Through the 1990's I knew a few cyclists that would jump on their bikes for weekend rides wearing aerodynamic helmets, tight pants that would un-flatteringly show every grotesque contour of the 'fruit basket', special bike riding shoes with little clips that would prevent one from walking any distance, the awful bright colors with ridiculous amounts of advertising all over the place. These were the cyclists I knew.
These people always seemed miserable when they rode. It seems they saw the whole thing as exercise and would push themselves physically to the point of being miserable. The fact that the only thing they ever said of the ride was regarding the amount of miles they had traveled also rang empty with me.
One of the things that attracted me to the vintage style 3-speeds is the fact that they were used as transportation by normal commuters. People in a dress or a suit going to work, families riding to the park, riding to the country or the lake etc... The way I wanted to tackle cycling was to wear whatever I am wearing, go where I want, when I want, for (relatively) free. I think I have achieved this with my 1970's Raleigh. This bike is perfect for my needs. I would like to find a helmet that is not aerodynamic, is a conservative color and does not look like the day-glow hairstyle of a 1980's cartoon character... Alright, I am not one to give any thought to style, but I want a helmet that doesn't make me feel like I look like a douche. Any ideas?
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Friday, October 8, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
Earlier this year I became obsessed with 3-speed bicycles. The classic look, ease of only 3 gears to choose from and upright riding position very much appealed to me.
I purchased a 1960's Schwinn from a local junk shop with the intention of refurbishing it. It is a decent bike but it needed a lot of work. As soon as I started researching parts etc. I came across a 1970 Raleigh Superbe for sale. It was selling for a fair price and I was first in line to test drive it. After a short spin around the block I knew I would be taking this bike home. I have put over 50 miles on this bike in the 2 weeks I have owned it and every mile has been a pleasure.
The Superbe was Raleigh's top of the line bicycle featuring Reynolds steel frame, matching luggage rack, Sturmey Archer hub, locking fork, Brooks leather saddle, and Sturmey Archer dynohub generator lights.
The Schwinn deserves to be fixed up someday but until then I'll be pedaling this beauty around town.
"The cycle is, today, a universal vehicle, transporting its votaries from point to point swiftly, surely and inexpensively, whilst there is in addition that to be gained which other methods of transportation, save walking, do not afford, viz., a health ensuring, invigorating exercise."
-Barrett's Ironmongery Stores, Cycle Department brochure 1906
This place will be where I document the cool old stuff I use every day.
Old cameras, bicycles, typewriters, cookware, audio equipment and more...
Stuff to write about this winter...