I got my first 10 speed in 1967--a Legnano brought back from Italy--and started racing back in the 70s--before Lance, before Greg, even before "Breaking Away"! The sport was really just getting going in the U.S. back then. I was still just a mediocre Cat 3 rider when a knee injury forced me to quit racing in 1981. Now I just stick to club rides.
Despite all the super-light aluminum, carbon, and titanium bikes out there I still love a good lugged steel bike. Steel doesn't have to be heavy, by the way: my Bob Brown weighs less than 19 pounds fully equipped, with a steel fork and no carbon parts save the hub dust covers.