I've followed these various threads over the past couple of days, and have a few thoughts of my own. The issue of riding classics is kind of a no brainer for most of us I think. If you got em, ride em. That's my motto. One of my bikes is a 72 Raleigh Pro. I bought it for a song, but it was in horrible shape. Almost nothing on the bike was original. The decals were half gone, and the stays and top tube were almost completely bare of paint. I was kind of embarrassed to ride it, since doing so implied that I had obviously abused it and didn't care how it looked. I hung a bunch of mostly NOS period and model correct Campagnolo components on it, which made it look totally wrong. I threw in the towel, and surrendered it to an excellent frame painter who lovingly restored it to it's original blue/silver mink glory. I did the same for my 69 Alfa Romeo Spyder Veloce. I don't mind the patina of age, as long as there's not too much of that patina to detract from the bike or car. After all, this isn't Antiques Roadshow and we'er not talking about tables and chairs, although I still sit on chairs at a table that has been in my family for over a hundred years. ( Yes, they've been restored) I'm going to continue to ride my old restored and unrestored bikes as long as I can, or as long as they are rideable.
Chris Van Scoyk
Des Moines Iowa