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 Post subject: Why RetroBike?........
PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:24 pm 
Old School Hero
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Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:03 pm
Posts: 172
Location: Northern Ireland
We all have our own reasons for loving all things RetroBike. We all have our own memories of the good old days, and we all have plenty of justification for that old and expensive second-hand part that has just been delivered by the postman.

If anyone would like to join in, it would be great to see an old photo of your cycling past that in some ways helps to explain, why Retro Bike?

This is mine, I was going through some old photographs and came across this…….

Image

1991 on the front during a U16 schoolboy event, corning (as if it were a closed road even, it wasn’t!) on my old Nigel Dean 531C equipped with Suntour Edge and undecided on what colour of bar tape to go with for the remainder of the season :D

My competitive cycling career began in 1998, inspired by what I fondly remember as a great era in the sport. Legends like Roche, Kelly, Lemond, Delgado, Fignon……..the list is long. It could just be my rose tints, but it’s a time that will never be replicated, and I am extremely grateful to have experienced it. Professionally, within the sport, I’m not convinced that in 22 years time I will look back on now as coming even close. Greg Lemond won one of the greatest Tours De France on a bike that wasn’t exactly state of the art compared to mine (final stage tt bike aside, but you know what I mean) and in a tatty old pair of Time shoes held together with toe straps! Is it possible to win a major tour these days without wind tunnels, endless data, silly two way radio and robotic like instruction from a team car? I am not insinuating for a second that the current peleton’s achievements are any less worthy, it just seems to me that back in the ‘good old days’ cycling had more character, and for me anyway, more appeal. Personally, of course in the late 80’s early 90’s I was almost professional! I went to school for a few hours now and then, and spent the rest of my time in the saddle. I had a generous sponsorship deal with my parents, and a full time manager, driver, mechanic, and masseuse in the form of my Dad :) If only we didn’t have to get old! The title of the late, great Laurent Fignon’s autobiography sums it up perfectly………..We were young and carefree!

This year sees the 20th anniversary of the end of my racing career, my cycling activities are now based around recreation and tinkering with a few restoration projects, again still inspired by those ‘good old days’

So, if anyone wants to know, why RetroBike?…….


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:46 pm 
The Guv'nor
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Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2005 11:19 pm
Posts: 23175
Location: Retrobike HQ
Great picture and post. This Is Why indeed.

How did you get on in the race?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:24 pm 
Old School Hero
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Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:03 pm
Posts: 172
Location: Northern Ireland
Quote:
Great picture and post.

Thanks, If only i was that fit again :D

Quote:
How did you get on in the race?


:) From memory, i managed to get away with the guy in 3rd position in that pic and finished second to him in a badly timed sprint finish. Those were great times, everyone always seemed to get enough success throughout the season to keep them interested and hungry for competition. :D Its great social occasion, people from all over the country getting together whether racing, spectating, or organising.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:33 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:39 pm
Posts: 1455
because sloping top tubes are modern!!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:23 am 
retrobike rider
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Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:30 pm
Posts: 2705
Location: nuneaton warks
cinelli hairnet,those where the days
:D


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:29 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:52 pm
Posts: 335
Location: Enniskillen
I could have written your story. I started with the club in 1987 around June, Hadn't even heard of Stephen Roche at the stage but made up for it in July. Racing home every evening for the tour de france on Channel 4 with Richard keys and his hairy arms and hands. Waiting with bated breath for the results and GC at the end of the race, It was brilliant. There was nowhere you could get results then, no twitter, facebook etc. We didnt have RTE, who showed stages live back then. So it was almost like watching it live.

I didnt even have a proper road bike when I joined the club. My uncle gave me an old single speed bike with straight handlebars, which I resprayed in the back garden in the colours of Raleigh Panasonic, added some drop bars and I was away. Shorts and T-Shirt and off I went in search of the local club. Lakeland CC.

I was very disappointed when I got there as it consisted of two 50 years old on Dawes Galaxy bikes who went out for a spin on a summers evening. I remember my first ride with them was 26 miles. I felt like I had completed a stage in the Tour....But there was a lot more to the club than that. There was a good group of fellas who were genuinely interested in the sport but for one reason or another didn’t get racing off the ground.

Our club had the Irish Road championships that year and I got to Marshall. As a 16 year old I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw all the clubs and riders arriving in Enniskilen for the race. All the shiny modern bikes and me with me old banger...

That changed quick enough. Within a year I had tortured them so much that we began timetrials. 5 mile and 10 mile as they all thought they wouldnt be fit enough...

Anyway things progressed and I took out a licence and took part in my first race. The Derrymacash Grand Prix in Lurgan. I thought I was going to win it. I remember being on the front of the bunch going into the first corner and being on the back of it by the time I got out of it....never saw the bunch again but I continued on and finished the race something which became my trade mark.

I was still racing up until 1999 but only really inter club events. I never really competed that well in open races, we didnt have the help or advice back then to take things further. Its all different now tho, the club has a good reputation for competition. But I might never have happened if this 16 year old didnt turn up that wednesday night for the spin with the two old fellas....

This is about the only pic I have of me racing. Its the Enniskillen Criterium probably around 1989, because I was still junior at that stage. I sold this Raleigh 531c to fund my Super U Dynatech, which is now finally nearing completion. In the pic you can still see the cuts on my arm from a bad crash in a Sligo race 2 weeks before....The other pic is of me before a club championship race or something with the aforementioned Dyna Tech, complete with the croce d’aune brake as I couldn’t afford Record!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:53 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:51 pm
Posts: 314
I'm only 20 years old, so I wasn't even riding when these bikes I like were made, I just like how they look and feel. Modern has a place, which for me, would only be when I get a cx bike :oops:


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:24 am 
Old School Hero
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Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:03 pm
Posts: 172
Location: Northern Ireland
Quote:
cinelli hairnet,those where the days


Almost scary when you look back at those :o was there really any point in wearing them at all? It was another year or so, '92/93? before it became compulsory for us to wear hard shell hemets for competition.

Quote:
Racing home every evening for the tour de france on Channel 4 with Richard keys and his hairy arms and hands.


:D Gorilla Richard Keys! i remember my Brother and i could'nt get over how hairy he was :o

Great post kettlo i doubt we would ever have raced against each other back then? My club (Ballymena Road Club) mostly competed in NICF events which were always in Co. Antrim or Co. Down from memory?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:51 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:52 pm
Posts: 335
Location: Enniskillen
Yeah, wasn't a lot of cross over between the NICF and the UCF back then. Northern ireland Eh....I never really raced that much up the country. Being where we are we raced a lot in Tyrone, Donegal, Sligo and Monaghan. Funny how you can remember all the details like it was yesterday.

I remember going to a race in Clones, Monaghan one night. Nobody from the club was able to take us down so my brother and I decided to ride down to the race, take part and cycle home again. Only problem was Clones is about 25 miles from here. So worked out about 80 miles that night. We wernt home till about 11 but it was middle of summer and was still quite bright. We finished 2nd and 3rd in the race as well. So not bad....

You wouldn't dream of it now though.


Stephen


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:27 pm 
Old School Hero
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Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:03 pm
Posts: 172
Location: Northern Ireland
Quote:
I remember going to a race in Clones, Monaghan one night. Nobody from the club was able to take us down so my brother and I decided to ride down to the race, take part and cycle home again. Only problem was Clones is about 25 miles from here. So worked out about 80 miles that night. We wernt home till about 11 but it was middle of summer and was still quite bright. We finished 2nd and 3rd in the race as well. So not bad....



:D exactly! great memories (and stories) of riding to and from events. Rolling up to the start line with the arse ripped out of your shorts and half a brake lever hood blowing in the wind following a minor spill on the way to the event.......Good times :D 'young and carefree'


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