[CR]New Member

(Example: Events:Eroica)

From: "Scott Sweeney" <goscotty@msn.com>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Date: Mon, 2 Jun 2003 21:02:56 -0700
Subject: [CR]New Member

My passion for fine bicycles started on a fall day in 1973 (8th grade), when I rode my friends 1971 or so Raleigh Professional after school. I just could'nt believe the difference going from my 40+ lb Schwinn Deluxe Breeze 3-speed to a 21 race bike. It was an epiphany for me which has lasted to this very day. I don't know if kids today share the same feelings today because most bikes are relatively lightweight and not as extreme as in the 1970's.

I think the turning point for me were the handling, responsivenes, exotic graphics; flags of the world, and olympic stripes, to fancy chrome work,, and silky smooth Campagnolo hubs. I never knew how bad hubs could be until I spun a Campagnolo Nuovo Record wheel in my fingertips for comparison. I knew I had to have one, but the best I could muster was a new Gitane Grand Sport on my next 14th birthday. My desire did not fade, in fact it intensified. Over the next two years I rode my other friends Gitane Interclub which was a real treat with sew-up tires, but not in the same league or feel as the Raleigh Professional. To gain knowledge, I would carefully stop to observe every race bike I saw in passing on the street, or parked in front of a bike shop. On weekends, I would visit Sugden & Lynch bike shop in Menlo Park, CA ask questions, and look at the overflowing dozens of Cinelli's Pogliaghi's, and Masi's they had for sale, not to mention the glass cases full of pantographed Campagnolo parts. After learning about tubing materials, Campagnolo parts, seat tube and head tube angles and the like I headed out to buy my first used Italvega Super Speciale. I logged many miles over 3 years and sold the bike to buy a car when entering college. I longed to own another race bike and eventually bought a used Gitane Tour de France my sophmore year in College which I was very proud to own. I rode the bike daily to school and found it stolen my senior year. It was'nt until I graduated that I bought a used Masi Gran Criterium which I have to this day. In the past 15 years I've purchased 2 more Masi's, a Gios Professional, and a Raleigh Professional,and a Gitane Tour de France, which I tend to fiddle with more than ride.

I stopped riding for about 8 years after several job moves with my bikes disassembled in storage. The aesthetic appeal of Tig welded bikes from the late 80's & 90's just did'nt draw me into showrooms. Finding Campagnolo parts or knowledge at the local bike shop was an impossibility. Everywhere I go it's mtn bikes, BMX and Dura Ace, or try them down the street. It has been the last 6 years that I have gotten back into biking partly with the need to exercise, and the enjoyment of riding a conversation piece.

Only recently after finding your website, I'm delighted to know that others feel as I do and appreciate fine vintage lightweight bikes. My mother would often tease me in high school when I snuck out of the house early Sunday mornings to go on a ride only to ask me "are you wearing your ballerina slippers?" Now I don't feel as awkward as I did back then.
Scott Sweeney
Salinas, CA