Vintage Bike Sightings
Saturday was the Burkes Garden Century in Tazewell County Va. This is a low-key century that is billed as a flat one, but does have about a 5-mile climb over the mountain and a 3-mile descent into the Burkes Garden area. Although the exact geologic formation is uncertain, it is thought that the area was formed by a volcano crater, ancient lakebed or formed by a meteorite.
About two hundred riders were on hand with a number of vintage bikes. As the ride started I found myself with the lead group and for the first 25 miles we were doing between 22-25 mph. I had a few quick chats with some riders mainly singling out the vintage steel bikes and riders. After a brief stop at a gas station convenience store we headed out again and at that time I decided I wanted to talk and ride as well as take in the beautiful scenery. I found a fellow riding a De Rosa and we rode along at a 15 mph clip for a while chatting about Italian steel, I was on my Rauler. Next came up a chap that was close to 60 on a beautiful Tommasini with chrome head lugs, fork legs and stays. Also in the heard were two Eddy Merckx, a Marinoni, a Franklin, and two Bottechias. At the 60-mile mark in Burkes Garden at the old General store the folks there had set up a small food operation. Being the ride back was mostly a gradual downhill I decided to load up and ordered their Fried Green Tomato open face sandwich with all the trimmings, too good for words. About that time a gentleman rode up on a Bob Jackson. In talking with him I found out it was one of the 50th Anniversary bikes that only a small number were made, a very nice machine.
All in all in was a wonderful ride with many friendly folks. The thing I found interesting is the amount of attention many of the riders paid to these bikes. You would find someone riding a new carbon Trek checking them out and remarking how beautiful the bikes were. There were more people checking out my Rauler and asking questions about it than at the Cirque. Sure makes a owner feel good.
So next year if you are so inclined lets bring out more vintage steeds to this ride as you will enjoy the riding and the folks will enjoy checking your mounts out.
Mark, a hundred miles is a hundred miles no mater has easy it is, Poore
One question I do have that maybe someone here could answer is the fellow on the Marinoni had some rust on the forward brake cable guide. We were talking about it and I asked him if he waxed his bike. He said that he did, but he sweated profusely and had problems with every frame he has ever owned because of it. For myself I dont sweat heavily and have never had a problem like that. Does anyone know of a way or treatment that can help slow down or prevent this type of frame damage? I would think about a drip pan for when I road in hot weather if I had that kind of problem.