Jan, I thought the abandonment of the Italian team from the Tour ocurred before WWII, not after. Did you mean 1939? That was another Tour Bartali might well have won, along with all the potential victories he missed during the War. That's one reason I contend Bartali is one of the most underrated riders in history.
The political comments aside, I do agree with Greg economic concerns are probably reducing eBay prices for all sorts of things, bikes included.
One thing I'm not sure I agree with is the comments by some others that the weak dollar is depressing prices. If we are talking about prices in US dollars, then logically the opposite should be true. That is, for a seller in, say Italy, to receive the same number of Euros for his bike, he is going have to have more dollars from an American buyer than a few years ago. So if he sets the opening price or reserve in Euros, that will automatically translate into more dollars. Or if he sets the price in dollars, he will need to set it higher than before to receive the Euro price he is looking for. So if prices in US dollars are lower, it is in spite of the weak dollar, not because of it. Since I'm in the Oil Refining industry, I'm very familiar with this in terms of oil prices. While a number of factors, including demand from China, is causing the record high oil prices, the weak dollar is also a significant factor. Sellers know the dollar is worth less, so they will try to get more dollars for a barrel of oil. Or looked at another way, if a British refiner is willing to pay a certain number of pounds for a barrel of oil, or a German refiner a certain number of Euros, then to match that price, an American refiner is going to have to pay quite a few more dollars than a couple of years ago. It is partly a consequence of the fact that the US dollar, while still an important currency, is not the dominant one as it was for much of the last half of the 20th century. Citizens of other countries no longer "think in" dollars as they once did. They may now be more likely to think in Euros. Plus in the case of oil, we no longer dominate production, and indeed have not for many decades. We import about two third of our use. Of course in the field of qulaity lightweigt bikes, we have not doiminated production since 1920 or earlier, so that is not new, but the dominance of the dollar is something that we benefitted from until recently.
Jerry Moos Big Spring, Texas, USA
Jan Heine <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
At 9:58 PM -0400 5/22/08, Dale Brown wrote:
> As the topic so eloquently indicates, I do not want politics even hinted at
> on this forum. I get enough of that other places.
;-) (Just to indicate that this post is intended to be taken with humor.) ;-)
I humbly propose a strict cut-off date at the end of the CR-timeline for political statements. This allows us to discuss things like the popularity of bicycle racing in post-war Europe, the American bike boom, the merits of craftsman-built vs. factory-built 1970s bicycles, etc., all of which can be construed as political issues.
For example, President Eisenhower's doctor has been credited with sewing the seeds to the 1970s bike boom. Ronald Reagan in his actor-youth days advertised Schwinn ten-speeds (or were they still eight-speeds back then?). A political crisis in Italy often is credited in giving G. Bartali the incentive to win the 1948 Tour de France, to unite his country as they rallied behind his victory. (It worked.) Conversely, in 1949, Bartali and the Italian team abandoned the Tour because of political incidents. (Anti-Italian protesters threw rocks at them.) And the Viet Cong used bicycles to run supplies undetected into Vietnam. However, I doubt they used Campagnolo-equipped lightweights, so this issue may be more appropriate for the iBob list...
However, there should be absolutely no KOF exceptions! If it didn't happen before 1984, it doesn't belong on this list... ;-)
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