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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 12:19 am 
Pumpy's Bear
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Location: Hereford
We're always coming up with ever tenuous retrobike themed competitions and the latest inspired idea is Story of the Season.

But what's it about? General details are at http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewto ... 952e2d02bf but essence we're asking the wordsmiths out there to make a retro biking themed submission of no more than 750 words on the subject of Summer Lovin'

Entries will run from now until end June with voting starting during July.

What are you waiting - there can only be one first winner!


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 1:18 am 
SotS Winner
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Is this still happening, I'd like to enter, but I'm very short of time at the moment - could use another week or so.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 8:49 am 
Pumpy's Bear
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Given the weight of entries I think we can extend the deadline somewhat.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:06 am 
East Midlands AEC
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Slipped under the radar this. Here's my entry. It is taken in part from the thread where I discussed my replica first ever MTB.

Mine is a modest story. It spans 20 years and the desire to re-live some special days in 1991.

So, cast your minds back to spring 1991, I was at university at Lancaster (not far from the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales) and got to know some guys who were into mountain biking. I had a look at their bikes - they looked really cool - especially the neon pink one (this is 1991, remember…). What was it?

It turned out underneath the respray to be a 1989 Diamondback Topanga. It had some unusual features - Campagnolo Bullet Shifters, Centaur Rear and front mechs. A 50 tooth chain ring on the front . Dia-Compe X-1 canti brakes (anybody ever seen another set?).

Well it wasn't very long before I pestered him to sell it to me and £100 later it was mine. My first ever MTB. We went up to the Lakes most weekends and rode it into the ground – we must have done nearly every route in the Lakes, but my first ride that summer remained the most special – Farleton Fell. Dressed in my cut down jeans and t-shirt, no helmet or gloves and trainers I remember having to dismount climbing up the hill out of the pig farm thinking, I’ll never get up here without stopping! I pushed it up and continued the ride.

I added some modifications to the bike over time - Deore SPDs (£45 at the time ), a Girvin Flex Stem (nice neon colour clash!), Flite saddle etc. Along with buying some appropriate clothing!

Then I moved abroad for a year and it sat in the garage untouched. When I returned I moved onto another bike.

So, wind forward 20 or so years and I'm now trying to relive my youth and I think, well why not try to recreate that bike that got me into the sport. I even still had some of the original parts - the handlebars, saddle, SPDs, canti brakes. That was a start. So then to find the rest. Inevitably I had to make some compromises. It's not a 1989 Topanga frame but a year or two more recent. It's not a Campagnolo Centaur rear mech (very rare these days). I probably didn't have a Pace ring at the time. But apart from that I am there or thereabouts.

So the bike was recreated. Now for the ride. Where shall I go on it? Well, there was only one choice surely – Farleton Fell. It was all planned, the weekend before my birthday 2010, I went up with a friend. We thought it’d be a good idea to do a night ride the evening before the main event.

We had nearly finished it and were descending the last stretch of road when out from the hedge shot a small fox which ran straight under my front wheel before I had the chance to avoid it.

BANG.

Over the bars.

CRASH.

I landed on my shoulder and skid upside down along the road.

Time stops.



Am I alive? Yes. Good.

Am I injured? Yes. Not good.

I sit up winded and check myself over. Some nasty cuts and abrasions all down my side. My shirt and shorts are torn to shreds. And my ribs seriously hurt. My friend has caught up by now and checks me over – off to the hospital is the decision made. I get back on the bike and freewheel the last couple of miles to the car. Lancaster Infirmary at 2am. Broken ribs confirmed.

Image

Image

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Get driven home back to Derby. End of dream.

For the time being.

Many sleepless nights and painful days later it’s now mid-summer and I still have yet to re-create my first ever ride. So, I book a date and some friends and at the end of July I made the trip once again to Farleton Fell where I finally rode the hill that defeated me. I must have loved that summer to have gone to these lengths to recreate it!

Image

Image


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 Post subject: crash
PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:41 am 
retrobike rider
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ouch,that must have stung :lol: ,enjoyed reading your tale :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 8:21 pm 
Deputy National AEC
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Lancaster Royal Infirmary, my second home :D

Thats a good read Ed, I really enjoyed taking part in last years Farleton Repack.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:18 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Location: Merseyside /Wirral side.
Good Story Ed what about the fox? :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:44 pm 
East Midlands AEC
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Location: Derby, UK
Sidewinder wrote:
Good Story Ed what about the fox? :wink:


I had other concerns at the time :lol:

sinnett177 wrote:
Thats a good read Ed, I really enjoyed taking part in last years Farleton Repack.


Thanks to you and Richard (Mr_Ship) for guiding. I'd forgotten my way around in the intervening years!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:39 pm 
SotS Winner
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Here you go, my homework always did tend to be a bit late:


Quote:
Awake. The heat in the room is already uncomfortable and the reddish glow around the curtains tells me I’m late for work. Except this is July 15th 1992, and if I have a job I don’t care about it, and for a day like this, I’d probably consider skipping. I roll out of bed and stumble to the bathroom, through the frosted glass I can see it is one of those summer days where the sun’s radiance is almost overwhelming, a chrome-white glare that squints eyes and burns skin.

Back in my bedsit I see what the fridge has to offer; stale white bread, a near empty tub of margarine and a bottle of HP sauce – breakfast of champions! I make tea and dress from the pile of clothes in the corner that may or may not need laundering, cut down combat pants and a ragged Oakley tee so worn and old it is translucent in places. I pull on an equally threadbare pair of slip-on Vans and check my day-pack: Cool tool, tube with only a couple of patches already, Zefal Mini pump, and a spoke wrench. I’m all set. I put on my pack, hook my Frogskins into the front of my shirt and briefly consider the dusty helmet hanging on the back of the door – not today I think.

Sitting under the window at the front of the room is my 1991 Marin Bear Valley, looking stealthy and rugged in its oh-so-cool Zolatone paint. It’s wearing M732 derailleurs, M734 brakes, a Flite saddle and onza bar-ends, and I’ve sprayed the fork and stem neon-pink so I know I won’t see another like it. I love this bike; it’s 1992, and I don’t care about the fact it weighs 27 pounds, has no suspension, is mid-range. It’s shown me something about myself, given me a direction in life that has nothing to do with getting a good job, a mortgage, what everybody wants?
Outside and the day is as I suspected, I’m glad I bought two bottles, snug in their neon cages. I roll to the corner store and buy a couple of Mars bars to sustain me. Then it’s back on the bike and through the town to Paradise.

Paradise woods, aptly named, sit at the very end of the South Downs Way. A super-green canopy of foliage that hides a natural bike-park created when the ‘hurricane’ of 1987 tore through East Sussex. I’m tempted to stop and play in the ’big dipper’ for a while – a near vertical (or so it seemed back then) drop into a ravine that grabs you and hurtles you up the other side, laughing and exhilarated.

But I’ve already chosen my destination for the day , so I ride up the side of the woods, the climb enough to have me panting in just a few minutes, endorphins start flowing and by the time I reach the Beachy Head road I’m grinning like an idiot.

The trail levels out here and I roll along at a leisurely pace, enjoying the greenness, the smells of summer, and the breeze that couldn’t make it into town. I ride past milestones and markers, relics of days past when this ancient trail was the main thoroughfare along the south coast of England – no engines, no tarmac.

Time ceases to matter, the cadence of my legs, the noise of the chain, and the heat lull me into a pleasant stupor, and sooner than I expect I find myself at the top of the ‘Bone Shaker’ a rutted, bumpy trail of bare chalk that descends steeply into the village of Jevington, strewn with loose pebbles and dappled with shadow thrown by a parallel line of trees, it demands my full attention. I snug my feet into the PowerGrips bolted to my Tioga pedals, lift myself out of the seat and let gravity take me.

The vibration and speed plant a thought in my mind that crashing now would hurt a great deal, I push it away, force myself to loosen my grip on the bar, and try to pick the best line I can. It’s like flying, falling, no real control...it’s about giving up control I think.

I survive and roll to the Jevington Tea Rooms, where a welcome cuppa and wonderful baked goods await. Sitting outside, the adrenaline subsiding, I am struck again by how much my mountain bike has given me. I really do love this.
And I still have the ride home...


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:10 am 
SotS Winner
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It's always exciting when a competition is this keenly contested! When will people ever find the time to read all the entries? :roll:

:lol:


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