an adventure of 5 miles... and 40+ years.

Discussion in 'Travels, Adventures and Motorized Bicycle Touring' started by leo, Feb 21, 2016.

  1. leo

    leo Member

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    the "exact spot" where i learned to ride a bike in the summer of 1974, our house was one the right side, it was washed away by a flood in 1977.
    my sister angie wrecked (hard) on the left near the wall, she got 3 lifelong dark scars on her arm. she passed away from cancer a few years ago.

    the plastic piece on the rear rack is from grandma and papaw's old house, just east of town, it was an old headlight from one of his bikes. i found it that day, where his garage once stood (just out of view, to the right). it has to be at least 1968 or older. i'm going to make a headlight cover from it.
    i think he would like that. he and my uncle were into bikes too.

    i could go on and on and on... it really is a picture worth a thousand words...
     

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  2. sbest

    sbest Member

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    Awesome Leo.
    I was a Forces Brat. Went to 6 different schools in 12 years, 10 different homes from birth to graduation. I went on a pilgrimage to visit as many of those homes as I could. All but one were still in existence at that time, the one being a trailer park in Biloxi having turned to condos. I learned to ride a bike in Val D'or Quebec on the road in front of the house that is still there. I never thought of it but it is sacred ground, man. The start of freedom that a vehicle gives. Thanks for that thought. I will have to bring a bike there and take a picture maybe this summer, 50+ years later.

    Steve

    [​IMG]
     
  3. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    Leo,
    Thanks for the thread. I'm sure others can relate. With the advent of the Internet and especially Google 'Street View' I've visited several of my former homes and those of friends and relatives. Like Steve, I was moved around a lot during my early years. My Dad trained race horses and we traveled a lot, lived in several states and I attended more than my share of different schools.

    Many of those places, addresses and streets still exist and some appear not to have changed much in 50 plus years. Some are gone, like my grandmother's house and a high school I attended but many are still there and look much like my childhood memories. Progress has altered the surroundings in many places changing the appearance but many details I recall are still evident.

    Maybe others will share their experiences with visiting or seeing their old haunts.

    Tom
     
  4. leo

    leo Member

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    strange isn't it, seeing a particular little piece of dirt can take you all the way back there in an instant. all of a sudden... you remember everything...

    about 40 feet this side of the tree... there was an old junk car there, way back when. angie and i decided to skip school and hide in it, after a while we got bored and decided to get the copper out of it. (in my defense, i was 4 or 5 then) mom got sued, and had to buy the whole junk car.

    just beyond the tree to the right was lawrence daniels house. NEVER have 2 5 year olds hated each other so much.... we fought every time we saw each other. later in life we became the best of friends, he died a few years ago.

    on the left, by the tracks, about three poles down... there was a gas pump looking handle. they used to spray oil on the train wheels. i sprayed down all the cars within reach once... totally covered them too, it was a huge mess!!! oil EVERYWHERE!!!

    at about 4 years old, i got out there and disconnected about 200 yards of train cars. the guy came from northfork and southern to "get the guy who did it" i remember mom calling me to the door, she asked the guy if he really thought that little kid could possibly have done that??? i remember smiling at him (with my best "innocent" smile.) he said no, there is no way he could have done all that... lol

    about 2 poles down... there was an old safe, mom said it had been there for years. every kid in the neighborhood just KNEW it was full of PIRATE TREASURE. we would beat on it with rocks or anything else we could get our hands on. we never did get it open...

    i got my first kiss there too. a really ugly red haired girl with a lisp, named patty... angie made me do it.... she wanted to play "wedding" so she married us...
    we had a mud cake and everything... LOL
     
  5. Kioshk

    Kioshk Active Member

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    Hey Leo,

    I have the same bike (GT29). I have a 44T, but it looks like you used a 56T. How'd you deal with the chain-clearance? I had to use a manifold-spreader to get the extra few millimeters width needed to accommodate the chain.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. leo

    leo Member

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    mostly i used a manifold spreader too. just keep going a little at a time, let tension off and restart. it will move out a little more each time.
    the uppers were fairly easy, the lowers were... not.

    it helps to move your tensionor forward an inch or two (to where the curve starts, then bend it into place directly in line with the chain. a 6" crescent wrench on each side of the plate gives you enough leverage to bend it fairly easily.) that helps keep the chain elevated above the narrowest spot.

    from there it was experimenting with adding/removing links and adjusting the wheel in the dropouts until i got a clear shot.

    i will say, the 56t changed everything. top speed on level ground is reduced to around 25-30mph, but it climbs like a goat on crack now. we have nothing but hills here, i had no choice but to keep going until i "made it work."

    it's a PITA for sure, but it will work, and you will love it. :)

    btw... what fenders are those? i really need to get some fenders on this thing.
     
  7. leo

    leo Member

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    and a dished sprocket, of course. lol
     
  8. Nashville Kat

    Nashville Kat Active Member

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    The boys I grew up with were all mostly about two years older than I. I can still recall watching them on their bicycles when I was about four or five riding around with some of their older brothers and wishing I could learn to ride a bicycle. So one day, somehow I ended up perched on one of their bikes and pointing down a small slope in one of their yards. I think Dad had helped me a bit with some training wheels, so I wasn't completely cold, but they let go of the seat and down I started to roll. I wasn't then very good at steering though, and did a slow angle into the only small tree in the vicinity.. And so ended my first bike ride.. I didn't care- excited I went home and informed my parents that I wanted a bike for Christmas that year. It was about 1958 or 59.
    Twenty years later I found myself flying head on into a big old Chevy Impala at almost 60 mph on the Lakefront in Milwaukee in a USCF race after the second rider in a huge pack scraped his pedal and started a huge pileup in front of me. So that was weird.
     

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