Sunday, June 18, 2017

Learning the Local Terrain Is an Advantage

One thing that's nice about riding in the area close to home is the ability to familiarize yourself with the terrain, and then to use that knowledge to test or bring out certain aspects in your vintage bikes. In the automotive world, car makers have skid pads, trails, hills, and other terrain they test their designs on. You can do the same with the local roads and bike trails if you learn about the area near you.

For example, I have a couple streets near my house that are quiet, flat, and straight. These provide a great place to test the acceleration and braking of vintage bikes.

 Above is my 1947 Schwinn Continental sporting bike on that straight road. The Continental is a light, quick machine. This straight away really brings that out.

I also have a couple small hills near my house, which lets me test gear ratios for climbing and braking power.

It will behoove you to learn the terrain in the area where you ride and keep in mind that you can use this terrain not just to ride, but also test test out certain work on a bike, or aspects of a bike. The one thing I will say that is universal about these places for me is that there is relatively little car traffic in my "test areas".

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