I would like to chime in on the ongoing discussion about preserving & restoring bikes...All of my vintage stable get ridden on a regular basis. My "daily driver" & winter bike is a Medici Gran Tourismo, my partner & I own a 1977 531 Gitane tandem, and even my one-of-a-kind (as far as I know) VeloSolex roadie see's some duty when the weather isn't too bad. I am not particularly OCD about the restorations that I do; while I do everything I can to preserve the classic look of the bikes, I also have no qualms about making making visually unobtrusive, performance enhancing changes to the original specs. Modern cables & housing are infinitely superior to the old round-wound, unlined stuff, and ditto for modern clincher tires. Sure, the original MAFAC canti's & Atom drum brake on our tandem were 'period correct', and look pretty cool, but you know what? As far as function, reliability, and safety go, THEY SUCK!! That's why they were replaced with stuff that actually works- we actually RIDE this bike, we don't just look at it. (Don't worry, no S#*^@!^o parts were used!). I guess what I am trying to say, is that the real joy of owning a fine, vintage bike (or wine!), is in putting it to the use it's maker intended for it. A classic racing bike is not only an art object, it is also an instrument of war- it was built to be suffered on, sweated on, and maybe even bled on...It is easy to get hung up on OEM , period specs, and serial numbers ( and admittedly, there is a sense of achievement in restoring a fine machine to it's showroom condition), but in my opinion, the real joy in what we do, lies in riding these wonderful machines. When I eventually "shuffle off this mortal coil", all my bikes, parts, gadgets & tools will go to the non-profit I work for, and they can put them to whatever use they see fit- I certainly won/t be in any position to care!
Larry Myers, Portland, Oregon, USA email@example.com
Everyone is raving about the all-new Yahoo! Mail beta.