[CR]When is a restoration not a restoration?

(Example: Component Manufacturers:Cinelli)

Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2007 17:49:00 -0700
From: "Jeremy Robillard" <robillj@gmail.com>
To: classicrendezvous <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Subject: [CR]When is a restoration not a restoration?

I have been following this thread, as well as most of the other threads on CR, and one of the main topics is preservation, and not just for bikes. Brian Baylis wrote,

"I'm not certain the next generation will have the same appreciation

that we have for these bikes. Until "we" came along, most of the stuff

was tossed in the landfill or abused to death by the original owners,

who used them for what they were meant for. The enjoyment of riding

them. It's our generation who sort of cares because they are the bikes

that we either owned or wanted to own when we were younger. I sort of

doubt that there will be too many classic bikes collectors in 50 years."

It seems that the preservation of knowledge and tradition are more important then the preservation of a bike. I am 23, fresh from college, recently engaged, recently relocated from a city of 60,000 to 1 million +, have a new job and also have a Univega from 1982 I bought for 250 dollars. This is all I can afford at the moment. I am not "restoring" the bike; rather, I am personalizing it. It did not have a complete 600 groupo, and I am slowly customizing the bike to have all Shimano 600 groupo. Why? I have no idea. It seems like something to do, and I am enjoying the process. Importantly, I bought the bike from a CR member who told me to check out the site, and, now, I read almost all the posts. I think Brian Baylis is correct in assuming that the future of classic bike collecting, restoring, and preserving does look a little shaky. A post from months ago mentioned the future of lugged steel frames, and many were positive about the present development, but these are not classics. I am know very little about bikes, and very little about life. However, I do know that I want to continue to learn about classic bikes and make it a life long hobby. I also know that some knowledge will likely be lost, and one thing that may hurt the preservation of knowledge in the generations to come are the stringent and off-putting opinions of a few members of this list. A few members seem to know to much about bikes for their own good, and make classic bikes collecting, restoring, personalizing, and collecting seem like an impossible pursuit of perfection based on strict and at times absurd guidelines. Unfortunately, it is these few who often stick out in the posts, and threads. Someday, I hope to make enough money to add -restored or not- an artisan bike to my collection in order to preserve and care for a part of history. Until then, this is a member of the next generation who is trying to absorb as much knowledge as possible. This is also a member of the next generation who is saying "shame on you select few." Enjoy you bikes, and why not keep them as source of pleasure? Why is there a looming cloud of snobbery associated with the bike community, and some should ask themselves if they are contributing this negative aspect of the classic bike community? Yes, bikes may take work. But I would hope they are a labor of love.

A little appalled, but always optimistic,
Jeremy Robillard
Portland, Oregon USA
via Bellingham, WA