While I agreed wholeheartedly with many of the sentiments expressed in Mike Cooley’s article titled “Our love affair with cycling” in the Guest Opinion, July 10, I was a little surprised to read his comment that “recreational cycling was a little scarce until the appearance of the 10-speed bicycle in the middle of the 1970s.”
Come on Mike, I had my first 10-speed in the early 1960s, an English made Raleigh. By my collage years in the early ’70s, I purchased a then high-end French made 10-speed Gitane, for the princely sum of $165. A few bikes and many years later I now ride a carbon fibre 20-speed Giant with electronic shifting, about $4,000 retail.
According to “Answers.com” the rear bicycle derailleur was invented in 1938 and Campagnolo invented the front derailleur in 1949, with 10 speeds appearing shortly thereafter.
If you attended the race on July 11 you would have seen a number of bikes with 22 speeds, costing over $10,000, and weighing in at about 15 pounds, not to mention a number of superbly conditioned young athletes. If you missed it, treat yourself next year.
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Dale Bowden, Boise