I would like to make a further and final contribution to the "how far to original should I aim for" debate. On the assumption that a overly costly "period perfect" and concours restoration destines a bike to retirement in a museum or museum like collection, an over-restored, thence unridable bicycle, becomes a dead bicycle.
Which reminds me of the story, which I have no reason to disbelieve, of the guy who had euthanasia performed on his dog whilst it was still ok but getting a bit long in the tooth, so he could stuff it before it was too late.
Whilst on the topic, I'd like to express my disgust at bikes which are systematically restored to a level of perfection paint and mechanical wise well beyond their factory departure status. That is a little obfuscated, so permit that I clarify: in France we have a saying that you can't turn a donkey into a race horse, but that's what a lot of people are attempting to do with bicycles. You can also call it dressing mutton as lamb. The point: it's too easy to over-restore a bike.
What it all boils down to is that some of us are cyclists (whatever our level of unfitness) and love riding bikes, others are like stamp or coin collectors and enjoy keeping them locked away and occasionally looking at them. Simple as that.
Nick March, Mont de Marsan, Aquitaine, France
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