My Schwinn Prelude, a 1986 I think, was the bike that I did a lot of my first rides on way back in the 80’s, or in other terms, back in my 20’s. I rode the Prelude on my first century. It was the organized Seattle to Portland 2 day, so ~100 miles per day for 2 consecutive days. Having trained for the 200 mile single day ride but settling on the 2-day version to accommodate the tobacco smoker in our group, I later rode the Prelude again to Oregon but in a single day “outlaw” Seattle to Portland. I guess that was my first (and only) double century. Over several years, I went on to ride it on some other amazing first rides, like around Mt. Rainier, an incredible loop over Stevens, Blewett and Snoqualmie, around the Olympic Peninsula, several other rides that I can’t recall and all the training miles in between.
The bike itself was a middle of the road bike. It was light, fast and reliable. All I needed. The higher priced stuff at the time also had the new fangled Shimano index shifting while my Prelude had the Suntour friction shifters. Even so, the shifting was accurate, light, quick and I don’t recall ever being left wanting. In fact I don’t think I ever suffered a mechanical failure of any kind, shifting or otherwise.
Nothing failed, I just put big miles on that bike and I plain wore out every piece on it, then sadly I abandoned it when I purchased its replacement, my current Raleigh R600. I guess as a youngster I didn’t have the same emotional bond with my bikes that I do now. If I did, I would still have that Prelude in my garage, which I don’t, just the fond memories. I keep my eyes open for one to add back into my collection. Maybe that’ll happen.