A couple years ago I got back into riding bike, and then the other day I saw an ad for an old vintage 10 speed. It reminded me of the one Keith had and I inherited. An old CCM Targa. There’s been quite a bit of new technology and difference since those days (and price too!).
If memory serves, dad got both Keith and I bikes at the old Western Tire location on Marine Drive in Clarenville. Keith got the 10 speed, and me being younger, and smaller, I got an old 20 inch coaster brake bike with a banana seat and a sissy bar. That bike was ridden sooooo much. I think everyone in the community learned to ride on it. And I loved it. I wonder is it still going somewhere?
But back to the 10 speed. In those days, our roads were still gravel, I’m sure it wasn’t the ideal road surface for those smooth tires. But it was, to us at least, pretty amazing to be able to change gears and make riding easier or more difficult. I think to that point, the only gears I had seen were on an old 3 speed, that had them somehow built into the hub.
Technology certainly has changed though. I remember in order to change gears, it was totally by feel, trying to just edge these two levers till the chain moved into the right position, nothing like now, where you can just click the shifter.
All the same, I can’t really think either of our bikes wen’t far. I think I took the 10 speed to school once, and other than that, probably the furthest I went on it, or the coaster brake, was Elliott’s Cove, or perhaps Random Heights.
I think my biggest memory was the old plastic handle bar tape constantly peeling off the steel handle bars. Used to just pull it through to knot it.
Nowadays, and maybe then on higher end bikes, but I had never heard of anything like the Tour de France in those days, the tape is cushioned, frames are made of aluminum or carbon fibre, or even titanium, gears are clickable, and built into the same control as the brake levers, tires can be tubeless, and I have ridden as much as a 100 km in one ride.
But one thing hasn’t changed, and thats my love of feeling the wind in my face, and hair (or lack of it) and feeling free and relaxed when in the saddle, even if it took me a long time to rediscover it.
Raised in outport Newfoundland in a town of 65 people, I pursued a post secondary diploma in Information Technology right out of High School.
I’ve always been a geek at heart, but yet I love the rural life I grew up with. Fishing, hunting, camping and the great outdoors are still loves of mine, even if I don’t pursue them as often as I once did. Sports were always a big part of our lives, and I played many (badly) and loved them all.