[CR]Classic Bicycle Spotting at TOSRV.

(Example: Framebuilding)

content-class: urn:content-classes:message
Date: Mon, 13 May 2002 14:45:53 -0400
Thread-Topic: Classic Bicycle Spotting at TOSRV.
Thread-Index: AcH6rmgRaqsaQMEhSi2iBOnubm8UGQ==
From: "Kahrl, Michael" <Michael.Kahrl@cardinal.com>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Subject: [CR]Classic Bicycle Spotting at TOSRV.

I'm sorry I missed the Cirque but I did get to attend the next best event for spotting vintage bicycles at the 41st annual Tour of the Scioto River Valley. I'm not sure why so many old bikes show up but it may have something to do with its pre-bike boom beginnings, and in some cases, the longevity of the riders themselves.

Riding an older bike is a great conversation starter when riding up alongside some stranger who is also on an interesting bike. I met a man on a beautiful lime green metallic Falcon with chrome Prugnat lugs. It was missing its Falcon decals but that headbadge can be spotted from two points abaft the beam. I also talked with a man on a completely original white Peugot with black lugs, Mafac brakes and the eye-catching Stronglite crank. I talked with several Paramount owners who, like me, have wrestled with questions of updating and keeping things original. Someone told me of a CR jersey spotting and if that was you, Mike Cardi, I'm sorry we didn't catch up.

Riding an older bike also encouraged people to strike up conversations with me as they passed. Many of them had once had the same bike and quite a few still had it at home. Some even said they were considering getting them back on the road. At at the breaks I spotted many other bikes such as a Bob Jackson, several Motobecones, Lotuses, Fujis, Nishikis, Panasonics and Miyatas. Without their owners it was not as easy find out more about them and how long they had been riding them.

I saw hope for the future of vintage bicycles: a teenager on a metallic green Raleigh Super Course. It was sparkling clean and in fine working order. I talked to his mom who told me that when he decided he wanted to take up cycling he didn't want to spend the kind of money his parents had on a bike. He found this bike at a garage sale, replaced the rims and tires, and was perfectly happy with his new ride. I saw another high schooler on a Bridgestone. I wondered if his parents were aware that their kid was wandering dangerously close to a bicycle cult group.

There is a lot of gray hair to be seen at TOSRV and I wonder how this event will play out over the next forty years. Some young people probably view TOSRV as something their parents' generation does. One twenty-something rider successfully distinguished himself from the older crowd by doing the tour starting late and going fast, on a fixed gear bike, wearing baggy trousers hemmed just below the knee, and lighting up a cigarette as he chatted with us. Very nice guy. I wonder how successful I will be teaching my love of bicycling to my own son. It would be great if took up fixies with baggy shorts or whatever the bicycle trend is ten years from now. I'd imagine cigarettes will still remain a bad idea well into the future.

Michael Kahrl
Riding an orange P-15 around
Columbus, Ohio