Walking and riding around Philadelphia, you will see quite a few awesome bicycles locked up or being ridden. I’m not just talking about new Trek Madones and Sevens and other ultra modern bicycles from the not too distant future, but classic steel vintage lightweights. Just today I saw a Pogliaghi track bike locked to a street sign. It made me reflect on how any Classic Rendezvous visitor that comes to Philly and to Via Bicycle, they remark on how many vintage bicycles there are around the city. It is true, just the other day, I was photographing a beautiful Jack Taylor that a customer owned. When I was in New York City, there was also a plethora of cool bicycles, but the city is so much more spread out, Philadelphia’s bicycle community is more close.
Just the bicycles that the employees of Via Bicycle ride and lock up around the city is enough to make the average bicycle collector drool. A mid 1970s Pogliaghi track bike, Schwinn Paramount track bike with campagnolo inch pitch, 4 different Jack Taylors, 1961 Schwinn Paramount Tourist, early 1980s Merckx, various Path bicycles, late 1970s Bruce Gordon, etc.
All this brings to question – to ride or not to ride. I love my bikes, as do the other employees, and feel it is perfectly acceptable to ride these awesome bikes around the city. They were intended to be used, not coveted. I am more cautious when riding some of the more exotic bicycles, but I still ride them, and lock them up. I have been asked on numerous occasions why would I ride one these bikes on the harsh city street. I always answer it is just my way of airing them out. Otherwise they sleep in my basement, hanging out in that basement air. It is also a good way to keepthe grease from hardening and going bad. I don’t want my bikes to get atrophy;)
2 thoughts on “To ride or not to ride, that is the question.”
If anyone in Philly has nice bike that is unhappy cooped up in a basement, but that is scared of being ridden on city streets, I'd be willing to give it a home in the country where it could be ridden among lovely rolling hills!
Charlie, if only our basement bikes could talk. . .
We recently came up with a pile of cool bikes(holdsworth, etc) and pile of parts(campy wheels, turn of the century parts) from a Philly basement. This stuff will soon make it out into the country. . .and some out of the country!