Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Fifty Plus (50+)
Reload this Page >

A Flash of Cycling Nostalgia...

Notices
Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

A Flash of Cycling Nostalgia...

Old 05-08-22, 08:22 AM
  #1  
BobbyG
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
BobbyG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 5,555

Bikes: 2015 Charge Plug, 2007 Dahon Boardwalk, 1997 Nishiki Blazer, 1984 Nishiki International

Mentioned: 53 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1245 Post(s)
Liked 1,223 Times in 616 Posts
A Flash of Cycling Nostalgia...

Keep in mind that the word nostalgia comes from two Greek words meaning "painful homecoming".

I recently spent just over 2-weeks in Chicago for a family matter. It's the longest I've been home since college, back in the 80s, and I spent more than half those days driving into downtown.

Thanks to traffic jams, the GPS often had me jump off the expressway and take streets I haven't driven down in 40 years, which kept firing off moments of recognition in my brain.

On the last day I was driving back up north and the expressway jammed so quickly, the GPS didn't have time to warn me. So I made a split-second decision to jump off at Caldwell Avenue...a street name I remembered and had a general idea that I could take it northwest until it reached Waukeegan Road and I could rake that up north.

As I drove on Caldwell I passed the entrance to the Bunker Hill woods, part of Cook County's Forest Preserve network. Back in the 1970s my friends and I would bike to this portal and ride the mostly dirt trails north through the woods as far as we dared.

But even before then, in grade school in the 1960s I along with many of the neighborhood kids would hop on a summertime school bus and attended the YMCA summer camp held in the clearings and thickets of the same Bunker Hill woods.

It's also the same place I had my worst bicycle crash, at the annual high school end-of-the-season track picnic, my freshman year in 1976.

The team party had ended and I hopped on my 2-year-old yellow Azuki 10-speed to bike home. I was pedaling down the paved road heading towards the leafy dirt path. I was still smiling from playing frisbee and running all afternoon. The sun warmed my face and arms and a tremendous tailwind buoyed my spirits and effort as I rode no-handed at a speed that my un-helmeted, teen-age invincibility told me was still not fast enough. I neared the restroom facility at the end of the parking lot where only a line of concrete parking risers separated me from the path through the woods. Then...

Bam!

My left pedal caught a parking riser and riding no-handed I came down hard, waking up a moment later a few yards past the riser, with the sting of road-rash and a dull pain in my right arm-pit. It was a moderate gash that left a scar that would elicit questions from girlfriends, a wife, kids and grand kids. A scar that shows itself to me every time I shave in the bathroom mirror.

But none of this occurred to me as I drove past the Bunker Hill Woods entrance on Caldwell last week...until a short time later when a sign for the Caldwell Woods popped up and there, for a moment when I zipped past the opening at 45 mph I caught a glimpse of the outhouse building and the parking risers for the first time in 48 years. My left hand reflexively reached for my scarred right arm-pit.

A few years ago I found a very similar bike to the one I was riding then at a thrift store and my hands ran all over it reconnecting with its geometry and heft: The Japanese Time Machine...

Even with the internet allowing us to search for and find all sorts of pictures and sounds from our youths, it's still the real, in-person encounters with the touchstones of the past that elicit truly visceral nostalgia; and cycling has provided more than its share of true nostalgia in my life.

Last edited by BobbyG; 05-09-22 at 06:42 AM.
BobbyG is offline  
Old 05-10-22, 04:57 PM
  #2  
John E
feros ferio
 
John E's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: www.ci.encinitas.ca.us
Posts: 21,005

Bikes: 1959 Capo Modell Campagnolo; 1960 Capo Sieger (2); 1962 Carlton Franco Suisse; 1970 Peugeot UO-8; 1982 Bianchi Campione d'Italia; 1988 Schwinn Project KOM-10;

Mentioned: 40 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1163 Post(s)
Liked 704 Times in 495 Posts
It's not very prominent, but every now and then someone will comment on the "dueling scar" over my left cheekbone, the result of my only close encounter of the wrong kind with a motor vehicle while bicycling, back in 1976. The pair of callus bumps on my left collarbone, another aftermath of the same crash, sometimes used to get irritated by pressure from backpack straps or from the shoulder belt while driving, but not much any more. Ah -- we suffer for our sport.
__________________
"Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." --Theodore Roosevelt
Capo: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger (2), S/N 42624, 42597
Carlton: 1962 Franco Suisse, S/N K7911
Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
Bianchi: 1982 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069
John E is offline  
Likes For John E:
Old 05-10-22, 05:10 PM
  #3  
Biker395 
Seat Sniffer
 
Biker395's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: SoCal
Posts: 5,298

Bikes: Serotta Legend Ti; 2006 Schwinn Fastback Pro and 1996 Colnago Decor Super C96; 2003 Univega Alpina 700; 2000 Schwinn Super Sport

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 794 Post(s)
Liked 1,058 Times in 357 Posts
Nice. There is a blind corner near my Mom's old house that found me t-boning my brother on his bike, doing a superman for about 10 feet, then snapping my left forearm. The look on my Mom's face when I walked in holding a left arm with two elbows was almost as classic as the look on my brother's face, as he was sure he would be blamed. I go by there often, and will never forget that.

BTW ... Your post is another example of scars being tattos with stories.
__________________
Proud parent of a happy inner child ...

Biker395 is offline  
Likes For Biker395:
Old 05-10-22, 05:17 PM
  #4  
Clyde1820
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 1,667

Bikes: 1996 Trek 970 ZX

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 539 Post(s)
Liked 404 Times in 311 Posts
It's all but disappeared, now, but decades ago I was dealt a nasty road rash along the outside of one arm. Took years to fully blend in; now, there's just a slightly different pattern of freckles/spots (as compared to the other arm). On the rare occasions I head back to my old stomping grounds from nearly 50yrs ago, I still have tingling in that arm as I pass by the spot where it all happened.

Thankfully, that old cliff where we jumped into the sand pile at the old quarry isn't there anymore. And neither is that old hill where we barreled down to the bottom where our homemade, DIY jump over the railroad tracks was located. And ...

Ah, those were the days.
Clyde1820 is offline  
Likes For Clyde1820:
Old 05-12-22, 01:47 PM
  #5  
Fredo76
The Wheezing Geezer
 
Fredo76's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Española, NM
Posts: 273

Bikes: 1976 Fredo Speciale, Jamis Citizen 1, Ellis-Briggs FAVORI, Rivendell Clem Smith Jr.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 111 Post(s)
Liked 207 Times in 106 Posts

Saguaro National Park, East Loop Drive

The only pain on my latest nostalgia trip came from The Big Hill. And it was the good kind of pain. I must have ridden up this a hundred times, five decades ago. I hasn't changed a bit.

Fredo76 is offline  
Likes For Fredo76:
Old 05-13-22, 08:56 AM
  #6  
Skullo
Master of the Universe
 
Skullo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Utah
Posts: 176
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 55 Post(s)
Liked 86 Times in 45 Posts
Originally Posted by Fredo76 View Post

Saguaro National Park, East Loop Drive

The only pain on my latest nostalgia trip came from The Big Hill. And it was the good kind of pain. I must have ridden up this a hundred times, five decades ago. I hasn't changed a bit.

Your Clem looks geared to handle it!
Skullo is offline  
Likes For Skullo:
Old 05-13-22, 09:05 AM
  #7  
caloso
Senior Member
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Posts: 40,698

Bikes: Specialized Tarmac, Canyon Exceed, Specialized Transition, Ellsworth Roots, Ridley Excalibur

Mentioned: 68 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2875 Post(s)
Liked 2,864 Times in 1,320 Posts
Nice. We’ll be visiting family in Chicagoland this summer. They’ve all moved to the northern suburbs—Northbrook, Winnetka, etc.
caloso is offline  
Likes For caloso:
Old 05-13-22, 10:53 AM
  #8  
Bald Paul
Senior Member
 
Bald Paul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Upstate SC
Posts: 841
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 389 Post(s)
Liked 737 Times in 347 Posts
Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
BTW ... Your post is another example of scars being tattos with stories.
If scars and tattoos tell a story, I should write a book.
Bald Paul is online now  
Likes For Bald Paul:
Old 05-13-22, 11:00 AM
  #9  
big john
Senior Member
 
big john's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: In the foothills of Los Angeles County
Posts: 19,243
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4395 Post(s)
Liked 3,797 Times in 2,048 Posts
I've been living in this rental for 6 years now and in the last couple years I have been doing a solo ride on Wednesdays which takes me past my old middle school. In 1967 I was riding my 3 speed home from school and crashed in a wet turn and broke my front tooth along with other minor injuries. Bent the left crankarm so I had to make the call of shame. When I ride through that turn I feel the crown on that tooth with my tongue.

A couple blocks up the street from there is a house where I lived for a short time in 1971 before going back to my parents house for a while. Parents house is a few miles up the road from there and looks very different than it did when they sold it in 1972 for $26K. The Zestimate for it now is $850K!

Continuing into the hills a few more miles is the house I rented from 2000 until 2016. Wish I still lived there. Wish I could have bought it.
big john is offline  
Old 05-20-22, 06:12 PM
  #10  
jppe
Let's do a Century
 
jppe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 8,242

Bikes: Cervelo R3 Disc, Pinarello Prince/Campy SR; Cervelo R3/Sram Red; Trek 5900/Duraace, Cervelo P2C/Duraace, Cannondle Tandem/Ultegra, Lynskey GR260 Ultegra

Mentioned: 58 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 618 Post(s)
Liked 802 Times in 372 Posts
Great story BobbyG!!
__________________
Ride your Ride!!
jppe is offline  
Old 05-21-22, 05:40 PM
  #11  
gobicycling
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 227
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 85 Post(s)
Liked 201 Times in 59 Posts
Originally Posted by Fredo76 View Post

Saguaro National Park, East Loop Drive

The only pain on my latest nostalgia trip came from The Big Hill. And it was the good kind of pain. I must have ridden up this a hundred times, five decades ago. I hasn't changed a bit.

My wife and I have ridden that exact road several times in Saguaro National Park East. It's a beautiful ride.
gobicycling is offline  
Likes For gobicycling:
Old 05-28-22, 05:55 PM
  #12  
philbob57
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Chicago North Shore
Posts: 2,023

Bikes: frankenbike based on MKM frame

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 594 Post(s)
Liked 401 Times in 253 Posts
Today I rode by the spot where my son caused me to crash almost 2 years ago. I gave an involuntary shout, and then I remembered this thread. The body remembers.

No real damage sustained, by either of us. We cut our ride short, thought, because blood thinner let extra blood flow, and I'm squeamish.
philbob57 is offline  
Likes For philbob57:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.