I was about 9 years old in 1956 when I noticed some
grownup ride up to the local liquor store in Culver City
with a Schwinn World.It had a zizzy freewheel hub with
big flanges and a circle of holes,a front hub to
match,and cable operated caliper brakes.This was very
stimulating,since all I knew before that was ballooners.
As the years went by ,I continued to watch for really interesting bikes.They could be found but were unobtainium.I'm referring to really old bikes with wood rims and gnarly chains.Charlie Harding had some that were untouchable.
By 1964 I had bought a proper road bike in Geneva with mostly early Record group that would be pure juice now.
My big epiphany as a collector came in 1974 when I was walking past the unemployment office in Santa Monica with a bikie friend and we noticed an immaculate white Reynolds Peugeot with all original parts including JUY543
We both exclaimed about the beauty and rarity of it,and despaired because we figured the rider had just found it in a yard sale,so the end was near...
Afterthat I resolved to be alert and hopeful to spot neat old bikes in trouble and save them before they dissolved.I cast a wide net,from 1890's to 1965(not much after-the rest of us like those).The white Peugeot is still a phantasmal unicorn to me.
'til later,Seth Finkelstein,CA