[CR]Vintage Bicycle Secret Society

(Example: Production Builders:Teledyne)

From: "Jim Cunningham" <cyclartist@home.com>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Date: Thu, 9 Aug 2001 10:13:16 -0700
Subject: [CR]Vintage Bicycle Secret Society

Dear CR List,

Many CR list members are supporting members of my "Vintage Bicycle Association, yet I've never mentioned the VBA on the list. The group is no secret, there is a link to it http://www.cyclart.com/vbanews/vbamain.html http://www.cyclart.com/vbanews/vbamain.html on the bottom of the CyclArt home page. A little history: In 1984, to celebrate our expanded facility, CyclArt sponsored and open house with a judged vintage bike show and rides. We repeated the event annually. The event expanded and we did several larger versions of at a local restaurant complex. Then when we moved in 1989, we chose a beautiful "research park" location in part because it was a great ride start point and its landscaped parking areas were deserted on weekends. We did a series of "Concours d' CyclArt" events and a number of swap meets there until 1997. We also did vintage bike displays at races. Highlights of those events included more that one hundred vintage bikes in a judged Concours display. I experimented with various judging criteria. Judges included myself, Jim Langley then of Bicycling, Ikuo Tsuchia a Japanese collector, Mike Kone of Bicycle Classics, Mike Herrera a long time swap meet guru, Leon Dixon the balloon tire authority, John Bond ex-editor of Road & Track and bicycle collector, Brian Baylis and others. At times we had over 100 vintage bikes on display and we judged and scored every one. The swap meet had as many as 98 vendors the swap meet. One year we event had 9 different rides al over the county. That year I used the event to found and fund the successful "North County Cycle Club" recreational club. Speakers At our events included John Howard and Eddy B. We had attendees from all over the US, and even a few from Japan and Europe. Best of all, I think that these events may have inspired Dale Brown and Mike Kone to start the Cirque and Lars shows. Now Chuck as taken the plunge in offering us the Velo Rendezvous, which looks like it will be great! My events were always very expensive to stage and only one ever broke even. That was OK with me but, I can't really afford it. Also, as much fun as the events were for others, they were always very stressful for me. I was never satisfied with how well I was able to manage them. Even with our mild San Diego weather, it's always a gamble to have big outdoor event. So I made the decision to discontinue the large events in favor of more small ones, and began the VBA. VBA has had some fun times as you can see from the Achieve newsletter at the link above. I'm still not satisfied with my management of the VBA, I simply find it hard to make the time for the newsletter, with all the hub-bub at CyclArt. Besides, sometimes I just have to ride rather than type! I could use some help updating the VBA home page as I'm still and HTML dunce. I manage to get newsletters out APPROXIMATLEY on a quarterly basis. I have tried to offer an interesting ride with a vintage connection about every 6 weeks. I coaxed VBA member Chuck Schmidt to do his Rose bowl ride with the VBA and he continues monthly. VBA member Sterling has his monthly ride now in Bal boa park. These spin offs are welcome and I list these rides n the VBA newsletter one or twice a year. The biggest problem for the VBA, of course, is my ambition to make it the best I can... this means that I try to have something really special, like Gino Londi's "Gino d' Italia" event or Jimmie's "Hetchins Heaven" plus several different rides and a story or two. Sometimes I wait too long for others to get their event ready, or can't work up the muse to write about riding while my legs atrophy. For the current newsletter, I decided to test the current fashion for regularly scheduled rides. With the membership split neatly between a preference for Saturday and Sunday, and avoiding the Sterling and Chuck's monthly rides, I picked the 2nd Saturday and 4th Sunday of every month. Rides meet at CyclArt at 9 AM and Depart at 9:30. Since it will be warm, we'll do the new route including some practically undiscovered new roads to the coast. It's 25 miles at a casual pace. If the group votes to, we can take short side trip to visit the site of the old Masi factory and make a lunch stop in beautiful Carlsbad. Everyone is welcome. So, why haven't I heard about this before you ask? Well, much of the VBA membership are old school types not on the internet. Some events are hosted at homes by collectors who prefer that the invitation be limited to the club and not posted to the Internet. I have no ambition to build a huge membership, and the "by invitation" nature of many events keeps things managable. There are not charges for any VBA event. Since I like to a proper newsletter, I ask a $15 membership fee to cover the cost of at least 4 newsletters, reminder postcards and members only access to the website. When I began the VBA I used the mailing lists from previous events and send newsletters to every one in this area who had checked "yes" to the "interested in a vintage bike club" box. I send 400 newsletters out every quarter for a year. Since the vast majority got no response, I asked a $15 membership to sort out the deadwood. Paid member ship is now about 100, our events are small, usually 5 to 20 riders, but I enjoy being able to spend quality time with a few good folks rather than running a big show. Meanwhile, I'm working on the next newsletter. It looks like we'll have another very special event in November. If you'd like to get the newsletters, (You do remember what a paper newsletter looks like don't cha?) or if you'd like to support this effort, consider joining VBA, or at least making the Bimonthly rides. If you've got an idea for a ride or vintage bike event in Southern California, contact me. I'll write it up and bring the VBA to you.

The nest ride is Saturday August 11 departing CyclArt at 9:30am 25 rolling miles mostly in the coastal coolness. Pre 1984 bikes encouraged. Optional lunch stop and old Masi factory stop.

I'll post a link to the schedule for the other rides in this series tomorrow.

Jim "thank-you for your support" Cunningham