Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Prehistoric Garmin?

With all the talk of cycle computers (or as my Pennsylvania pal Kenny used to call them, "confusers") in my last post, I did some digging through my old (er, "classic, vintage") files and found this image from my (now long-forgotten) Blast From the Past series, scanned from the 1984 premier issue of Cyclist magazine.
Now THAT is some high-tech stuff. I'll bet it can tell you your current speed, your trip distance, AND the current time, all in a package the size of a freebie-giveaway-with-contract smartphone.

Actually, this thing was probably a huge step forward from the cable-driven spoke-pinger speedometers of its time. As much as I disliked those, I wish I still had the one from my grandparents' 1967 tandem with its labelmaker-applied fifth digit added by my grandfather to indicate first 10,000 miles, then 20,000. Pretty impressive.

Kids, those are BRAKE cables in the photo, not badly-routed STI shift cables. Ask your grandparents about brake cables that didn't run under the bar tape. Not sure what to say about that helmet. Maybe he's on his way to a hockey game?

I do get warm fuzzies from the sight of those Spenco gloves, though. My late-dad LOVED that exact model with the crocheted back and the red/black/blue stripes. When they were discontinued, he rode his last pair until the palms split and the gel-snot squished out. Oh, man, it looks like they're available again (though not in that color). Now I feel like I need to get a pair just for nostalgia's sake.


Anonymous said...

as a certified old guy, let me say that the helmet in the photo is the Skid Lid, one of the early helmets available. It was far from a commercial success, but at least it offered more protection than the leather hairnets that came before it.

A better picture of the helmet is here:

The giant bike computers never sold many copies either. The Avocet 20 was probably the first good, small model.

Steve in Peoria

bikelovejones said...

Let me add to Steve's nostalgia:

1. Back in the late 70's/early 80's, helmets were for rich college kids. Almost nobody else wore them, including me. They were expensive, heavy and very hot in the summer; and not all of them actually saved brains in crashes.

2. My Rivvy still uses an old Huret mechanical cyclometer:
I scored a buncha of the rubber drive belts a few years ago and still have three or four left. On the lookout for more. The nice thing about a mechanical cyclometer is that, even in my rainy climate, it always works.

3. I still prefer cotton crocheted gloves, too, though i never had a pair as nice as the Spencos (they had nicer padding and cost a little more). Today I use the Rivendell model -- they blew out the smallest sizes on closeout and I scooped up eight pairs. That should see me through for awhile.

Chuck Davis said...

Anybody wanna CatEye Solar?