Friday, April 16, 2010

The NorCal Old Farts Ride - photos new and old

Three unidentified guys at the Stockton (CA) Time Trial in 1969. Maybe they're George Lucas, Harrison Ford and Ron Howard! American Grafitti cycling-style.... Oh, before you ask, I have never seen a roof rack like that one.

Here, presented thanks to Vance Vaughn in a way we had never experienced, are hundreds of photos of '60s and '70s northern California bike racers and races - all in one place. The old shots are identified by the event and year; the new ones are of the annual Old Farts Ride reunions, held at the homes of genuine bike racing Old Farts.

I have been included in this bunch for decades although I was a relative latecomer to bike racing, riding my first races in 1976, I think. In the '60s I was busy riding motorcycles. Bicycles were those pesky wobbling things always in my way in the apexes of crucial turns on scenic routes.

When you look at the new shots, the reunion shots, you will see old dudes and women, many in their old wool cycling clothing. They will look past-it, as the Brits say, ancient wrinkled veterans of silly wars on back roads that are now commute routes for smart-phoners making their own marks in the world.

When you look at those old dudes and women, you are looking at cycling's elite of the era - state and national road, time trial and track champions, Olympic team riders, cycling authors and journalists and columnists and historians. You're looking at wonderful framebuilders and Tour and Paris-Roubaix mechanics.

Many of the people in these old photos were and are my heroes.


Anonymous said...

Good Times.

B. Wally

Jim said...

Old? They aren't THAT old !!!

Larry and Heather said...

Ahh, back in the day when the most expensive thing a cyclist owned was THE BIKE! Not the car, house or anything else, the bike was it.

Jim said...

The most expensive thing I own IS my bicycle!

Nick Sakes said...

I loved looking at these photos!