cycling utah March 1999

Classic Corner

Itís Spring and time for some more classics

By Greg Overton

Saw some guys riding the other day with shorts and jerseys, no layers or jackets, no lobster gloves or shoe covers, and you could see their faces. Holy cow! Itís Spring again. We at Classic Corner can stop moping and go outside.

Editor Bob called and said "Get to work!" All right! Itís got to be Spring if Ed. Bob is yelling again. Keep your chamois dry Ed., weíre hip, itís Spring and we made it through another winter ready to talk about the golden times, the glory days; er, you know when we were young and things were better. So welcome back to all the hoards of readers out there, (both of you), whoíve been lost since Autumn.

Letís do some catching up on whatís been happening since we last were spotted in these pages. Oh, you rode your rollers every day? Two hours a day, four on weekends? Skate skiing, running, and cyclocross too, huh? You spent January in Tucson training as well? Lost that last nasty ten pounds?

Uh.... us too. Well we would have, but uh, you know, the bike was dirty and there was that frayed cable from Ď97 that never got fixed, and we got new tires last year that we donít want to wear out. So we decided this would be our rest year. But hereís some of the things we did do.

Just after we last chatted, we piled into the car with our British friend and pointed in the direction of the Velo Swap (presented by Velo News), in Denver. We had a big time there. This year we took things to sell and rented a booth. We did this so our wives would allow us to return home, and hopefully we wouldnít spend more than we made.

Usually we just go on a hunting and gathering trip there, then you see us in the parking lot afterwards looking for dropped change for gas money. This time things were different. Not only did we have gas money, but we were able to buy a bag of chips to split for the drive back to Utah. Our wives were so proud.

As for the Swap, it was loads of fun as usual. There were still more cool "classic" bikes and parts under one roof than any where else, but things are changing a bit. The Velo Swap has gone corporate, with a car company sponsor and many more bike companies (retail, wholesale and mail order) participating. There seems to be fewer Joe Racer types cleaning out the garage, and less and less classic stuff changing hands. Actually, Ed. Bob pretty much bought it all two years ago, and heís not sharing. Thankfully we worked diligently non stop and were able to meet our quota. Alas, the car was full.

The coolest thing for us? Well we did bring back a beautiful Olmo frame and a couple bundles of Campy trinkets. But weíre still chasing hard after this terrific Bianchi from the Ď86 World Championships in Colorado Springs. Apparently it is a team bike from that year that was bartered for at the Coors Classic, where Moreno Argentin and the boys prepared for the Worldís.

The funniest thing was the aforementioned British friend, Simon, selling the shirt off his back, literally. He was wearing this cool wool "riding sweater", as they call them (jerseys we call them), from his old team in England. A guy walks up and offers to buy it. They laugh together, the guy says, "Iím serious, how much?" They haggle, and the next thing I see is my compadre un-sweatered asking to borrow my jacket. Ten minutes later, he returns to the booth with a spankiní Super Record derailleur. Score one for capitalism.

As for other classic type stuff to come along this winter, Weíve seen a really terrific Woodrup pass through. Beautifully done English bike, Woodrup. A thoroughly bent Gios from the Seventies that belonged to "my cousinís uncle from Holland" or something and was ridden in the Tour de France. It was from the old Brooklyn team. Weíve got to find out more about that one the next time the customer comes in. Thereís a really great Atala in the shop currently. The victim of a shed fire and right now awaiting decals -anybody out there have an extra set of Atala decals from the sixties?- itís a really cool frame with chrome lugs and cutouts.

Along with the Atala, thereís a Seventies Paramount, with custom paint by Rust Oleum, three great Roberts bikes from England, one built by Charles Roberts, (the old man, deceased) and two by Chas, (the son who took over in the Seventies after the loss of his father). A couple of Colnagos have come through, but sadly, none of them stayed. Right now weíre awaiting word on a very early Eddy Merckx Super Record bike that - finally - is the right size. It seems all the really cool bikes were built for people with inseams measured in feet instead of inches. So itís a real find to come across something fitting a "normal" sized rider.

Things are picking up, the fellahs are out and about riding, the shopís abuzz with activity, and thereís the phone. Ed. Bobís yelling something about a deadline, or a dead contributing writer. So again, welcome back and we look forward to another season of chatting about those hallowed bikes and riders of the past. And as the T shirt says, donít worry, be Campy.

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