I have accumulated a pretty fair collection of bicycles over the years. I started workling on bikes as a kid, since new bikes for us were out of the question. Our family was large and my father was a teacher, so there wasn't a lot of extra money. Dad had always built his own bikes as a kid himself, so he taught me the same skills. In my earliest riding days, he would do all the mechanical work on the cast-offs that we rode, we kids were required to apply the paint (a bike could be used, but it neded to work properly and look good.) As I grew and learned, I became more and more responsible for completing my own repairs and, eventually, for building my own bikes and fixing those of my younger siblings.
Coming home from Boy Scouts in a light snow one evening, I was hit by a car, whose driver did not expect an unlighted bike to come out of the storm in front of her. I used the small insurance settlement to purchase brand new Schwinn Varsities for myself and my dad. Mine was Campus Green Flek, his was Sierra Brown. I have no photos of these bikes, but I believe the brown one may still be around somewhere. As soon as I turned 16, I started working at a nearby National Auto store, assembling bikes and toys for the Christmas season. When spring came, I was asked to come back and work full time, which I did for over a year, at which time I used my experience to get a job at the local Schwinn dealer.
Working at the Schwinn dealership opened a whole new world to me. I had already graduated to a Motobecane Grand Touring, and had begun to appreciate the qualities of lightweight bikes. I began to covet fancy aluminum components, butted tubing, and exotic bikes. Before I realized it, I had purchased a Schwinn Paramount P13 racing bike. Like the Motobecane, it was too large for me. In both cases, I had purchased the bike when I had the money and not when the right bike was available. I crashed the Paramount, missing a turn in a pack, and dented the frame. A month later, I sold the frame and purchased a Raleigh track bike. That was the summer of 1973. I took that bike to college and it was my sole source of transportation. That frame eventually failed and was replaced by Raleigh. I still have the bike.
In the late '70s, I decided to go on a tour and I ordered a new Paramount touring bike. I still have that bike as well. Immediately after returning from that tour, I met the woman who was to become my wife. She had just purchased a Schwinn LeTour at our shop, which was how I met her. In 1978, I ordered a touring Paramount for her as well. This was towards the end of Paramount production at the Schwinn factory in Chicago and it still looks almost like new. Both these Paramounts are pictured below. Our next purchase was a tandem that was custom made by a small-time local builder named Paul Kydd. I sold a Honda motorcycle to raise the funds.
I no longer had a road bike, so I purchased a beat up Masi that a guy brought into the shop one day. Jeanne did most of the work stripping the old paint and I painted the frame. Eventually, I sold the bike to finance the purchase of a custom Marinoni from the builder in Quebec. By that time, we lived in Burlington, Vermont. I had been hired by a shop there when Jeanne and I rode in on our tandem one day, seeking a spare inner tube. Soon, I was accumulating bikes on a regular basis, not bothering to sell ones that I was not using. Now, I have bikes everywhere, some of them, unfortunately, suffering from less-than-ideal storage conditions.
This website is my attempt to document part of my collection of complete bikes. I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I do.
|Click the images to visit each bike's own page.
1972 Schwinn P13
1974 Schwinn Paramount P13
1973 Raleigh Pro
More bikes on their way.
Last edited 7/16/2009