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My Motobecane Bicycle

Updated on July 14, 2017
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Jack is currently a volunteer at the Westchester County Archives. Jack has worked at IBM for over 28 years.

A 43 years old bicycle

Introduction

I am 65 years old this year. In 1974, when I was 23, and just graduated college, I bought a 10-speed bike from Motobecane. At the time, it was one of the best rated models and it was equipped with a quick release of the front wheel. It was needed to carry the bike in my trunk.

- July 2017

Background

I own a Motobecane Super Mirage bike. I bought it for about $300 in 1975 brand new. Since that time, I rode it for about 3 years off and on. My total miles was 872 miles. Over the next 40 years, I stopped riding for various reasons, mostly for lack of free time. I moved to another county and just kept the bike in storage in my garage. It was stolen one time by a neighborhood kid and hidden in the woods in back of my house. Luckily, I found it and retrieved it.

Recently, I retired and have some extra free time. I decided to try and restore it to working order. To my surprise, after pumping up the tires and adding a little WD40, the bike works great. The gear shifted perfectly.

I was so impressed, I wrote a note to the Manufacturer. My bike was built in France at the time and sold by Motobecane USA. I received a nice response from their customer support a day later. They recommend I use a lubricant designed for a bicycle instead of the WD40. I took their advice.

I did a search on eBay and found a similar vintage bike being sold for $275. It sure held its value.

Memories...

One of my fondest memory was riding my bike along the Hudson river near the development I was living at the time. The 10 gears came in handy since there was quite a drop from my apartment to the river's edge. Going back up was challenging to say the least. The bike was able to make it easily. Riding downhill on a straight stretch of road was so exhilerating. You feel the air rushing around you and just a quiet serene feeling.

The advantage of a quick release was a selling point for me. I had a Toyota Celica two door which has a small trunk. I was able to carry the bike inside this trunk after removing the front wheel. It was great to get around without an external bike rack. I would carry my bike to work and over lunch, bring it out for a spin around the parking lot and grounds.

Quick Release Front Wheel

Summary

I am planning to ride my bike on a regular basis. It is great exercise in addition to walking. In my old age, my knee is a bit of a trouble. Nothing major but I guess all those years of fencing competition in my youth has taken a toll. Riding a cycle will help my joints.

© 2017 Jack Lee

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