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What brung ya to the dance?

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What brung ya to the dance?

Old 06-18-12, 09:24 AM
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What brung ya to the dance?

For the most part, those of us who frequent C&V seem to have a common bond: a very broadly defined interest in bikes of a certain era and aesthetic. Much to the consternation of spouses and friends, we tend to collect and make glory photos of bicycles; we discuss mechanical minutiae and sometimes historical trivia. As I've gotten to know forum members though the back-and-forth of posts, and through off line dealings, I've been a little amazed and fascinated at the diversity of this group. (Maybe this sort of thread already exists, but I sure couldn't find one.) Anyway, I thought I'd take a moment to start a thread to introduce that "other" side of ourselves, when we're not doing bike stuff. I'll start things off:

I've never been a racer; never had any illusions about or desire to race, although I enjoy watching the Tour and other road cycling events when they are broadcast. That said, my life doesn't revolve around bicycles. (well, not entirely!) The first 2+ decades of my professional life I was a visual art "practitioner," i.e., I was a fairly respected designer and illustrator. Although I still engage in the odd design assignment here and there, I eventually moved away from practice and into research. For the past ten years I've taught design, photography, and art/design histories, as well as researched and written extensively about studio art practices that merge traditional with digital philosophies of art making. I write curriculum and develop online learning and supervise a large department of art educators. My wife, kids and I have lived in the midwest for most of our lives, except for a few years when we lived in Alaska, where I developed and taught four to six week long arts-intensive programs through a state program in very small communities.

OK. Your turn.

Last edited by AZORCH; 06-18-12 at 01:09 PM.
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Old 06-18-12, 09:35 AM
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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.
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Old 06-18-12, 09:42 AM
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I found this forum by chance, and am just beginning to understand and love classics and vintage bikes. I'm a college student and the Training Coordinator for a medical kit manufacturer. I live with my girlfriend in CT, but we are moving to Northhampton, MA where it is much more bike friendly. I worked as a bike mechanic during my high school summers, assembling bikes and running shop errands for a former Olympic mechanic, who sparked my love of bicycles. I spend a majority of my time studying and working, but like to find time to hike and camp. I am obsessed with the outdoors, and try to be there as much as possible. I love to lift weights and do yoga, I've started becoming in tune with my body and enjoy making it as efficient and healthy as possible (hence veganism).

I love mountain biking as well, however I fell in love with the racing bikes of the 1970s, and you guys know quite a bit about those
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Old 06-18-12, 09:48 AM
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Great thread Azorch...

I was a wannabe racer from about 15-18. I rode a few cat 4 events, not well, and trained/rode with the folks from a local team shop called Guys. I had a friend (much better than me) who raced cat 3 and was considering trying to eventually be a pro. I rode with him a lot and grew to really like road bicycles. Before that I just went pleasure riding and weekend camping on my prize possession, a Lotus Odyssey. My father and me trash picked a Schwinn Triplet and I learned a bit about restoration and vintage bikes working on it with him. We also had a lot of help from a guy well known on the C/R list and who i got to know again recently. I first came her for advice on a Raleigh Pro and loved the community.

I live with my wife in downtown Philadelphia; she runs a small business from the house and I'm a corporate drone who works on contracts in a legal department. I also just finished my first accounting course and a recent injury slowed me down from taking the next one. I plan on sitting the CPA exam sometime in the future and pursuing a career as an accountant, maybe in public service. My college background is firmly liberal arts with a focus on history and philosophy. Like a lot of us, I have some obsessive qualities which periodically shift to other areas; writing, music, bikes...I feel like the next stage might be art. I've always been politically active and being a responsible, participating citizen is very important to me. We have three cats and are searching for the right dog. I absolutely love Philadelphia and have no plans on leaving. I would like to travel a lot more, California is likely next.
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Old 06-18-12, 10:56 AM
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I came to this forum the same way a lot of us did, I'm sure. Shopping for a used bike, I realized I wanted a vintage road bike. Almost every time I googled a bike I was interested in, I found info in the archives of C&V...I decided to join up, got addicted and here I am. I’ve lost a lot of interest in vintage components, but still love this place and have a couple C&V frames in service so I hang around. Just bought my first carbon frame this weekend *gasp*.

I've done some long organized rides but I've never raced, though I am a fan of pro cycling. I plan to start doing cross and triathlons (more for fun than anything else) when I'm done with school and my life settles down a bit. I just finished my undergrad this spring, majoring in finance and accounting. I'll graduate this August with a master's degree in accounting and am about to start taking my CPA exams. I will start full time with a big accounting firm in Boston in January where I've worked off and on (currently part time) for almost four years now. Very grateful for the opportunity to get real world experience and a full time job offer during my undergrad...anybody with kids about to go to college--I can't recommend Northeastern U. enough (for Business and engineering, not sure about the other stuff). The next 6 months will be crazy for me, but I hope to get some traveling and cycling time in between school, studying and work. Going to Alaska in September and potentially central Mexico in December if I can stop buying bikes and save enough… I live in Boston with my girlfriend of over five years, Katie, and our two cats, Dusty (like little Dusty Pedroia) and Tugga (Russell Crowe’s cartoon tugboat from South Park). Katie starts grad school this fall to become a critical care pediatric nurse practitioner. Plans to propose in the near future as well...

Oh yeah…if I had any free time, I would also be interested in: hiking, bicycle touring/camping, more traveling, woodworking/building a cabin in the woods, using my OA torch to join bicycle tubes instead of take up space in my parents’ garage, restoring my dad’s 63 Corvette (sitting untouched since 1978 when my oldest brother was born).
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Old 06-18-12, 11:07 AM
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I got my first C&V ride (Motobecane Mirage) back in '09 because I was tired of riding my old BMX for fun and fitness. I wanted something that felt like my dad's 80s Peugeot--fast and smooth. I was bit by the wrenching bug right away. I've always been a casual history buff, so for me researching this stuff is as much fun as wrenching and riding. The folks on these forums are a serious asset to my learning--I can't overstate that.

These days I'm just trying to get as many miles in the saddle as possible--working towards my first century on my '85 Ironman and planning to do some cycling in the Smoky Mountain National Forrest in July.

In the "real world," I'm a designer / art director at an ad agency in Tampa, FL. I do everything from packaging design to digital, broadcast and print work a variety of clients. I'm still relatively young--retirement is a long way off. That is, if the world doesn't end first.
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Old 06-18-12, 11:11 AM
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I've been biking since I was a kid. I love the freedom. I love the machine.

Much of what I do revolves around being outdoors and active. Between biking and rock climbing I'm on the go a lot. I'm always working on fitting more of both into my life.

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Old 06-18-12, 12:13 PM
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What brung ya to the dance?

Baby Boom and Bike Boomer here. Hung out with my friends with bike riding a large part of our daily fun. 10 speeds were the craze in my early teens. My brother who was a n avid cyclist encouraged me to try racing. One race and I was hooked. Raced Junior and Cat2 for a 1/2 dozen years in the 70's early 80's.

Now I am trying to get back a little of my conditioning so that I can ride with the CF racer crowd. Of course I ride a vintage bike.

I am a painting contractor. Wife and two teenage boys. They are baseball players.
I flip a few bikes for fun. Enjoy collecting pre-war toy trains in the winter months. Cycling and bikes are a big part of my life.
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Old 06-18-12, 01:03 PM
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Looking for info on a pretty much decimated Schwinn. Found lots of info here. Bought more bikes. Similar to my love of classic 4X4s, I love the look and the simplicity of the machines. I ride the hell out of my modern road bike, but it doesn't get the love my goofy old ones do.
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Old 06-18-12, 01:16 PM
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As others have said, when I got back into biking after a 30 year absence, I knew I wanted and old bike and any research I did kept pointing me to this forum.

Why did I want a vintage bike? In part I suppose because of the whole Peter Pan complex thing, but also because I really wanted a steel frame and quickly realized you get a lot more bang for the buck going the vintage route.
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Old 06-18-12, 01:32 PM
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Step 1: Company moves me to a location only 7 miles from my house.
Step 2: Get the 1984 Nishiki Olympic 12 down off the hooks in the garage and see if I can make the ride to work.
Step 3: Wreck the Nishiki, plan on buying replacement bike on my birthday in the fall.
Step 4: Find an essentially NOS 1994 Nishiki Sport XRS hybrid at a garage sale, go back and the the old bike that was next to it: a 1966 Raleigh DL-1 Tourist. Search for info about it, find BF.
Step 5: Rinse, lather, repeat.

Oh, and I did this thread already.
I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.

Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

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Old 06-18-12, 02:13 PM
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Smoking, drinking, hanging out with beardy, booky or brainy men talking till the small hours about absolute nonsense, while listening to old tunes. Or rather the avoidance of that all. I got into collegiate rowing to brute force myself into a healthier lifestyle, but got the boot pretty soon due to not being big and strong enough. I bought a cheap Peugeot of the web to keep in shape, but being a natural reader I immediately turned to this blazing beacon of information on French ten speeds. I discovered that the Pug was way too big and way too low end, so I started the relentless acquisition of all kinds of old cycling junk to piece together a nice Italian racer in my size, whilst getting more and more absorbed by the banter and beautiful bikes here. Look at me now. Making all these confessions and talking daily to a very friendly bunch of beardy, booky and brainy guys (and some gals! Hi Kiwi!), sometimes sober, sometimes not, until the small hours, while the conversation drifts inevitably drifts to music... It all has come full circle.
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Old 06-18-12, 02:23 PM
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How could one compare with the well-written screed above?

I came to this forum looking for info on a very cool old bike I bought just because it was beautiful. It was too small for me. A 1957 Hopper Vampire. I came to the C&V world a mere ten years after I sold my last good bike in the '70's, when I ran across a very pretty, orange Moto Champion Team from the original owner. That was in 1986. I couldn't resist, but admittedly, the main draw for me was the bike's full compliment of early Nuovo Record pearly glow. And the color.
I eventually sold the Vampire. Kept the Motobecane. It was barely Classic & Vintage back then, but is now.
Hard to believe that was twenty five years ago.
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Old 06-18-12, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Italuminium
Smoking, drinking, hanging out with beardy, booky or brainy men talking till the small hours about absolute nonsense, while listening to old tunes. Or rather the avoidance of that all. I got into collegiate rowing to brute force myself into a healthier lifestyle, but got the boot pretty soon due to not being big and strong enough. I bought a cheap Peugeot of the web to keep in shape, but being a natural reader I immediately turned to this blazing beacon of information on French ten speeds. I discovered that the Pug was way too big and way too low end, so I started the relentless acquisition of all kinds of old cycling junk to piece together a nice Italian racer in my size, whilst getting more and more absorbed by the banter and beautiful bikes here. Look at me now. Making all these confessions and talking daily to a very friendly bunch of beardy, booky and brainy guys (and some gals! Hi Kiwi!), sometimes sober, sometimes not, until the small hours, while the conversation drifts inevitably drifts to music... It all has come full circle.
Man oh man, do I love Pavement.
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Old 06-18-12, 03:27 PM
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I saw an old green Raleigh sport leaning against a trash can and though, "that's a pretty shade of green."
Googled for info and found RetroRaleighs.com....
That was long before Google was a verb.
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Old 06-18-12, 03:41 PM
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'Got my first proper road bike new in 1986 and have "aged" it to vintage by dumb luck (my C'dale). I kept getting a new one every few years, but don't have the motivation to ever get rid of any. I keep riding them in random/dumb luck selection and have great fun doing it. I never race, but find I can eat more if I ride more!

In my real life, I'm a project manager for a non-profit R&D company that spun-off from the University of Pittsburgh.
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Old 06-18-12, 04:04 PM
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Bought a bicycle in a desperate attempt to drop some weight. Still too fat, but I now have a basement full of old bicycles.
I have a white PX-10, a Green Dawes Galaxy and an Orange Falcon, now I'm done.
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Old 06-18-12, 04:11 PM
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Man oh man, do I love Pavement.
was there a pavement reference in there? sadly, i missed it.

i was interested in the title of your thread, op. "dance with who brung ya" was an old adage from darrell royal, the famous texas longhorn football coach. it's rather straightforward, but the quote refers to a football fan following that team with which he was brought up, through his parents influence, for example. the irony here is that royal was an okie, "born and bread," and a sooner football all-american playing both ways for wilkinson. but he's known more for leading the sooner's perennial rival and this quote about the origin of one's support. so does this mean anything can be bought? maybe, but i'm not that hardcore ... nor that cynical.

me? i'm an okie ("sooner born and ... sooner dead!"), like the joads, and can't wait for college football season. like the southern baptists, it was more about brainwashing than dancing though. and that's fine by me, as it's a great game. one thing i do hate about saturdays in the fall though is missing out on a beautiful saturday of riding my '73 falcon when i'm already on my fourth pbr and glued to the third quarter of only the first game of the day. yep, it's a religion. and thank god it's still with me after all that fundamentalism bs has come and gone.

beat fexas!
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Old 06-18-12, 04:39 PM
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I came to bikeforums when I started looking for a bike to ride at college. I'd ridden non-stop up until age 15 and then just dropped it all together. I first visited the road forum, but over time I realized I couldn't stand the people in there and being of a design background, can't stand the look of most modern road bikes. The Tour duPont used to come through my town every year and I started thinking about the bikes I saw back then, and some I saw while traveling Europe and realized I liked the aesthetic of older bikes a lot more. So, I started perusing the C&V section, bought an '88 Peugeot, and it's been downhill ever since.
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Old 06-18-12, 04:47 PM
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Commuting got me started. I live 2 miles from work, so driving a car didn't make much sense to me. After my daughter was born, lack of free time has cut into my riding time but I still commute on my bike, every day, all year.
|^^^^^^^^^^^^^^| ||
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|_..._..._______===|=||_|__|..., ] -
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Old 06-18-12, 06:26 PM
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You can learn everything you need to know about modern bicycles in a month or so. If you want to continue learning you must look to history.
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Old 06-18-12, 09:26 PM
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Purchased used bike....took bike apart....googled "French Threaded BB".
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Old 06-18-12, 10:15 PM
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I came here looking for kindred spirits. I'm a late baby boomer who got (re)interested in cycling as a teen during the early 1970s bike boom. I raced first as a Cat IV in 1977 then as an "outlaw" up until about 1990. Around 1992 I parked my Ciocc and didn't ride again until 2009. I've tried out various 21st century "innovations" (e.g., carbon fiber frames, index shifting, brifters, aero clinchers, etc.) and have yet to be impressed enough to want a new ride. This particular forum topic connects me with others who appreciate the type of bicycle that I enjoyed (and still enjoy) riding.
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Old 06-18-12, 10:47 PM
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After breaking my girlfiend's Varsity (!) On the commute in to work, I knew something had to give -- and it shouldn't be another dropout. Found my Specialized Sirrus literally buried in a vacant lot, rehabbed it, and realized I liked doing this. Digging through the used bins one day, I found a Suntour V. It spoke to me, quietly, and made sense of what was going on back there. Bought a crap Moto to have a spare bike, enjoyed the ride, dug a little deeper. Moto got stolen, by then I knew enough to risk buying the Super Course as a bare frame and building it. Fast-forward a year and I'm working in the shop where tne V first said something. Traded in my first 22 hours on my VeloSoleX, and the search for info on it led me here.

Ireedemably addicted, and I've no wish for a cure.
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Old 06-18-12, 11:03 PM
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I had "ten-speeds" as a kid in the '70's, a juvenile Peugeot and then a Raleigh Gran Sport, but as a young man I was into mountain biking.

This was in the late '80's and early '90's in Southern California. There were fire roads all through the hills, the Angeles Crest range was nearby, Ned Overend and John Tomac and Missy Giove were the star riders, Mountain Bike Action magazine was pushing the latest motorcycle-derived techno-bikes and Grant Peterson was blazing his own grouchy path in the opposite direction. I started with a Raleigh MTB, bolted a sprung fork to it, scared myself witless bombing down rutted dirt trails - no helmet, naturally - and eventually stepped up to a Bridgestone MB-Zip which I still have. In another decade it will be squarely C&V. Then kids and work took over and I drifted away from cycling.

From time to time in the next decade or so I used my old MTB to commute, to grad school or to work, but I wasn't really a cycling enthusiast, just a steadily expanding guy on an old bike.

When we moved to Portland, I slowly started noticing bikes again, they're everywhere here. I started commuting on the MB-Zip, getting in shape again, and as I got stronger I enjoyed riding more. We put an Xtracycle extension on my wife's old Bridgestone MB-5 and started doing more errands by bike. I picked up another Bridgestone, the XO-1, and I started riding a local hill route with it on the weekends. This was the first time I'd gotten on a bike purely for sport, in over a decade. I started noticing how much faster the XO-1 was on the street, than the MTBs, and decided I wanted a real road bike. One day I saw a CL ad for an unusual Vitus frame, and bought it as a project - which remains unfinished. Then I saw a CL ad for a Peugeot PSV, and that became my daily rider. More bikes, bike parts, and bike tools followed and now the bikes outnumber the people in our house. I only drive once every week or so. Two of our three cars sit unused. I'm "training" for my first long ride, Seattle to Portland.

The biking thing works well with my job. I work in the financial industry, and have to be in the office at 5:30 am. So I ride in at 5:00 am, there is no traffic, I get to work awake and energized. I leave pretty early most days, so again I miss the "rush hour", not that Portland's rush hour is much compared to what I used to sit through in California.

Funny, I used to be really into cars, first vintage Land Rovers and then air-cooled Porsches. I've spent countless hours working on cars, reading about cars, auto-crossing cars - now I'm just not much into cars anymore. My Porsche sits under the cover, tires getting flat. I also had figured I'd have a real motorcycle by now, graduate from the vintage Vespa to something fast or vintage or both, like a Honda CB750 cafe racer, a BMW R90S, an old Ducati - but now I'm not much interested in that either. My life, at least my hobby life, seems to have veered off in this new direction of leg-powered transport.

Well, I guess it's good for my health. Bikes are undeniably cheaper than cars - I mean, each of my "grail" bikes would cost less than the parts for a suspension refresh on the 911. And I do come to bike wrenching with a crapload of tools and some mechanical experience.

Other stuff - let's see. Degrees in math, law, business. Two kids, three cats, one wife. Also like to kayak and shoot film. My other major hobby is cooking. Other than BF, I mostly hang around cooking foums.

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