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NY Hudson Valley Newbie recreational/road/touring member

Old 06-09-06, 02:59 PM
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jzztchr
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NY Hudson Valley Newbie recreational/road/touring member

Hi,

I'm 47, kind of an ex-jock in several sports (alpine skiing, tennis, b-ball, golf) looking to improve my fitness level and have fun! I picked up an old Panasonic DX_4000 vintage (1984-ish), racing/touring bike for nada from a neighbor who was too small to use it. I"m 6'2, 205 lbs. and the frame is 61 cm. I'm happy as I've not had a bike since my Schwinn Continental was ripped off when I was 16. (I know it weighed a ton, but I thought it was pretty hot then though I really wanted a Peugeot).
After $180 worth of tune-up at the local shop I have a VG condition steel, Cr-MB pretty lightweight lugged frame and Shimano 600 "Arabesque" drivetrain and sidepull brakes, with old Ayata (sp?) wheels, a 39-51 and 14-26 gear setup, and friction shifters mounted down below. My bike guy at the LBS restored period-correct 44 cm Modelo drops and cleaned it up, oiled it, and put it in good order. Old tires were gone (numerous cracks) and have been replaced with new blackwall cheapies. I understand the old size (which I should remember--680mm(?!)) is an oddball size, and can be replaced with the newer standard size wheels which are more readily available, etc. I'll be looking to upgrade these probably.
I also play guitar and have some sympathy for the vintage mindset--mostly because it often represents tried and true approaches, and in this case, seems to offer me a lot of performance for not much money. I'll be looking to upgrade to parts which can be used for contemporary bikes, as well, for e.g. new wheels and tires, and maybe other lightweight parts. I've bought myself a Bell Helmet so far, a pair of Italian chamois-lined cycling shorts, and will be looking into clipless pedals and shoes, though I want to take on local hills unaided first. I'm kind of a equipt. skeptic. When I used to play a lot of golf, people were forever fussing about clubs, etc. and I always thought it's impossible to buy a golf game. So my cycling approach will be to work into this slowly and learn a bit more before spending money. The area where I live is pretty good for cycling. Also, my daughter is friends with a guy who is very high up at "Bicycling" magazine, and I know he is an ex-wrenchie himself so I think I have a pretty good source of objective advice. Generally when I start a new activity I like to learn a lot about it at least to get past the "sheep likely to be shorn" stage of being a consumer. Though, my LBS is, I think, pretty reputable and the guy does not seem to push unnecessary work. Anyway, I'd eventually like to work up to a century. My gf is enthusiastic and has a Trek hybrid 7700 and we'd like to work on this together.
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