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Jean Shepard Narrates a Classic 70's Bike Racing Movie
 

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Bob Dymond
Joined: 08 Apr 2010
Posts: 11
Location: Columbus Ohio

2/14/19 3:54 PM

Jean Shepard Narrates a Classic 70's Bike Racing Movie

Having been retired for almost a month, I've got waaayy too much time to rummage around for connections with the heroes of my misspent youth. My search turned up a gem (with which many of you greyhounds are probably familiar.)

Copps Cycles produced a film documentary on bike racing in the early 70s, featuring non other than Century Road Club. The films is set at a 4-day stage race in Canada, and gives bios of the great US riders at the time: Bobby Phillips, John Allis, Stan Swaim, Flip Walteufel , Doug Dale. John Howard doesn't get a spot, nor does John Humphries or Dickey Dunn as they may have been racing elsewhere at the time.

I attended the 1975 Dorset Training Group and some of the above were the coaches and visitors during my stay. It was thrilling to see some of those guys the way I remember them. A glimpse into the days of cheesy race prizes, downtube shifting and Clement Criterium Setas. I thought I would do a "Flip": Work as a chef at night and train/race overseas(one big expensive crash erased THAT little fantasy.) It's truly remarkable to be able to see people and places that I thought I would never see again in my lifetime.

The film is called "Race for the Yellow Jersey" It's on YouTube.

Tailwinds to you all, this season

Bob Dymond

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17073
Location: Portland, OR

2/14/19 5:35 PM

Thanks for the heads up.

It's Kopps I think...


Congrats on retiring, start racking up double centuries... ;)

"The tires are silk, and like fine wine are aged [sniffs tubulars hanging from above].

Watched all those, enjoyed that. Brought me back to my mid/late teens as far as my 531 bike with sewups etc..

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4281
Location: Nashua, NH

2/15/19 5:23 PM

It's certainly entertaining and it brought back a lot of memories.

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Bob Dymond
Joined: 08 Apr 2010
Posts: 11
Location: Columbus Ohio

2/16/19 12:09 PM

Memories of Dorset Training Group

Anne and Wendy Cram offered the Dorset Training Group in one and two-week sessions. It was a memorable (if somewhat cruel) exposure to the life of a serious amateur bike racer. The day started with breakfast, bike check and a morning training ride of 80+ miles. I'll never forget the awesome brute power of Allis and Swaim, or the ability of John Humphries to bunnyhop RR tracks at 20+mph. Eighty rainsoaked and muddy miles on VTs dirt roads was a harsh experience I remember to this day. The bracing, fresh air in those green mountains would explode in your lungs like nitro. We must have been burning up 5000 calories a day up there.

We'd be back for a big lunch, then rest or bike repair/maintenance until 4pm. From 4 o'clock on, it would be dinner followed by a short crit, classes in muscle massage, or trips to a nearby bike shop in Rutlland VT. I remember peaking into the doorway of Dickey Dunnes room and seeing him shaving his legs (a huge WTF moment for sure.)

I mention the Rutland bikeshop, as its owner built wheels for the US squad that raced the Tour of Ireland and Tour de L'Est in Canada. The were absolutely bomb-proof and never went out of true. He would LokTite the spokes and then swage the nipples down onto the spoke shaft. He said also that most of the popular Italian frames coming over (Colnago and Gios) had to be thoroughly gone-over, 'cause they were out of alignment and bearing facings had to be milled. He was retired from the aerospace industry and designed/ built a lot of his own jigs and tools. I sure wish we had video cameras for those visits.

By the time I left Dorset, I was thoroughly enchanted but seriously misguided into thinking bike racing was a viable existence for anyone in my circumstances. Although Swaim and company were basically loners, they did have sponsors and support systems to aid them along. I was "unattached" without any benefit of club affiliation or family backing, and left to my own meager resources. Even though I don't race - or cycle for that matter- I still came away from Dorset with some valuable skills and insights that've been useful to this day.

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daddy-o
Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Posts: 3253
Location: Springfield

2/16/19 3:47 PM

Saw this at the club banquet in as a junior in 1978, NCVC. A great raw documentary. CRCA Bobby Philips would appear at the shop once in a while, riding from Baltimore almost to the Washington DC line. He would also make the Thursday night IBM crit series. Once I was on his wheel on a points lap. I knew I couldn’t beat him but I figured he had the best wheel. Shaking my head 40 years later watching that wheel jump away. The Baltimore Bullet.

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6134
Location: Maine

2/17/19 9:09 AM

Good one

I really enjoyed that. Couple blasts from the past. In an early stage, there’s a breakaway by Mark Sullivan of Buffalo. I remember him riding when I was there. And Sigi Koch figures in a few finishes and is 4th overall. I remember him winnng a crit in Buffalo. He broke away and rode the last lap or 2 out of the saddle (even though it was in a parking lot).

And I love the intro of Swaim: “the first member in 5 generations of his family not to attend Harvard University.”

Those guys rode because they loved the sport, that’s for sure.

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KerryIrons
Joined: 12 Jan 2004
Posts: 2972
Location: Midland, MI

2/17/19 10:41 AM

Bikes

Narrow handlebars and tall gears. Those were the days! And silk tubulars that "last only one race"?

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Bob Dymond
Joined: 08 Apr 2010
Posts: 11
Location: Columbus Ohio

2/17/19 12:03 PM

I used to wear my spare tubie around my shoulders (a la Anquetil) and get glue all over my new jersey lol...

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KerryIrons
Joined: 12 Jan 2004
Posts: 2972
Location: Midland, MI

2/19/19 9:12 AM

Spares

Or get jersey fibers and road dust all over the tubular glue so it didn't stick all that well. When I started out I tied the spare under the seat with a toe strap (just like all the cool kids did) but when it came time to use the tire, the glue was nearly useless because of all the crap thrown up from the rear tire getting on the glue. I think the first product I bought from Bike Warehouse (which became Bike Nashbar) was a seat bag made especially for tubular tires.

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daddy-o
Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Posts: 3253
Location: Springfield

2/19/19 4:35 PM

Bike Warehouse, with the newsprint catalog, bought my HiE rims and high flange Campy hubs from them iirc, sigh, stolen from me on that nice Saronni, well Fiamme reds, the shop talked me out of using the HiE rims even though I weighed 130, something about rivets.

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4281
Location: Nashua, NH

2/19/19 6:05 PM

Hi-E rims were made from aluminum sheet that was folded into the shape of a rim. The seams were held together with solid aluminum rivets through an insert in the rim. The spoke holes were actually hollow aluminum rivets. that held the overlapping rim seam closed.

I raced on them at 151# and they were OK as long as you didn't hit anything, but they were designed to absorb impacts by collapsing, in order to protect the rider and the bike. This sounds sketchy, but it actually worked, as I experienced it first hand when I got forced off the road and hit an 8" high paving edge as I tried to get back on. The front rim was pushed more than halfway to the hub and the rear was badly dented, but I barely felt the impact and was able to bring the bike to a stop safely.

One big problem with rims of the time was that the sidewalls tended to deform under spoke tension, causing pulsation when braking. Hi-E rims were really bad in that regard. The seams also tended to be pretty uneven, adding to the problem.

One saving grace is that they were pretty inexpensive compared to Fiamme, Super Champion, Campy and Mavic rims. In terms of weight, there was nothing even close. Their "heavy duty" rims were 230 grams and their "lightweight" rims were 199 grams.

Sadly, I don't have any examples of them left. The last ones I had were the lightweights that are on my old Graftek that's now in the collection at First Flight bikes. I do still have a few hubs and hub parts kicking around.

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