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Whatever happened to the laid-back days of old?

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Whatever happened to the laid-back days of old?

Old 05-12-19, 12:48 PM
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Whatever happened to the laid-back days of old?

Saw an auction for these magazines on eBay. It feels so stereotypically 1980s and even 1970s, when bicycling (and especially Bicycling magazine) wasn't all about performance and competition. How did we get to that cutthroat, weight weenie, aero-everything world of today? I look at these covers and can almost imagine myself cruising at a relaxed pace on back roads, enjoying stunning vistas of natural beauty.

Considered bidding on them since the price isn't bad, but I bought a couple of issues of Bicycle Rider back then and frankly was not all that impressed with it. Nice photography, I seem to remember, just like these covers, but the articles were short. Also seem to remember I was turned off because they didn't use standard terminology, like the reviews saying a bike had "forks" instead of a fork. Basically, seemed like the magazine was mostly style, not substance, and the staff was neither serious cyclists nor professional writers. That would explain why it didn't last as long as Bicycling, Bicycle Guide or Cyclist (US, not UK magazine). But even still, I miss the magazines of past decades, when the page layouts weren't so busy, busy, busy that I have a hard time telling which are the articles and which are ads.

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Old 05-12-19, 01:27 PM
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I dunno, I guess the 80's happened. People became go-getters, and dressing like the Brady Bunch dad while out on your bike was no longer enough, you had to look like Bernard friggin' Hinault.








The Schwinn catalogs document the era well. Maybe "laid back" cycling (i.e., riding in street clothes) will make a comeback some day.
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Old 05-12-19, 01:44 PM
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I think we cut them off in the past!
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Old 05-12-19, 02:01 PM
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They were so laid back that one day they just couldn't get back out of bed.
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Old 05-12-19, 02:01 PM
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Why are you saying a 1968 catalog documents the 1980s well? The first photo clearly says ©1968. And since when do mass market department store specials have anything at all to do with bicycling further than the neighborhood park? Your snark is off-topic.
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Old 05-12-19, 02:08 PM
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Lemond1985
I dunno, I guess the 80's happened. People became go-getters, and dressing like the Brady Bunch dad while out on your bike was no longer enough, you had to look like Bernard friggin' Hinault.
What did Hinault ever do to you?
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Old 05-12-19, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by streetstomper View Post
Why are you saying a 1968 catalog documents the 1980s well? The first photo clearly says ©1968. And since when do mass market department store specials have anything at all to do with bicycling further than the neighborhood park? Your snark is off-topic.
I'm pretty sure he meant that the attitudes of the 80's chased out the leisurely 60's/70's attitudes that were typified by the catalog images he posted.

Maybe people from the era just got grumpy.
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Old 05-12-19, 04:40 PM
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The world became more competitive. Gone are the days of I'm OK, you're OK.
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Old 05-12-19, 05:03 PM
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Greg Lemond and Lance Armstrong happened and suddenly we all had dreams of becoming like them.

I have friends in Holland, Belgium and France and in their country there seems to be a more relaxed attitude about riding among the non-pro ranks that is.

I think that a kit makes riding more comfortable. And I wouldn’t ride with a 35mm camera dangling from my neck like the man in one of the photos.
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Old 05-12-19, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
I'm pretty sure he meant that the attitudes of the 80's chased out the leisurely 60's/70's attitudes that were typified by the catalog images he posted.
The whole point of this topic is that the Bicycle Rider covers in the original post show that things were still laid-back in the 80s. Covers on the major cycling magazines were likewise focused on fun and enjoyment. It wasn't until around the mid-1990s or 2000 that Bicycling, the last surviving US cycling mag, went whole hog on racing bikes, especially the $8000-15,000 models that show up in their reviews regularly now. Can't remember the last time I saw a touring or commuting article, not that I read it regularly anymore. No more articles on centuries, while there's the occasional list of competitive hillclimbs. Riders don't smile on the covers anymore. The message now seems to be if you're not suffering on the bike, you're not really riding. No articles on regular maintenance, like how to true your own wheels or even how to wrap your handlebars. Bicycling isn't an everyman's sport anymore.
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Old 05-12-19, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post
Greg Lemond and Lance Armstrong happened and suddenly we all had dreams of becoming like them.
Who is "all?" I never wanted to race and neither do most of the people in my local club, many of whom attend club rides that specifically move at an easy pace.

I think that a kit makes riding more comfortable. And I wouldn’t ride with a 35mm camera dangling from my neck like the man in one of the photos.
Sure. Now people have Go-Pros and other action cams mounted on their helmets and never go anywhere without their smartphones clamped onto their handlebars.
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Old 05-12-19, 06:07 PM
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eja_ bottecchia
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Originally Posted by streetstomper View Post
Who is "all?" I never wanted to race and neither do most of the people in my local club, many of whom attend club rides that specifically move at an easy pace.



Sure. Now people have Go-Pros and other action cams mounted on their helmets and never go anywhere without their smartphones clamped onto their handlebars.
You are special. Thank you for your contribution.

Incidentally, my iPhone us safely tucked away in my jersey pocket, I do not own a Go-Pro camera and I use a Garmin Edge computer connected to my Garmin HMR strap because after seven coronary stents the only way that I will ride and climb as I do is to keep close tabs on my heart function.

And yes, once upon a time I had dreams of being a racer.

Once again, thank you for your contribution.

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Old 05-12-19, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by streetstomper View Post
Why are you saying a 1968 catalog documents the 1980s well? The first photo clearly says ©1968. And since when do mass market department store specials have anything at all to do with bicycling further than the neighborhood park? Your snark is off-topic.
Oh come now, are you running for office? Ride a bike.
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Old 05-12-19, 06:15 PM
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Old 05-12-19, 06:18 PM
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The idea of you have to sell something to have profitable magazine or anything really. Look at copys of defunct Bicycle Times and Momentum magazines. Now you have to buy bicycle designed casual clothes to even be casual. Simple, We sold ourselves to an idea of ourselves.
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Old 05-12-19, 06:19 PM
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Just has to WORK.
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Old 05-12-19, 06:22 PM
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Old 05-12-19, 06:33 PM
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The past is always seen through rose colored glasses and the assertion that world today is "cutthroat, weight weenie, aero-everything" is certainly false.

Adventure cycling/bikepacking is growing, gravel is huge and mountain bikes have been outselling road bikes for as long as some of the riders on this website have been riding.

The good ol' days were never as good as we remember and the present isn't as bad as some people think. At a minimum, the present is as bad for you as you let it be.


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Old 05-12-19, 06:46 PM
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I think I see less pro TDF kits now since most people ride ebikes so they don´t even break a sweat.
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Old 05-13-19, 03:33 AM
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Old 05-13-19, 04:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Obeast View Post
since most people ride ebikes
Uncorrect.
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Old 05-13-19, 04:48 AM
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For us sweaty people, wearing even mountain shorts and a running shirt while on casual rides is not being ‘sporty’, just being comfortable and not looking like the winning coach at the end of the football game. I commute in a full kit, because mornings for 9 months of the year are in the 70s with 90% humidity. Do I miss simpler times from the 70s? Yes, in a way. But I don’t want to be a child again, oh heck no!
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Old 05-13-19, 07:02 AM
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I don't know.

I don't see a simpler, more laid back time when I look at most of those photos. I see heavy, incorrectly set up bikes, uncomfortable clothing and racism/sexism/ageism.

Concussions waiting to happen without helmets. I would not be smiling in sweaty cotton shorts. Almost all the bikes look like the saddles are too low.

The photos in the first post show one token older guy and one token female, riding a bike in a dress. The rest are young white guys who look like they may have just graduated from the Hitler youth. I'm sure there wasn't a single black guy, Asian or Latino in America in the 60's.

It's all very disturbing, actually.

Fast forward to 2019. Seems pretty chill.


Last edited by TimothyH; 05-13-19 at 07:11 AM.
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Old 05-13-19, 07:15 AM
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I quit reading Bicycling magazine or Outside magazine or any publications like that. 90% commercial ads trying to tell you what is cool or not. I ride for the buzz it provides and the sense of freedom.
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Old 05-13-19, 07:27 AM
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I think that either the OP's intent is to inflame or he lives in an extremely ****genous private Idaho.
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