I was a member of Potomac Pedalers at the time (mid-80s). I didn't join them on many rides, but they gathered in a local supermarket parking lot near my house every weekend (Giant Supermarket at the corner of Old Keene Mill and Rolling Road in West Springfield VA IIRC). I would ride over to start the ride with them and there were many people riding Alpine bikes. It may have just been my lust for nice bikes that was starting to gel in my brain, but I remember Alpine as the one that stood out above the rest. One guy (and his wife) had two on his roof rack. One was red and the other a deep lavender. It is hard to believe that I can remember that but can't remember what I had for breakfast this morning!! Lou Deeter, Orlando FL
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I couldn't find my luggage at the airport baggage area. So I went to the lost luggage office and told the woman there that my bags never showed up. She smiled and told me not to worry because she was a trained professional and I was in good hands. "Now," she asked me, "has your plane arrived yet? ". . . .
-----Original Message----- From: Tom Dalton <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Cc: email@example.com Sent: Wed, 22 Feb 2006 09:44:42 -0800 (PST) Subject: Alpines
I lived in that area in the early 80s and the paint of the Alpines I saw was wonderful. The Swiss cross on the headtube was particularly nice.
Funny thing about that Swiss cross... look closely and they are all lopsided, at least on the Rockville bikes. Ned Carey, Fred's partner early in the independent phase of Alpine Cycles, told me that someone sketched the logo freehand and handed it off to the decal supplier. The decal supplier took the asymmetry literally and generated a bazillion asymmetrical decals. The four red fields were supposed to all be the same size and shape. Reminds me of the 20" Stonehenge model in "This is Spinal Tap."
There were some nice paint jobs on some Alpines, but like everything else associated with the operation, they were very inconsitent and not always detail oriented. In 1985 I crashed a Trek MTB and bent the thin walled OS Prestige top and down tubes. The fork appeared undamaged after the crash. Probably not the best engineered Trek ever built. In any case, I took it to Alpine and they replaced the top, head, and down tubes, using fillet joints intead of the original lugs. They then resprayed the bike. They gave be a break on the price because I worked at an LBS. Price break not withstanding, the work came up short in a couple of obvious ways. They resprayed the fork with a thin layer of the same bright red as the front half of the frame, right over the original forest green metallic. The fork ended up a different color from the frame. Also, once the bike was assembled, it was quite clear that the steerer was slightly bent. I'd expect a good repair to include a careful check on the fork after taking a huge hit like it did (the front tire was way up past the down tube). Anyway, I was not especially impressed with the attention to detail.
Tom Dalton Bethlehem, PA
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