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What was your Gateway Bike?

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What was your Gateway Bike?

Old 05-06-20, 07:45 AM
  #51  
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Piece of junk 70s 3 speed, greenish gold paint, chrome fenders, Japanese made, big black seat. It weighed nearly as much as me. It was a significant step down from a Royce Union, which is saying something. Can't remember the brand, but perusing the web makes me think maybe it was a Cyclone.

The neighborhood kids would challenge themselves to see how far we could ride. Nowadays, our parents would be arrested. Other fine steeds on these adventures included Huffy, All Pro, Royce Union. Eventually, upgrades were made.
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Old 05-06-20, 07:50 AM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
In 1975, when I was 14, my mother bought me an Atala Giro D'Italia so I could take a teen trip. By most measures, it was a crappy bike, but it's what she could afford, and it opened up a world to me.

God bless her -- and with Mothers Day coming up, I loved to read this !
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Old 05-06-20, 07:57 AM
  #53  
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'91 MArin Road LTD -- it came with 105SC 7 speed. I had been tooling around on a Bridgestone mountain bike for a couple of years, but acquiring this gave me something that actually had some range.

I was just barely 21, but riddled with injuries from an attempt at a pro motocross career - so the bike gave me new hope and I started competing in local short course triathlons -- before long, I quickly realized I enjoyed the cycling much more than running or swimming so I stuck with that

Sadly, the original I sold in a moment of poverty as I was trying to finish up my last year of college --- so this is a replacement -- these bikes don't come up for grabs often at all, so I paid a kings ransom for it so I can restore and relive old cycling routes. I think the tubing is Tange 2, so nothing too special about it other than the wild paint scheme and the memories it conjures up for me

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Old 05-06-20, 09:00 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by DMC707 View Post
God bless her -- and with Mothers Day coming up, I loved to read this !
For real. Most of my peers were getting the Peugeot UO-8, and the price was $160. My mother said no, because the Atala was $130. In those days, that was a substantial difference. The Atala really wasn't a much worse bike. The bike shop selling it was also the importer, which I suppose is how he could sell it so cheaply.
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Old 05-06-20, 09:07 AM
  #55  
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I taught myself to ride a bike when I was 12 (neglected childhood I guess). My father and uncle owned a grocery/deli and I taught myself on the delivery bike. I rode that bike everywhere until my older brother gave me his P.O.S. Iverson that he bought from E.J. Korvettes. I rode that for about 3 years until the frame cracked. I then bought a brand new 1980 Motobecane Grand Jubilee. After that came a 1983 Guerciotti and it's only been Italian for me since then.
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Old 05-06-20, 02:17 PM
  #56  
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For me it was a 1971 Schwinn Varsity- yellow! My parents got it for me to ride back and forth to High School( 5.5 miles one way) but once I saw how fast and far a 10 speed could go; 15 to 20 miles became way more common!
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Old 05-06-20, 06:53 PM
  #57  
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My parents bought me Raleigh Sports Ten in 1968 when I was 12. It was like the one shown in this photo from the net. It was stolen a few years later, but I was hooked

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Old 05-13-20, 04:56 PM
  #58  
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T

Not actually my bike in the pic, but, my first “racing bike” was an orange AMF Scorcher. Just like this one. Classic POS.
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Old 05-13-20, 07:23 PM
  #59  
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Schwinn Le Tour

When I was growing up, as long as I can remember, there was a huge bright yellow (Kool Lemon as I learned later... Schwinn LeTour that sat on his front porch. I walked past that bike more times than I could count. He never rode the bike...it just sat there.

Finally when I was a freshman in high school, I was tall enough to swing my leg over the top bar. I took the bike to the LBS at the time, had new tires put on it, and proceeded to ride it everywhere. My friends nicknamed it Big Bird...I loved that bike...it was so smooth and I felt so fast riding it.

I think I was a senior in high school when I got into an accident with it...ran into a pickup going around a blind curve. I was banged up, but the Schwinnís front fork twisted like a pretzel. I dragged me and it home, and foolishly threw the bike in the trash. I still regret doing that to this day.

I stopped riding for a couple of years, and when I was in college, my then girlfriend now wife bought me a 1990 Schwinn World Sport to replace the Le Tour. I still have it and will never get rid of this one for sentimental reasons.

In the spirit of my grandfatherís Le Tour, I picked up a Kool Lemon Super Sport several years ago. I donít ride it much, but it makes me smile when I look at it...


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Old 05-13-20, 09:34 PM
  #60  
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There she is, a beautiful 1984 Miyata 310, and again next to the bike that replaced it, an Ď85 710.

The three ten was a free bike from a friends garage, it had been in the back under a pile of garage stuff for years! Had the bubbly brake hoods, everything was covered in dust and dirt...

I did a number on that 310! Cleaned and polished, new chain, tubes, tires, bright red cotton bar wrap, it was fun and the difference was huge! That paint cleaned right up!

After I moved to Chicago I sold her to a guy who wanted an old steely for a rain bike. Iím a little sad about it, but it was the right move and I actually donít regret it. It made room for other, nicer riding bikes.

It brought me a lot of joy, and now itís off and being riddin by someone else. At least he didnít make it a fixy! It taught me a lot about repair, and about just how good a well made, ďmid tierĒ bike can actually be. Oh! And how pretty Golden Arrow components are! Sora ainít got nothiní on them in the looks department!!
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Old 05-14-20, 01:36 AM
  #61  
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This Motobecane Nomade was my gateway. I had just moved to Toronto and saw it sitting outside a vintage shop. My aunt had a Moto from when she was in college so I'd always wanted one too.
I rode this more than I drove. It's how I learned to fix bikes. It's how I learned anything at all about bikes. Like that French bikes are weird. And so are French bikes with Swiss parts.

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Old 05-14-20, 05:38 PM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by sced View Post
My parents bought me Raleigh Sports Ten in 1968 when I was 12. It was like the one shown in this photo from the net. It was stolen a few years later, but I was hooked

I was 12 in 1968 too, but I got my bike in 1969. Mine was also stolen circa 1970. Mercier model 100. Apologies for the blurry image, it was taken from an old slide using my computer camera, a magnifying glass, and a flashlight.

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Old 05-14-20, 06:14 PM
  #63  
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Early 80s mid range gray Bianchi, borrowed it to ride home from a friendís step dad and was very reluctant to give it back days later. Even tho he never used it, he never sold it to me and I offered a very fair price.
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Old 05-14-20, 08:08 PM
  #64  
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In seventy four or five my parents blessed me with a Stingray Junior. I rode that bike very little when we lived in the city of Milwaukee. By the time we moved to Brookfield a few short years later, it became much more useful. In seventy six, Sears sold a bicentennial looking Free Spirit. My dad helped me make up the difference and the ten speed was my new ride. The saddle may have been the worst thing I'd ever sat upon and why I never considered replacing it is still a mystery. It wasn't the nicer of the two Puchs Sears sold at the time, but I didn't know enough to inquire. I rode it for a few years but found a local reseller who guided me to the back of his shop where he offered me a Univega for 35 dollars. A gleaming red bike which felt so absolutely right under me it became my true gateway bike. World tourist or something. It didn't matter. That was the one I began thinking about riding when I wasn't riding. I was never a healthy kid so my distances were never what my friends could do without thinking twice. But I rode it until a neighbor and I collided as I made an anticipated sharp left and he was on my rear sprocket intending to go straight. Memorial Parkway, north Minneapolis. The Giant OCR3 came next but never really satisfied. Son occasionally uses it. Three awesome Treks later... (Millennia, 400 series, 510) Here I am.

Best part though? I spend more time reading what you folks have to say than writing. Your stories are worth it. As is your knowledge.
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Old 05-15-20, 04:13 AM
  #65  
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I blame this Colnago, my first vintage road bike. I was into vintage fat tire tank bikes and stumbled onto this forum. After spending a few days of reading threads and looking at pics I started to get the bug. I only rode modern road bikes so this steel bike thing was totally new to me. I found a beat up Colnago Super frame on eBay, painted it and built it up. A great forum member now owns it.
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Old 05-15-20, 08:47 AM
  #66  
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Technically it was a 71 Varsity, although its main purpose was convincing me that I needed a different bike. So I saved up and bought a 73 Gran Sport, which was the first bike I ever rode that really felt amazing.
The GS was something like $260, and I recall my Dadís bewilderment at spending such an exorbitant amount on something that wasnít golf clubs. He convinced me to go a size up so I could grow into it, which I never did. Still have it though.
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Old 05-15-20, 08:57 AM
  #67  
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A super beat up/barn-find type vintage Fuji Touring SE in red (if I can recall the model name correctly). Spent 100 for the bicycle and another 180 for an entire tune-up (adjustments/fresh grease on all parts, new bartape, cables/housing etc.). Enjoyed the hell out of it during rides with my friends who were starting to get into cycling as well. Fast forward, Ive gained knowledge on working on my own bicycle and have been lucky enough to have ridden many different bicycles to know what Im looking for. I love it!
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Old 05-15-20, 10:59 AM
  #68  
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Late 60s/early 70s Schwinn Speedster. After that I got a 5-speed Collegiate. I don't think I even knew there were bikes other than Schwinn back then.
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Old 05-22-20, 12:56 PM
  #69  
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Haven't' thought about this in a long, long time.

It was a 1963 or 64 Raleigh 3-speed ""English bicycle" as we said at the time.

It as given to me by an uncle, who owned a bike shop, motorcycle shop, and gun store in the town where he lived. He had all three businesses in one building.

I rode that thing until it was worn out, and the brakes were completely gone. If I can find a photo someplace that looks to be it, I'll come back and post it.
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Old 05-26-20, 05:57 AM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
Piece of junk 70s 3 speed, greenish gold paint, chrome fenders, Japanese made, big black seat. It weighed nearly as much as me. It was a significant step down from a Royce Union, which is saying something. Can't remember the brand, but perusing the web makes me think maybe it was a Cyclone.

The neighborhood kids would challenge themselves to see how far we could ride. Nowadays, our parents would be arrested. Other fine steeds on these adventures included Huffy, All Pro, Royce Union. Eventually, upgrades were made.
Ain't it the truth? My gaggle of neighborhood buds and I rode our bikes all over a town of 45,000. Granted, there were some places we knew to avoid, but we were still far beyond a parental reach. The only thing that "free ranges" now in the entire county is chickens.

Still haven't located a photo of the Raleigh 3-speed that cut me loose from a kid's bike with coaster brake to multi-speed rides.
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Old 05-26-20, 07:02 AM
  #71  
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My family never had much in the way of money to spend on bikes, so my first was a used single speed "banana bike". It was probably from Sears or Western Auto or some other department store, but it had no identification on it. Still, I rode the crap out of it. The only modification I made to it was to change out the front tire to a very narrow one. I guess it was thought to be cool back then. The original paint was a bronze color but I later rattle-canned it to a striped day-glo pink and green. I'm sure it was ghastly, but at the time it was sort of neat.

Back then I probably spent a good portion of the summer on my bike. I remember leaving the house and meeting up with friends to ride all over the neighborhood and even adjoining neighborhoods. At some point we went to a park that was about 8 miles from my house. And that was when I was probably 10 years old. My parents had no clue as to my whereabouts. Wouldn't happen nowadays. Still, we always managed to get home by dinner. Different times.

Fast forward to about 15 years ago when I had no bike but was looking to begin riding again. My sister had a very nice bike, a Terranaut, which was a rebranded Fuji. There had been a store in St. Louis that contracted with Fuji to make bikes for them and they were all very nicely made and outfitted. Unfortunately, my sister is about 6' 1" and the bike was way too big for me. Still, I cleaned it up and rode it with the saddle slammed all the way down.

I ended up selling it and then bought another, and another, etc.
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Old 05-26-20, 07:43 AM
  #72  
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well, a tricycle if course ... then the Schwinn Stingray, but when I grew legs, the Varsity. lived on that thing
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