Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Restoration Update

So Ciöcc finally has everything he needs to finish my two old frames. I hope to pick them up next week after getting back from the Tour. Having finally found all the packages sent by me and others, we now have the proper Legnano and Galmozzi decals to finish them up. I say 'proper' loosely, as this is a subject I'll likely receive some grief over once they're built... and I'm calling it now! You see, the thing with collectors is that their discussions rarely get past whether something is "original" or "restored" or "period correct". In my case, I really don't care that much. I'm restoring these babies to do one thing... RIDE 'EM!

That Galmozzi decal with the address would most likely not be found on a bike made in the 50's. Guess what? I don't care - I like it, and it will look great adorning my seat tube! The head tube badge is a repro. Guess what - ALL collectors in Italy tell me that my chances of finding a real one are about nil.

The '47 Legnano would not have chrome on the dropouts, or at least four of the decals that I'm going to place on it. But, it's going to look SO much nicer with them.

The point is, these things lost their resell value to collectors the moment I found them without their original paint. So... Jimmy crack corn! Another point I've learned is that back then, large decals weren't easy to make reliably, so bike graphics weren't the advertising that they are today. Also, they didn't make these bikes knowing that they'd be so desirable sixty years later. Lots of detail has been lost through the years. What crank did Cannondale spec on a 2002 R1000? I bet you can find that answer within five minutes of a Google search. Now - what brakes would you find on a 1952 Roma? Guess what - Legnano most likely ran out and switched to whatever was lying around!

Other things not likely to find for a reasonable price? Jerseys and bottles. So, check out what you CAN find on a trip to Tuscany. Seems l'Eroica has been good for those able to reproduce certain desirables!

OK, off the soapbox now, and off to the Tour!

Meeting the Badger in 2005

It was at the start of stage 2 of the 2005 Tour in Challans. We were at the start village and I had just gulped down a series of oysters (my mother would be proud) when I caught a glimpse of him... over there... no, now he's over there! Mrs. Masini didn't know exactly 'who' 'he' was, but I'm pretty sure she knew he was some famous old cyclist, as I am not usually starstruck by the current crop! She was right, and here is my moment in time with the Badger!

And now... I'm off for Rotterdam! Forza Basso, forza Kreuziger, forza Cannondale!

The US Cycling Hall of Fame

Some catching up here... Back in May, during the Tour of California, I was invited to a private tour of the US Cycling Hall of Fame in Davis, CA by my good friend (and fellow collector) Richard Bryne of Speedplay. I joined Richard and his lovely wife Sharon after the finish in Sacramento for what was a great evening of talking old bikes and US cycling history. Richard is a wealth of knowledge and took great pride in explaining the finer points of history and the machines on display.

I'll try not to post what in essence could be a 'virtual tour' but I'll limit it to my own personal highlights. Here we go...

I'm a huge fan of the Major Taylor story. I won't even try to do him justice in such a small forum, but instead will lead those interested to here and here. To see one of his bikes on display was awe-inspiring. In the days of Jim Crow laws, this man was the first African American world champion in any sport - at a time when cycling in America was bigger than baseball!

The other thing that caught my eye was a corner loaded with six-day items and a video and write-up of how the six-day turned into the Madison.

Finally, this quote is taken from the earliest patent for a bicycle, granted to Pierre Lallement November 20, 1866. And this is what is as intriguing as what's on display here... the mountains of paperwork, clippings and magazines that are archived and hidden away!

Of course, there was a cambio corsa bike on display which I ogled, the actual Hall of Fame plaques upstairs, the REALLY old and strange stuff and of course the more modern US racing history. I'll leave all that uncovered here and let you find out for yourself. If you're a bike nut and ever near Sacramento, make the short trip to Davis and check out what's sure to be an important collection of cycling history. Oh yeah... thanks again, Richard!

Friday, June 4, 2010

As Joel Says, 'I'm eatin' wet food tonight!'

Took the opportunity to do some vintage shopping at Via Bicycle in Philly this morning... WOW! I was able to pick up some Universal & Balilla parts for the Legnano retoration, plus a 'hairnet' in great condition. The collection is incredible, if you're into piles of classic old bikes and parts (which I am).

Giro Wrap Up

Can it really be that LG won the Giro and I failed to write anything more after Amsterdam? Well, I WAS doing the ToC thing, and I did cover the Giro best I could from the road on that 'other' website.

So I did the first day of the Giro, and the last. While on a short vaca/long weekend staying at a friend's 15th century villa in Tuscany (thanks to my lovely Mrs.), we hustled up to Verona to cover the last stage. Nothing too memorable... other than the awards ceremony in the Roman arena, and our front-row seats! Photo and video duties called, so we made the best of it... and it was pretty damn good.

Afterwards, we waited for all the riders to come by in order to congratulate everyone and sip the champagne, and then headed straight back to Florence. Yeah, we skipped the party, but sometimes it's better to duck out.

Of course, I'm super happy for the team and especially for Ivan, who proved himself a true champion and completed a great comeback/redemption. I called him the other day to set up a visit to our Dutch HQ and congratulated him immediately... but not for the Giro win... for the announcement of his third child!