In 1979, I went to watch “Breaking Away” at the VICTORY movie theatre. I’m betting that movie started at least half of the WCC members down the road of their first road bike. We all wanted to be “CUTTERS” and race against Team CinZano from Italy. I jumped on my 5 speed the next day and pretended I was Dave racing at the track to win it all.
For a few more years I upgraded parts and rode further around the neighbourhood. Finally I told my Dad that I wanted a “10 speed” bike. We went to Gibbon’s Sports in TImmins in 1982 and he bought me a Peugeot Sprint OU 12. It was about $300 back then. Tubes manufactured in England, Assembled in Canada through Velosport, QC.
I rode it alot. But, I tried to “track stand” on it and bent the rear wheel hopping around. So, next time we were visiting family in Southern Ontario, I had my uncle drive me to Pedlar’s Cycling on Avenue Rd, in Toronto and had them rebuild me a rear wheel. At that time I bought a GIS Gelato Wool Jersey, some leather shoes, ALE toe clips from Italy and red Christophe toe straps from France.
I rode that bike through High School and then it sat in the basement for 30 years. Until a few close friends from WCC suggested that we should rebuild our vintage bikes and enter Turas Mor. A Vintage bike race put on by Creemore Springs Brewery.
There were some rules. Similar to l’eroica. (Which my Brother-in-law had done TWICE) and club member James Parkin visited in Italy. The grand-daddy of vintage bike events along the roads of Strade Bianchi. James did year 1 of Toras Mor. That inspired us to do year 2 & 3.
But first, we had to build our classic vintage bikes to satisfy the entry criteria which included:
Tubulars (if possible)
So, I brought down my 1982 Peugeot Sprint from Timmins, and began to rebuild the classic vintage road bike that started it all.
I had to decide right away if I would purchase a few New Old School (NOS) parts to get it up and running or if I would go “purist” and keep everything original. I kept it pretty purist….but I added a modern Fizik saddle, and green Fizik matching bar tape and red cable housing to match the WCC livery. I also put on new rubber. But everything else was original.
Model: Sprint UO12
Colour: “Translucent Bordeaux”
Original Owner: Alain Francq
Frame: Reynold 453 Tubes (magnesium/titanium) - Manufactured in England
Wheels: Ambrosio 19 Elites (Italy)
Derailleurs: Shimano 600EX (Japan)
Brake Levers: Shimano 600 Ex (Japan)
Calipers: Weinmann 500 “left handed” (Made in East Germany)
Shifters: Suntour Simplex - Delrin Model
Handlebars: WINSPISTA aluminum (Japan)
Cranks: 172.5 Solida Crank Arms (France)
Chain Ring: 50-42
Toe Clips: ALE clips (Torino, Italy)
Toe Straps: Red Leather Christophe (France)
Freewheel: Mallard 1 tooth corn cob (12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17)
They had me at “SPRINT”. But, loved how they had an asterix “*”, that made you go look for the detail.
There is a long history of Pegeout and this particular model was their 12 speed. The Record du Mode (World Record Holder).
I liked the glittery red colour with the gold details. I later learned that this colour was called “Translucent Burgundy”.
I loved the Lion head badge.
But perhaps my favourite feature were the “drilled” brake levers.
I also remember liking the Magnesium/titanium tubes by Reynold.
Shimano 600 EX was the bomb. Non-indexed.
As mentioned above, I had these wheels built at Pedlar’s on Avenue Road in the mid 80’s.
And I remember selecting this “corn cob” race cassette. It went up in 1 tooth increments. It is a 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18.
Ah, those Red Christophe toe straps. The feel of the leather and pulling them tight around my foot to ensure the “cleat” was 100% engaged and would NEVER let go under any circumstances. That was a mistake on a number of occasions.
A vintage bicycle with a modern twist of WCC green saddle and bar tape, with red housing and fresh Vittoria rubber. It was (and still is) a pice of art, and a manifestation of my youth and the genesis story of my cycling career…38 years ago.
Complete with my original leather helmet and vintage Brooklyn Jersey. I was ready for Toras Mor.
And will be ready for any Classic ride that we put on together.