Riding down Memory Lane

Thinking of the 1986 Tour de France triggered a stroll down memory lane.

I was introduced to the Tour by Great Adventures in Daredevil Sports. One of the stories, “Pedal till you drop”, was about Jacques Anquetil winning the 1964 Tour - making him the first to with the Tour 5 times. That was pretty much all I knew about the Tour for many years. Greg LeMond briefly put the Tour on the US media map, but it wouldn’t be until Lance Armstrong that the US would really pay attention.

It may be hard to imagine, but bicycles were the accessible high tech of the 70’s. Cars had carburetors and computers were for the privileded few. Heathkit was more about saving money than learning. But we all had bicycles. And we would fantasize about Reynolds 531 frames, tubular tires, and Campagnolo groupsets.

But that was big bucks. I had my eyes on a Viscount. A Viscount dealer had moved into my neighborhood and I would ride down and drool 2 or 3 times a month. The Viscount featured a cast aluminum fork and I loved the look of it. Its notoriety as the death fork was yet to come.

I never became much more than a casual rider. But I enjoyed it while it lasted.