I also see road racing bikes as a seperate entity.
I don't see the comparison between road racing bikes and road racing cars. The theory, "if my Cinelli/Masi/etc. was a car, it would be a Ferrari" is ponderous at least. Maybe a small cc racing motorcycle is about the farthest stretch I might imagine, and not even then. My albeit limited experience with exotic foreign cars of the 50's-early 70's (non racing cars) has shown me that they are very heavy to handle, especially at low speed, and much more like a heavy paper bike with a big motor, than a light and responsive (human powered) road racing bike.
If you would give up the possibility of ever riding a bike again to have your dream Ferrari and drive it instead, I'd say you made a very bad choice.
What is this fascination with Ferrari's anyway? Granted there are some nice Ferrari's but they are far from being the ultimate car in the opinion of many of those knowledgeable about cars. I have a friend who knew Luigi Chinetti (winning race car driver and North American importer for Ferrari) in the early 60's. When Chinetti had visitors, he would take them to see the great car collection of Dr. Sam Scher in N.Y., these were not Ferrari's! At this time, (my friend relates) Mr. Chinetti was driving a Ford station wagon, and it wasn't even new.
I had dinner with Andrea Pininfarina, (Sergio's son), about 20 years ago and although he was interested in F1 racing, he was far and away most interested in riding his BMW motorcycle.
As far as Ferrari owners having racing bikes... I've seen a number of car collections over the years, many which included Ferrari's and have met a few enthusiasts who have been "high-end model" new Ferrari consumers. I don't remember seeing bicycles (save those belonging to their children) in their garages, and not motorcycles either. Most (not all) of these original and second hand "high-end model" Ferrari owners I've seen, have had larger waistlines, which matched their pocketbooks.
I only know one person that has an ex-competition Ferrari, that also has racing bikes, and that rides and enjoys them. He is in the extreme minority I believe.
There is also a group of folks having come into some money, that have to have the best of everything, cars, bikes, motorcycles, etc. often knowing very little about them, or because they are the "prestige" items to own. This is a modern phenomenon, and I'm not sure that they fit into the equation.
I like to think of the original owners of high-end Italian/other bikes as having the nice bikes and a bike rack on their Fiat/economy car. The nice bike was very much appreciated. This I think is much closer to reality.
When I was in Northern Italy up around Cortina in 1997 there was a local bike race going on. I watched an older gentleman, I would guess in his early 70's, make a steep climb at the already high altitude, and in about 80 degree weather. This was very impressive!!! If Gilles Villeneuve had come out of the grave and driven by me in an F1 Ferrari it would not have impressed me nearly as much. I doubt that old cyclist ever sat in a Ferrari, all the better for him.
Clinton Twp., MI
> I came from a _total_ obsession with cars from the time I got a driver's
> license at 16 to a _total_ obsession with racing bicycles when I started
> riding at 32 in 1976 (you do the math). I was particularly fascinated
> with Formula 1 race cars.
> The first thing that struck me then was that all racing bikes were
> streetable, while Formula 1 cars were not. I was really tickled that I
> could ride and afford these totally cost is no object state of the art
> racing bikes, and do daily errands with them if I liked.
> Of course, the by product of leaving the car culture behind was that the
> engine sitting on the bike improved over the ensuing years with daily
> use. Something that can't be said for car use.
> And I love to kid my motorcycle friends that their reduced to bare
> essentials machines have an extra motor that is going to waste sitting
> on the saddle.
> Chuck Schmidt
> South Pasadena, Southern California