I can't remember exactly when I bought my Raleigh Competition G.S. road bike from my good friend and cousin's husband, but I'm sure it was in the late 1980s.
And the bike was already old at that time.
I had it in college. One night my roommate Matt and I were talking to Jay, a friend and bike racer, and the subject of modern bikes came up. Now, I can't be 100% sure if Jay called my bike a tank, or not--it's hard to remember a single conversation that took place thirty years ago. Jay had raced on some of the most advanced bicycles of the day, bikes that weighed almost nothing. They made my old Raleigh look like...well, a tank.
Because I was raised by parents who both lived through the Great Depression, I'm wont to keep things, especially when I'm unable to upgrade.
I kept the bike for the next three decades.
And for most of that time, the bike has sat in a basement or a shed.
Tonight, I hauled it out, pumped up the tires, and rode it around the cul-du-sac. Seeing as how I haven't sat on a road bike since I put the Raleigh into storage, I have no idea what new bikes are like, but I suspect it must be something going from a 1965 VW Beetle to driving a 2021 Porsche.
To me, the old bike still felt good. And the biggest surprise was how light the bike was. Oh, I know it's still heavy compared to both the bikes of today and the bikes of 1990, but it's lighter than I thought it would be. Plus, a quick internet search has similar bikes costing anywhere from $500 to $1k. Those are in better shape, but still...
Once I get a rack to put it on my car, I'm thinking I'll take the Tank out and do some exercising. Since it's been locked away for years, it's the least I could do.