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Thursday, November 30, 2006


( Click to enlarge)
Life is not all motorcycling. Here is a picture of my favourite bicycle ( I have three).

This one has been with me in various guises since 1957, when I bought it whilst in the army, wanting something to ride. It was then 10 years old, a 1947 Raleigh
Record Ace and belonged to the owner of a little back street bike shop in Canterbury who sold it to me for £10 (2 weeks army pay then!). In the 50 years I have owned it, it had one complete recondition in 1976 and that is how you see it now, 30 years later.

I was a club cyclist when younger (still a member of C.T.C. but ride solo now) and have ridden and owned many bicycles, but this old faithful has stayed with me because I have never found one so responsive - other bikes you need to pedal along, for some reason on this one I feel I need to pedal to keep up with it! It gets used regularly for cycle rides and for meets of the Veteran Cycle Club, where it is much admired (which is more than can be said for its rider!).

Motor Cycling is exhilarating ("detail is lost, but sensation is enhanced" as T. E. Lawrence remarked) - cycling is relaxing, good exercise and gives one the chance to see more, stop to examine things and meditate on it all whilst twiddling along.

All this is by way of an introduction so that my next posting will not come as too much of a surprise to those who know my lifelong love of motor cycles!


herhimnbryn said...

Luverly, just luverly. I did not realise you had had the bike for so long.
Confession, my bike has not seen the light of day since we got here. Am not keen to wear the regulatory helmet or the thought of cycling up our hills in summer heat. Think I'll stick to walking with the hound for now :)

Avus said...

The day that they make cycle helmets compulsory in England is the day I give up cycling! Respected studies have shown that they are useless in a real "head -on". The bits that get the damage are knees, hands and elbows when you come off. Helmets are useful for kids when they are larking around - and that is about all.

Knowleypowley said...


That is truly a beautiful looking bike, from the mud flap on the front mudguard, to the angle the drops have been set to, the whole thing screams "Classic" which given it's age, I suppose it is.

Thanks for sharing

Vita said...

Really spectacular. I think we have a bike from about the same era, but not quite so polished. Ha ha. Twiddling along. I like that.

Avus said...

k-p: Yes a true "classic". I recently bid for a pair of "Airlite" hubs (like those in pic)on eBay. I was way out-bid - they went for £45!

V. "Twiddling" = low gear and fast cadence - good for old knees! As opposed to "honking" which is staying in high gear and standing on the pedals (like Tour de France)

Vita said...

Ah. Thank you. I believe I should try some twiddling.

Patry Francis said...

I wish we had more safe areas to cycle here. Thanks for all your insightful comments on my blog, and happy 2007 to you!

Avus said...

Thanks for calling by Patry. I look forward to our "conversations" in the future.

rufie said...

Was most touched to discover that the beautiful Record Ace goes back so far (oops- time is relative; I'm 51 myself). Your's is a smacking beaut. Bought mine new in Cheltenham in 84 - I was told that it was probably already several yrs old. Travelled throughout England during my 5-yr stay with the marvelous machine. Glad you enjoy your's. I like your values. Happy wheeling Dr. Spoke

job said...
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