Making the cycling aspect unaffordable to most ordinary people seems a bad idea.
lets get this straight - ordinary people aren't into retrobiking. They will have a cheap-mediocre hybrid or MTB from Decathlon/Evans.
Retro biking is a great way into cycling for everyone because you can start off with a 50 quid bike from gumtree and go from there.
joe public won't have time, skill or inclination to find such a bike and make it roadworthy. Take it to a LBS and it becomes no longer a £50 bike, but one for hundreds. and bear in mind, these bikes were the BSO's of their day.
Why not build on that, instead of having another exclusive event that only well off people can pay for?
to me that's the way retrobiking has gone. Ebay and traders have pushed up prices so that it is no longer economically viable to keep your old stuff running. I now find economical to run most of my bikes on 10 speed modern stuff than stick with say 8 speed.
I'm sure there's a specialist community out there who will help each other out, but to the masses, if you want that that campag oil clip, it will cost.
I think it's a shame people don't know who people like Hoban and Bainbridge are, and their stories are fascinating. This is a chance to try to change that.
as a hardened 30 yr+ cyclist, I've never heard of the latter (shame on me probably), but what chance has joe public got?
This reply seems confused to me.
Retrobiking to me takes in used bikes in general as well as expensive classic stuff. Keeping 8 speed campagnolo record with a titanium cassette or whatever going is expensive, keeping a 6 speed friction set up going doesn't have to be.
Most of the parts needed to put a simple, mid range bike in order are available from Decathlon or from a decent LBS.
A friend of mine bought a bike recently that just needed a new freewheel and chain to get it going. That cost him about 30 quid, not hundreds, as you claim.
The claim that people aren't into retrobikes is also overly cynical, sweeping and excessive. There's an annual bike jumble near me where 'Joe Public' (not just enthusiasts and dealers) come along and the bikes sell out by early afternoon, so there is at least some market for this stuff.
There are a range of decent resources (e.g. Sheldon Brown) out there so people can learn basic maintainence as and when they need it. That's how I started out, learning to adjust a stem, then service a hub, etc...
Maybe a lot of people would rather buy a BSO from Decathlon and chuck it away when it breaks. I wouldn't bet my house on retro stuff becoming a mass market, but I don't see what's wrong with encouraging people to take a different approach, and using retro events as a means to do that.