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Old 05-01-20, 12:34 AM
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Stronglight56
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Hello!

I guess I started posting here before beginning a thread to introduce myself - I hope that isn’t too big a blunder in etiquette! I’ve stalked this site for over a decade reading about vintage bikes but only just joined.

I Practically grew up on a bicycle because I was free on one and it felt like I was flying when I rode - they were 1950s and 60s Schwinn hand-me-downs from my older cousins. I spent a lot of time on the lanes and rolling country roads where I was raised in the Napa Valley, California.

My first 10 speed came from a department store, I think it was an ‘All Pro’. I just remember it was bright red with yellow and black decals and had the cushy Late 1970s foam handlebar covers. I remember lying in bed awake at midnight and hearing the ballbearings clicking as my parents rolled it inside the house early Christmas morning. In retrospect it was a bit cheap but I loved that bike and rode it into the ground within 5 years - the rims finally bent going over train tracks and I had to walk the three or four miles home.

But before it gave up the ghost: I first watched the film Breaking Away in the early 8os and I was really bit by the cycling bug. Thenext day, I began doing longer distances on that red bike. I was 13 when I began riding 10 miles to the next town to see a friend and the 10 miles back. People thought I was nuts, I remember my friend asking with a bit of confusion ”would you ride your bike here instead of have your parents drive you?” That’s the think about cycling, you do it because you can and you are compelled. I was hooked on road riding and going ever farther distances. I began thinking, ‘hey, if I did 20 miles, maybe I can do 40, if I can do 40, I can ride 60 and so it went.

When I graduated high school in 1987, my dad bought me a Schwinn Premis (in the list below) from the local Schwinn dealer. It was two centimeters too big for me but I reckoned I’d still a bit of growing to do. I was so proud of that bike, used it through university and 33 years hence, still use that frame as a single speed/fixed gear. That bike has a special place in my heart. I’m thinking about putting a three speed cluster on the back so I can climb longer hills with it and go faster In flatter areas without spinning out.

I love road riding including commuting, running errands, brevets, centuries, loaded multi day tours over combination pavement, graded fire roads and gravel. I enjoy bike camping. I also enjoy resurrecting/restoring old steel bikes and am always on the lookout for deals at garage sales. One day I’ll hopefully find an old Italian bike, a Mercian or some other steel steal at a garage sale.

My Bikes:
-2000 Klein Quantum
-1972 Raleigh Super Course
-1975 Raleigh Professional Mark IV
-Early 70s centurion Le Mans found sticking out of a dumpster in near perfect condition.
-1982 Chrome Ross Mt.Hood that I converted to a touring bike.
-1980 Chrome Ross Mt. Hood I’ve left as a Mountain bike.
-1988 Schwinn Premis converted to a fixed/single speed.

The way the Premis looked in 1987 - a google image.



My first non-department-store bicycle bought at a bike shop. My dad gave it to me when I graduated High School in 1987 - it’s a Schwinn Premis that I had repainted by Rick Stefani at D&D cycles and rebuilt into a single speed. Unfortunately he didn’t put the ‘Schwinn Chicago’ head tube badge back and filled in the rivet hoIes - I’ll put the badge on again one day, I just am loathe to drill his beautiful paint work. I still love this frame and it has a lot of emotional significance to me.



Last edited by Stronglight56; 05-01-20 at 01:23 PM. Reason: Grammar and just improving what I want to communicate.
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Old 05-01-20, 06:09 AM
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cb400bill
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Welcome to Bike Forums Stronglight56.

Thin, two sided adhesive tape can be used to reattach your Schwinn's headbadge.
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Old 05-01-20, 07:23 AM
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Welcome Stronglight56, and thanks for the story. Napa seems like I great place to ride. I have visited for wine, and always thought the gentle rolling roads were perfect for cycling - especially on the east side of the valley.
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Old 05-01-20, 01:06 PM
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Stronglight56
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Originally Posted by TMonk View Post
Welcome Stronglight56, and thanks for the story. Napa seems like I great place to ride. I have visited for wine, and always thought the gentle rolling roads were perfect for cycling - especially on the east side of the valley.
TMonk, The East side of The Valley is precisely where I grew up and began riding. My first rides where on what local cyclists call ‘The Coombsville Loop.’ There are little side lanes and nice hill climbs that branch off the main roads.

The coast range mountains rimming the valley offer some beautiful hill rides too. They are eventually continuing a bicycle path from Yountville up the west side to Calistoga.

A fun ride next time you visit is to ride Redwood and Mount Veeder Roads, over the Oakville Grade to the bike path in yountville back to Napa. Unfortunately, there is a two mile stint on 29 to get to the bike path. You can bypass that by taking Dry Creek instead of going over the grade to 29. Doing the reverse, up dry creek to Veeder or over into Sonoma offers some challenging climbs

I was hit by an SUV and left lying on Old Sonoma Road 12 years ago. That changed my riding habits. I now avoid 29, Silverado Trail and other busy roads as much as possible - especially weekend afternoons. The traffic has become much heavier than it was in the 70s and 80s. So I tend to ride when traffic is lighter and as much on quiet rural roads as is possible.

Last edited by Stronglight56; 05-01-20 at 01:10 PM. Reason: Rearranging paragraphs.
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Old 05-01-20, 01:13 PM
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Stronglight56
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Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
Welcome to Bike Forums Stronglight56.

Thin, two sided adhesive tape can be used to reattach your Schwinn's headbadge.
Thank you cb409bill! Iíll do that.
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Old 05-01-20, 05:59 PM
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ha! I have two schwinns, and I like clean non-logo headtubes - so those badges were the first to go!

funny thing is, they were hard as hell to actually remove - the double-sided foam adhesive just disintegrates after years in the sun - it took lots of Goo Gone, acetone, and scraping with fingernails
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