Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Vintage Commuting

In Portland, we're lucky enough to be in one of the great bike towns in North America. As a result of all the great urban planning around bicycling (bike lanes, paths, bike signals, etc) there are a lot of people who commute by bike, with me among them. One of the coolest things is seeing all the great vintage bikes people use as their daily workhorses. I ride a heavily modified green 1971 Peugeot UO8 touring bike and I often share the road with old Motobecanes, Schwinns, Miyatas, Treks, Univegas, and on and on. There is a LOT of vintage steel on Portland roads. I need to start carrying a cheapo digital camera to grab shots of the coolest bikes (if their riders will let me). I don't know where they're all coming from, but all the old bikes seem to be coming out of basements and are found on the road or chained up all over town.

I've been watching Craigslist a lot lately and I keep seeing the prices rising on the best vintage steel. Is steel back? Great people like the guys at Rivendell have been preaching the joys of lugged steel for a long time now. And I keep reading on the web about all the new amateur framebuilders playing with brazed, lugged steel. Personally I'm hungering for a classic Reynolds 531 frame in touring dimensions for weekend rides. I better hurry up and get one before all the guys on the new multi-thousand-dollar bikes catch on to how great these old vintage rides are!

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