shape for a 39 year old. Unfortunately I was 36 at the time. About the same time I took a job working with some guys who would go out for lunchtime rides along the coast in San Diego. They were on road bikes, but I figured I could get myself back in shape and keep up with my mountain bike with slick tires mounted on it. I struggled daily for almost a month trying to keep up, and while they weren't dropping me as fast as before, I still couldn't ride with them for more than 6-8 miles. One day I recall turning around after they dropped me, and heading back up the Torrey Pines hill toward work. It's about a two mile grade and I was struggling for breath about half way up when this old lady (she was probably about 60, which to me at the time seemed old) passed me on a road bike and as she went by she said in a real sweet voice, "Keep going, you'll make it." I decided then that I was going to get more serious about riding, and with a real road bike.

I finally broke down and bought a used road bike and was amazed at the difference it made. I loved riding road bikes, dropped 15-20 lbs and started noticing every bike that went by. Soon I started stopping at garage sales if I saw a bike, learned here how to refurbish them, flipped a couple, fixed up a few for other friends and soon we had a pack of us all riding together at work. I've now got more bikes than I know what to do with. The lugged steel frames are my favorite (although I have a titanium road bike that is a pleasure to ride) and I've become much more selective about what I bring home.

I'm actually in the process of culling the herd a little bit, I figure I don't need more than two or three steel racing framed bikes (one Italian, one Belgian, one Japanese...), a touring bike, a utility bike (71 SuperCourse with an XtraCycle kit), a tandem (or two, but I'm going to sell one), a mixte for casual riding, and of course my mountain bike. That means I'll be getting rid of 4 or 5 others. I'm sure I'll pick a few more up here or there. I can't seem to stop looking at CL, Ebay, or checking thrift stores when I'm travelling.

All in all this new hobby (it's been over 5 years now) has been a blessing to my health, a pleasure to share with my kids, and just makes me smile when I get in the saddle no matter where I'm riding or why. I'm especially fond of the C&V BF crowd because of the warmth of the posts, the genuine desire to welcome and help others, and the unique personalities that frequent these threads. It's a pleasure being a part of this community.

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Old 06-19-12, 11:38 PM
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Much like a few other folks, I'm here not so much because of the bikes but because of the community around them. I was a regular in the road forum but was trying to do a lot of the maintenance on my own and 1/2 the time the google led me to the C&V threads when I needed something done.

I agreed to help out my cousin by getting her bike moving again, which turned out to be a 74 Schwinn Continental Step through. This group gave me much needed advice and the results were good.

I also owe one member of the board my deepest gratitude for passing some info along about a certain '83 Trek 720 which appeared on the Seattle craigslist and which I now own.

I don't post much, but I lurk nearly every day.

What a great place this is. I mean, where else can there possibly exist a box of crap?
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Old 06-20-12, 07:26 AM
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I'm a newcomer and originally came to bikeforums for the commuter and folding forums, as I am researching getting a folding bicycle for multimodal commuting. So far I'm only a lurker there. Then I looked at this forum out of curiosity and quickly realized that 1.) my old used bicycle is old enough to be vintage, and 2.) there's a whole community of people who are into vintage bicycles! So I wanted to stay and learn more. The breadth and depth of knowledge here is impressive!
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Old 06-20-12, 07:30 AM
Too many bikes
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I swear it wasn't to fill my small apartment with bike parts. Where were we again?
Looking for 24T or 21T Dura Ace uniglide cogs FW. Can trade NOS 12T.
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Old 06-20-12, 07:40 AM
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I'm not at all vintage myself at 27, but frankly this forum has the best behavior, prettiest bikes, and I'm guaranteed to learn something every time I peruse a thread.

I rode a lot of mountain as a teen, then went to college in Madison where we were blessed with fantastic roads. I worked at a great classic bike shop ( *THE* shop, in my opinion) where I was overwhelmed with the knowledge of the owner, the depth of NOS goodies, and the variety of bikes in the world. I got into the fixie craze and had a lot of fun with that. Met a lot of lifetime cyclist friends that way. I don't hate on that craze one bit: if even 50% of those new riders "get it" they will soon be commuting, running errands on bikes, and bringing visible volume to bike infrastructure. If only everyone would follow the laws (/hypocrisy). I was fortunate enough to build some very nice bikes while working at the shop, some chances at frames I'll never let go of.

My collection continues to grow, and is mostly vintage. Frankly stuff like Nuovo Record and Dura Ace AX is way more interesting to me than DI2. I don't race, I never will, so I'd rather have a great conversation about vintage bits than obsess over grams and watts.
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Old 06-20-12, 10:57 AM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Tucson, Arizona USA
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A few years ago I had a day full of devastating strokes which led eventually to a serious heart operation along with a hard road back to put together parts of my mind that did not have the skills it used to. A minor thing really, considering how others have survived strokes, but I had to teach myself how to use a computer mouse, type, and a lot of other mechanical things that I had taken for granted all of my life. In thinking of that lost experience, I remembered a day when I was nine years old taking apart my fathers 3-speed Sturmy Archer hub to see how it worked. And I ran into a serious problem getting it back together so I took apart my mom's almost identical bike more carefully to find the steps I was stuck on. Put my mom's bike back together and almost had my dads wheel back on his bike when my dad got home and he was mad! Thought I was about to wreck his bike. So, in chuckling over that, I called my dad up, (who also survived strokes) and finally told him the full story of that day. He laughed and said that he never knew how that 3-speed worked either,... Long story short, at that moment I realized I had to try it again and bought a '70 Schwinn Collegiate with that 3sp SA hub and took it apart. It took a long time to put it back together, had to use Sheldons website and a couple of YouTube videos to do it. Kept making stupid errors like turning the wrench the wrong way, (lefty-loosey), missed parts, routed the cables wrong, .... but I got it. Took it all apart again, speed-style, twice. From there, the rest of the old dusty bikes I had been hoarding each got the rebuild treatment, bought a few more and gave away to charity some of the ones that never appealed to me other than a chance to wrench. CV helped me identify a few bikes, detailed a few "got-cha's" on parts and generally has been an interesting daily read for me ever since.

Last edited by Tuc; 06-20-12 at 11:00 AM.
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