Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

11 May 2013

A Bike Tom Would Have Liked

Thomas Avenia, who owned one of the first (and, for a long time, one  of the few) shops in the US to sell lightweight bicycles, once told me that track bikes are "the king of bicycles."  He, who lived to be 95 years old, rode one well into his 80's.

I recently spotted one that I think he could have appreciated:

Now, he never would have ridden his with those handlebars:  His own machine, a vintage Frejus, had TTT Pista bars, if I recall correctly.  But the rest of the Bridgestone I spotted would have pleased him.

I think I've seen one or two other Bridgestone track bikes.  This is the first chromed one I've seen.  

If I'm not mistaken, this Bridgestone track bike was built by hand, in a separate area from other Bridgestone bikes.  Most Bridgestones I've seen had clean, well-finished lugs and paint.  They're even better, I think, on this bike.

Bridgestones were originally imported into the US under the name "Kabuki" during the 1970's. In the 1980's and early '90's, Grant Petersen worked for the company and helped to design the bikes that were imported into the US until 1994.  

I feel that the only Japanese bikes that were as good as, or better than, Bridgestones were made by Miyata and Panasonic.  They are also among the most sought-after mass-produced vintage bikes.  

Tom would have appreciated Miyata's and Panasonic's track bikes. But I think this Bridgestone would have done more to remind him of his beloved Frejus.

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