Re: [CR]Kids and classics?

(Example: Books:Ron Kitching)

From: "Eric Elman" <>
To: <>
References: <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Kids and classics?
Date: Mon, 16 Jun 2003 20:58:31 -0400

I'm one list member that rides with my kids regularly. Both are now on vintage lightweights. My 13 year old daughter, Leah, rides a 1983ish Team Fuji in 49cm size which I bought from ex-list member Jason Cloutier. She's very athletic and seems to follow the sports that my wife and I did when in school (baseball and cross country respectively). I completely refurbished the bike and it is all original except tires, bearings and brake pads. Wonderful bike, fine craftsmanship, Ishiwata quad butted tubing(!), friction shifting and all. It took her about a season to really master the shifting but she's an ace now. She can outride me when she wants. I've worked hard to not force this on her but instead share with her the wonderful scenery, sights, and excercise we get from the rides. She "get's it" if that makes sense to anyone. She knows she's riding a classic and treats the bike with care but does not pathetically pamper it as I do some of my nicer rides.

My son, Aaron is 9 years old and has just (Sunday) started riding the Peugeot mini-racer which I restored a number of years ago. This bike is sharp. Basically a mini Peugeot AO-8, non-lugged, friction shifting, etc. Everything is a special mini size - the leather saddle, stem, handlebars, Mafac levers, crank arms, even the Simplex rear derailleur is a special small size. This is the first year he's big enough to ride and boy has he been lusting to get on and ride with Dad (see Dad smile). He's doing great in just two days of learning to shift and will no doubt be on the road with me soon. As some of you know, I am a bit of a Francophile and have 6 Peugeots. I have a mint PX-10E in white and Aaron can't wait for us to both go out on our "matching racing bikes" (see Dad smile again). I purchased some of the wool Peugeot jersey's that a list member helped see into production last year and just this winter purchased via ebay a NOS wool Peugeot jersy in a child's medium size. I'll be sure to have my wife snap a pic of us both riding our matching bikes with matching jersey's (see Dad smile some more). Aaron likes to come down in the basement and help me polish, clean, lubriacte parts as I restore my bikes and I think he may one day enjoy this sport and hobby to a similar level as I do (ok, now I may be dreaming a bit). I do not push him at all and at times even discourage him a bit. For the past three years we've gone up to Palmer MA for the cyclocross races and we are planning on both entering this year as he will be 10 and eligable to participate in his class. He's been practicing on the trails in the woods behind our home!

So, yes, I do as much with my kids as time and their willingness allow, on vintage steel, which they appreciate is somehow more special then a modern road bike - they don't quite understand why, but there is an appreciation. My friend Raoul was right when he said "Parents of offspring who want to ride bicycles with them are EXTREMELY lucky people."

If only I could find more time and the weather be more cooperative.

Eric "lucky" Elman
Somers "lot's'a rain" CT

----- Original Message -----
From: mitch harris
Sent: Monday, June 16, 2003 1:35 PM
Subject: [CR]Kids and classics?

> How many of you who have cycling offspring help set them up on a
> classic-style bike? Don't mean a real classic that you'd worry about a kid
> taking care of, but something in lugged steel that helps develop a taste for
> the classics? How about components? For example, how many offspring of CR
> listers are set up with down tube friction?
> I've been planning a nicer road bike for my cycling-mad 11-year-old daughter
> who spends much of the summer with me. And being the kind of dad who doesn't
> like to push his opinions too broadly on his kids, and wanting her to love
> cycling itself and not get the impression from me that cycling is the act of
> riding museum pieces.......and knowing that I often just don't get what my
> kids love (eg. BBMac), I have been looking around at inexpensive beer can
> bikes with intro STI. Bright paint on a current tour racer style bike seemed
> to me to be what would make her feel that I'd gotten her "the best stuff."
> But reading e-Ritchey's stuff on craftmanship and thinking about these other
> industries where real people manufacture really fine things that are worth
> having for a long time, I realized that part of my job as a dad was to teach
> her some of that value, especially at her age, and cycling was a natural way
> for me to do it (as well as letting her play my guitars while she's with
> me).
> Since the little Singer frame mentioned above isn't ideal for a kid bike for
> obvious reasons, and a new lugged steel framed bike for her is beyond my
> budget--even a Romulus, which otherwise would be perfect--- here's what
> I've settled on (thrift shop find): an '81 or '82 Raleigh frame in high
> tensile steel that has really nice blue paint, pretty lugs and a head badge
> that make it look like a real bike just like mine. Even the gas pipe tubing
> has very serious Raleigh brand ID decals. I figure that even though it's
> going to be a heavy frame, it'll have some nice ride qualities, and will
> help her learn to value things like steel, lugs, headbadges, etc., so that
> when she can buy her own bikes, she'll be looking at a quality lugged bike,
> not plastic. I'll add a really light wheelset, and friction SunTour Cyclone
> ders I have to put on it, and it will be a very reasonable road bike for
> canyon riding.
> For now, she mostly rides with me on a vintage tandem, and her only personal
> bike is another thrift shop find of mine: a red lugged steel Bridgestone
> MB-3 that I told her all about when I gave it to her, assuming I was boring
> her to death when I explained lugs, and steel, and component quality. Later,
> though, I heard to say to a friend proudly, "This is a lugged steel MB-3."
> Mitch Harris
> Utah Co., UT