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Losing a friend and some history...(14 posts)

Losing a friend and some history...Djudd
Aug 20, 2002 8:15 AM
This weekend I lost a childhood friend...a 33 year-old Gitane touring bike. My dad bought this bike new when I was a kid. It was the first bike I saw with "underslung" handlebars. It was fifteen speeds, fenders, lights, integral front and back racks. My dad used it to ride back and forth to work, everyday. This also amazed me because there was a hill between our house and my dad's office that the kids had deemed unrideable. It is about four miles long rising from the Hudson River to the first wave of mountains along the Hudson River valley to our home in Woodstock. At seven or eight I fell in love with this bicycle. It sparked my love of bicycles.
My dad commuted by bike nearly every day 10 miles each way. On the weekends he cleaned and lubed it. As I got older and played out my racer aspirations, my friends and I out on training rides would sometimes see my old man riding his bike home or just out riding around. It was great. He and I would sometimes go riding together. Grunting up the climbs and screaming down the mountains. Me on my Italian steed du jour, him on a big black French touring bike.
Even after I left home when I came back on holidays or for a visit I would help the old man find parts (centerpulls, simplex derailleur, French threaded BB, thank god for the internet)
My dad is now 67 and refuses to retire and until last week still commuted everyday on that bike up that long, long hill. I say until last week because someone stole the bike on Friday. My dad called and told me this weekend. He joked that he thinks my mom paid someone to steal it, she wants him to retire or start driving to work. I was and am incredibly mad. How can someone steal a bike like that? What will they do with it? Bring it back!!! I can't believe how calm my dad is. This is not a tragedy to him, he said he'll get another bike. I, on the other hand, will never get over this.

re: Losing a friend and some history...capnjim01
Aug 20, 2002 8:25 AM
sorry to hear this. i've come to realize in my "mature" years that a lot of things we have is just "stuff" and can usually be replaced with something better newer etc. but it's still our "stuff". you both still have the good memories and i hope the sob who took it reaps the rewards he is due what ever it may be
Oh man.......gs6769
Aug 20, 2002 8:31 AM
This is truly disturbing. A classic cycle, well looked after, used and loved. More importantly, one with priceless memories contained in it's tubes and fenders. I'm glad your pop is taking it with good humor, still this stinks to high heaven. Most of us have probably had a cycle stolen, not one that holds such family history however. Good luck on getting it back. Maybe not too likely but stranger things have happened.
They can't steal your memories of this bike, and your father. nmPaul
Aug 20, 2002 10:01 AM
re: Losing a friend and some history...aliensporebomb
Aug 20, 2002 10:04 AM
Sad to lose a piece of history, but just think of the
options your dad has now to get a new bike. And you
would be the ideal helper when he goes shopping. It
would be a cool father/son project don't you think?

Let's hope that the Gitane shows up again someday. If
not, it was meant to be that he'd get a new bike.
check this dad just called...Djudd
Aug 20, 2002 10:24 AM
he wants to go bike shopping this weekend.
"Hey", he says, "I was looking around, you know they're making bikes out of carbon fiber?"
"yea I know dad and, lots of other material too"
"why don't you come up, and we'll check out one of these carbon fiber bikes"

How ironic, I, the confirmed retrogrouch, the old man, late sixties hopping on a CF wonder bike...I'll keep you posted
Blessing in disguise?gs6769
Aug 20, 2002 10:35 AM
Carbon eh! He'll be dropping you like hot bricks, looking for MORE hills!!! Awesome.
re:Blessing in disguise? .... I'm afraid he will neverDjudd
Aug 20, 2002 1:18 PM
stop riding if he gets a hold of a CF bike. I'm going up this weekend to help look for a bike. He is on the net now looking he says he wants "something fancy". He'll definitely give me a hard time up there in the Catskills.
What a mindset! Your father is ageless. Like the other guyPaul
Aug 20, 2002 10:40 AM
posted, good reason to buy another bike. Hey, maybe you both can get a new cf bike. Love mine.
my Dad's 3rd bike is a carbon fiber OCLV MTBTig
Aug 21, 2002 5:41 AM
In the last year he has gone from a cruiser, to a cheap retail store MTB, to an OCLV pivotless soft tail! The LBS had last year's model 50% off, costing only $1000. We couldn't keep him off the bike even if we wanted to.

I'm sure your dad will suffer from similar renewed enthusiasm as well.
Thief didn't steal your memoriesvelocity
Aug 20, 2002 10:56 AM
Sounds like you have an awesome dad! Thief is an a**hole but can't take away all the great memories. Like others have said it's an opportunity for you guys to bond over your dad getting a new bike.
The optimistic spin is ...scottfree
Aug 20, 2002 11:04 AM
a 33-year-old Gitane will be hard to sell hot, and hard to ride unnoticed in your hometown. If the thief is local, what's he going to do with it?
you are so right...I'm going up there this weekend...Djudd
Aug 20, 2002 1:22 PM
to help the old man buy a bike (and do some riding!!!)I will surely have my eye out looking for that bike. A;though there are lots of smalltowns around there that bike is really noticeable.
re: Losing a friend and some history...aliensporebomb
Aug 21, 2002 7:38 AM
That's so awesome that he wants to go shopping and looking
for a new ride!

Wish my dad was still around - I would have loved to show
him where I ride.

He'd get a kick out of it.

keep us posted!