As a kid in the mid 70's, I did quite a bit of touring/camping on the Gitane TdF I still ride today. Obviously its not a touring geometry, has no rack braze-ons, etc., but it got me there. And of course we all had race gearing (52/42 + 23/13) then, too, which amazes me as I ride the same hills now. We'd just put gear on the bikes any way it would fit. I used Bellweather bags front and rear, and used an old aluminum rack (the kind with the mousetrap spring arm) for the back - some ingenuity was required. To save weight, we took joints instead of a bong, but that's another story... ;)
Palo Alto, CA
> Date: Mon, 16 Aug 2004 19:48:13 -0700
> From: Steve Maas <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> To: Classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
> Subject: [CR]Touring on vintage lightweights
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> The summer is drifting to a close, I haven't had a vacation yet (work,
> work, work: ain't I noble?!) and I'm starting to get an urge to do some
> touring. Maybe the California gold country or, perhaps, the Oregon coast.
> So, the question arose: has anyone done any touring on vintage
> lightweight bikes? If so, it brings up a number of questions that might
> be fun to discuss:
> 1. What is the history of touring on older bikes? Did bicycle
> manufacturers produce products designed for touring, or did people just
> adapt what they had? If the former, what was available? If the latter, how?
> 2. If you were planning to do a serious tour on a vintage bike, how
> would you outfit it? Is there a particular frame you would use, or would
> you modify (ouch!) one? If so, how? What components?
> 3. Has anyone on the list gone touring in the 50s-70s, or more recently
> but on pre-1980 bikes?
> 4. Is anyone besides me interested in this kind of thing at all? Or do
> we just discuss racing endlessly?
> Certainly, there has been some degree of long-distance bicycle travel in
> the past. The US Bikecentennial in 1976 included coast-to-coast trips by
> large numbers of people. I also occasionally encounter a story of
> someone who did an extraordinarily long trip by bicycle at times when it
> just wasn't the kind of thing people did--for example, a guy in Pakistan
> who claimed to have biked around the world in the 1950s. (As it turned
> out, he didn't quite do the whole world--but he did get as far as Saudi
> Arabia.) There's also the popular book "Miles From Nowhere" by Barbara
> Savage, which describes a world tour in the 1970s.
> As for hardware--I noticed that the Trek 520, a highly respected touring
> bike, was first produced in 1983. There is one on eBay right now,
> #3694150617. Nicely made, although not top-of-the-line components; much
> like the modern version in that respect. Also, a recent eBay auction
> (#2262121409) was for a 1974 Schwinn Paramount, modified and tastefully
> updated for touring.
> Steve Maas
> Long Beach, California, USA