Great post TGR
Its interesting to read other members comments about how most of them have returned to cycling. I'm very much the same myself. In the late 70's I was in Congleton Cycling Club and always did the Sunday club run's. I had a heavy weight Puch Alpine 5 speed which was by far the cheapest bike on club runs. I always remember being envious of the older guys with their Bob Jacksons and Brian Rourke's. Somehow though, I used to keep up, and we'd regularly do 70 mile runs. Maintenance was something you just did and leaned from trial and error, but I think it was also a different age where people 'fixed' things. I'm always amused by people today who go to their LBS to get a puncture repaired. My bike was my transport (freedom) to get to mates houses, girlfriends, off into town or going fishing. I never thought anything of distance. Only now when I sometimes end up driving down the same roads do I think how far we used to ride.
Like a lot of people here, passing my driving test was the kiss of death for cycling. About 10 years ago we moved to Shrewsbury, pretty much an ideal cycling town and countryside. This inspired me to get cycling again and I bought a Hybrid, probably the worst type of bike I could ever have laid my hands on! It certainly didn't rekindle any fond memories, so it got consigned to the Shed of Dread. Fortunately, I didn't give up and bought a Vitus 979 for £70 without entirely appreciating my luck. That bike really made me realise what I had been missing, I used to say it was such a shame I'd missed out on 30 years of cycling! But at least I was back to it, even if a little late.
That Vitus 979 also made me start to look at cycle build quality and craftmanship, and that has become another part my cycling addiction. Some builders can do really amazing things with steel. The lugwork, the brazing quality, paintwork. I'm also at an age when I can afford the bikes I used to envy on club runs. Now I'd say I'm a rebuilder/restorer/cyclist. I don't expect to be clocking up 70mile club runs but its good to enjoy cycling again and get fitter.
Call it nostalgia or mid life crisis, but except for a handful of current builders I think the 60s/70s/80s were the golden age of quality built bikes. Restoring bikes has even lead me to restoring a 1969 BSA Bantam 175.
I'd say just enjoy it which you obviously are doing along with the rest of us. One thing I was determined about this year was not to let my fitness slip over the winter, so I bought a trainer. When the snow, rain and hail finally clears and the roads aren't covered in branches, twigs and wet leaves, I'll let you know if its worked
All my bikes are to good to get dirty