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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:33 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 2:04 pm
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Location: Completely in the dark, thanks to me good mate Terry....
kettlo wrote:
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!


I used to have one of those Raleigh blue/white Ian Cammish jerseys (and the matching shorts) - it may still be at Mum & Dad's somewhere! As for mAdam's original post - even though it was 1991, is the 5th guy back on the green/white bike still on centre-pull brakes? :shock: Nice Nigel Dean, too, by the way - always had a soft spot for NDs since I first got into bikes and one or two shops round my way sold them; I think they were one of the first brands to use Reynolds 525 tubesets. Never owned one though - yet (did have a "near miss" a year or two ago but wound up buying the Ribble instead)!

David


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:35 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 2:04 pm
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Location: Completely in the dark, thanks to me good mate Terry....
mAdam wrote:
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?


That would be round about when I first started watching the TdF on telly - I don't remember "Smasher" Keys presenting it though in his pre-Sky days.

For the record, I'm struggling to come up with my own "why?" justification - I think it's purely because since I started taking cycling seriously I've not really seen the need to progress from steel frames and 8-speed transmissions as both seem to suit my needs just fine, the only real concessions being Ergo levers and in some cases carbon forks with threadless headsets. I did have a flirtation with a carbon-fibre Look KG241 for a bit once I could actually afford one (possibly caused by seeing Jeremy Hunt's Big Mat team issue one propped up against a bench in Knowle High Street(!) at the 2000 National Champs) and back in the day cast an envious eye over the Vitus alloy frames in Tony Butterworth's as an undergraduate, otherwise it's been various mostly British frames using Reynolds or Columbus all the way.

David


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:26 pm 
rider | rBoTM Winner
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Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 1:42 pm
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Location: Wakefield, Yorkshire
Interesting to see the trade tops etc. that are being worn and I expect you raced in them? I remember a club mate around 1970 going to Ireland to ride a few events and he said that people were riding in all sorts of stuff. In the UK you would have been torn to shreds by the officials for wearing anything with a trade name on.

Why do I Retrobike? Probably just basic nostalgia for a lost youth and an interest in the history of the sport, the people and the machines - and a wish to pass my knowledge on to anyone who may need it or be interested. Keeps me going as I approach my dotage I suppose.

And me 50 years ago in 1963. I haven't changed a bit.............................

I've still got the Campag pump adapter and the Carlton tyresaver.

Wish I had the whole bike.........................


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:52 pm
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Location: Enniskillen
Looking good there, Glad to see someone else in Black and White...

Regarding trade tops...we wern't allowed to race in them either. But this was one of our club races and we defied the race organiser back then...The other guy was fairly new to the club and hadn't got a club jersey yet. Still have that jersey and shorts too....


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:57 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:03 pm
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Location: Northern Ireland
Quote:
As for mAdam's original post - even though it was 1991, is the 5th guy back on the green/white bike still on centre-pull brakes?


Well spotted :) possibly another reason for why Retro? I was quite fortunate to have my 531 Nigel Dean, prioir to '91 i raced on a standard Raleigh Criterium that 'Santa' brought me. Back then guys turned up in all shapes and sizes of racing bike and just got on with it. The modern era is all about having the best equipment rather than the best legs. These days it seems everyone needs to be racing on souless carbon and plastic 'bikes' that cost more my car :o in order to be competitive?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:12 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 2:04 pm
Posts: 3364
Location: Completely in the dark, thanks to me good mate Terry....
mAdam wrote:
The modern era is all about having the best equipment rather than the best legs. These days it seems everyone needs to be racing on souless carbon and plastic 'bikes' that cost more my car :o in order to be competitive?


True to some extent, but this is my current mount....

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Hillingdon Dec 2012 1.jpg
Hillingdon Dec 2012 1.jpg [ 283.78 KiB | Viewed 174 times ]


....taken at Hillingdon in a Central League CX event just before Christmas. It has one or two concessions to the modern era (threadless headset, Sintema carbon fork) but has a Columbus Foco steel frame at its heart with a plethora of 80s/90s components, and a big push on weight saving (Race Face Ti bottom bracket etc.) to make shouldering it less of a chore. I've done some good rides on it given my modest finances (snazzy carbon wheels and FMB/Dugast tubs are out of the question for me) and ability and bagged a hat-trick of club CX championships, beating a good few modern machines along the way. :)

David

P.S. Please excuse the "product placement" for a well known supermarket. ;)


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:42 pm 
Old School Hero
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Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:03 pm
Posts: 172
Location: Northern Ireland
:) Nice to see a healthy mix of old with the new David, i don't fault anyone for their equipment choice, weight and gear ratios etc. play a big part in what is a competitive sport at any level. If i was riding competitively myself these days i'm sure i would end up modernised in some shape or form. Basically i'm just fighting the RetroBike corner :D I love the character of old steel or aluminium bikes, components that favoured form over function, and the general simplicity of everything.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:50 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:17 pm
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Location: Norn Iron
mAdam,

Is that an old BRC jersey?

Richard


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:19 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 12:22 pm
Posts: 1994
Location: North Ayrshire
what great memories of what i consider to be, the greatest era of professional cycling. i love the your description of richard keyes' mitts - we used to say that he had "fuse wire fingers" and were totally repelled by him and his frequent mispronounciation of the riders' names - it was glaringly obvious that he was never a cyclist and we despised him for that! :x

so - why retro? i first got into the bike around 1982 when a school chum was lucky enough to get a raleigh road bike with 531 main tubes. we would go up to his house and just sit, blether and GAZE at this bike - it was like something unique, something that only "professionals" would have and clearly out of the reach of some spotty teens working the chicken farm at weekends for pocket money.
this must have been around the time that video recorders had just come out as i remember that channel 4 had just started screening nightly shows of the tour de france but think that world of sport also combined the weekend shows. my neighbour knew of my sudden obsession and leant me his video recorder to tape the lot while he was away on holiday. for some reason we couldn't figure out how to set it up properly and ended up with it taped in black and white. :?

i too remember the excitement of riding full belt - the five miles home from town where i worked in the bike shop, screaming past "creeper" commuters with the "panache" of a continental pro rider! sometimes we'd get a few of us riding home together and we'd always see this same poor sod with a full touring kit bike featuring such "delights" as "grab on" foam grips, blackburn panniers, ESGE mudguards and the carrot in front of the donkey - the orange long arm reflector that stuck out on a hinge by around a foot - we'd always aim for it and slap it HARD inwards as we "scorched" past this unsuspecting lad!!" god, we were little shites when you look back on it but it was all adrenaline fuelled, testosterone charged fun at that age.. :oops:

anyway, i digress. here are some photos for you - all blurry as only "pop camera" shots can be from that era. the one below shows me, aged 22 (5th from the left) finishing an APR in 3rd place on the monikie circuit, up near dundee in 1989. there was already one guy well away who won it, but this was the sprint for second place. the anaemic lad on the left took second and i managed to use my ridiculously proportioned elbows to good effect to prevent anyone coming past me, for third place! i'll never forget sprinting with that bike - a brand new tvt carbone - and being amazed at how it all just "went forward". in hindsight, it was probably the sight of the whole bunch amassing around 20 yards behind me that made it go forward!! :shock:

the fellow in yellow, (what a poet) second on the left in the photo was our "motivator" for the day. he was an "older guy" who annoyed us so much with his dundonian accent repeatedly saying, "COME ON LADS - WE'RE ALL WINNERS TH' DAY!!" that we ended up trying to ride him off of our wheels! the poor lad was only trying to get some cameraderie going but as daft young "rebels" we saw this as an annoyance rather than any help.. :oops:

it was a great race although on the first lap i was suffering like mad, as i always did until i warmed up. i thought that i might chuck it but then on the climb, i found myself riding alongside this "wanker" who was trying to be the biggest poser in the field. he took one look at me with my iridium oakley factory pilots, corsa record tvt bike and actually scoffed out loud, "HA! WHO ARE YOU TRYING TO KID!!" i remember him looking at me up and down and shaking his head in mock distaste and me being so incensed that i "bolted on" a brand new pair of greg lemond powered legs and buried myself to get shot of him!! i rode so hard that he was off the back of the pack by the next lap and the bugger dropped out! :lol:

Image

the photo below is of my entry in my ron kitching cyclist's diary that i religiously filled out after every single bike run, race etc over a period of 5 years between 1985 and 1990. i lost interest after that. did anyone else anywhere in the country have one of these diaries?!
we took our bikes to france in the summer and got hammered by a bunch of yorkshire first and second cat riders who were over there for the season. i have never seen descending like these guys - no hands, hands behind their backs, chest on the bars and STILL getting away from us!
(NB: does anyone know a guy called nigel from the sheffield area? he'd be in his 40s now i'm guessing. he rode from his home town to bonson, near st ettienne in june/ july of 1990! i will remember for the rest of my life his catchphrase of "bollocks mayyyte!" in his heavy accent, but what a bike rider this wee chap was!)

Image

the two bikes below are the tvt and the raleigh 753 that i had (STUPIDLY) resprayed and chromed from the original panasonic colours.

Image

Image

i also had a violet coloured vitus once the tvt was sold on to buxted - you can see a couple of photos of me with it on alpe d'huez that summer complete with fignon style sweatband to keep my buffon 80s "do" in check!

Image

and "winning" the stage! actually, it was the day after bugno pipped lemond to the line..what a stage that was..

Image

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXiv6GssEfU

and my two chums who took great delight in riding me off of their wheels on a daily basis for many years and who are still as mental about cycling as they were back then. i guess it's good for the motivation to have a brother to slag you senselessly if you don't get out there and get on with it!!

Image

and one of the brothers, buxted, (cos he resembled a chicken) looks like he's saying "YOU DIDN'T EVEN RIDE IT IN ONE GO!!" :oops:

Image


and this is me today - mid 40s, bald as a coot, a bit of a belly (tho' i can still just about squeeeeeze into that french national jersey that i wore in the late 80s!) and still play those fabulous memories in my head when i go out for a blast on the old bike. i prefer to have my head in the past, like you said, in a time where all things cycling really were "the good old days", just like your father and mine would have described their respective eras on the bike.

"aye lad, ah were right 'bout that saddle though...."

Image

vive le retro ...

8)


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:10 pm 
rider | rBoTM Winner
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Location: Wakefield, Yorkshire
Sheffield, Nigel??

Very tall?

If so, could have been Nigel Wilson of Wilson Cycles, son of the late Jim Wilson and the company's frame builder these days.

Great photos, lots of good memories I'll bet.


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