| Been posting/reading all the posts here for several years now and it suddenly dawned on me that with our common interest in older bicycles how little we know about each other apart from their bikes.|
Would be interesting to know how or what got others interested in older English roadsters,would also be interesting to find out a little about their backround to see what sort of person is interested in the same thing as me/us etc.
To start the ball rolling here's a little about me and why I love old bikes and whatI do:
As you know I'm Pete, I live in the UK where the cider apples grow and got into Bicycles about 5 years ago I guess by accident/misfortune as I could not afford a classic English motorbike.(I dearly would like a Norton ES2 pre 1950 but funds will not permit)Since realization dawned and the ES2 was deemed out of reach the bicycles have overridden my desires and my new desire is an ordinary (penny farthing) of proper vintage and not a replica.Now have a shed full of pre 1940 bicycles and various oil and carbide lamps which I really enjoy owning/riding/preserving/restoring etc.
I've always been deemed to be an "old fart" preferring older things to new,I'm 41 years old going on 70.My first car was an austin A30 (everyone else was driving Escorts and minis highly modified......not for me) My favourite car I ever owned was a Rover 95 (P4) 1963 vintage.
By trade I am a panel beater/sprayer (the old school variety where quality comes before price)Currently off work due to ill health and smarting from having to pay an extortionate vets bill for one of the cats which now has 3 legs!
Missing older values and worried about skills being lost to "money men" taking over as seems to be the way of the world at the moment.Guess I'll have to invent the time machine and go back to a time where quality of engineering and values were placed more highly than a monetary value.The time when our interest (proper bikes)was at it's peak.
Pete...off to the shed to build to build a time machine.
| Well here goes.|
Real name - Matthew
Home - Norfolk, England
Job - Social work
Trade - agricultural engineer
Family - Wife & 3, son 22, daughters 19 & 15
Current car 2003 British racing green Rover 25 2 litre turbo diesel
First car 1958 Austin A30 in black
First bike - Triang with front only rod brake
Fisrt Adult bike - Triumph Trafficmaster - Raleigh 20 clone.
Favourite Bike - My 'unknown' tradebike
Most missed / never should have sold bike - too many to consider but possibly my Elswick tradebike, sold when I was 16.
Best cycling moment - Round Norfolk tandem ride with a friend, 200 miles in three days or a 76 miles ride on the tradebike.
Best website - here, where else? been posting for about 8+ years.
Don't appreciate - limey bashing and prejudice.
Sorry this is unlike me but I'm rushing. Less narrative more fact.
Matthew - its all rather personal.
| Occupation: Chef. Currently working in my own chocolate shop/cafe.|
Not big on cars, first one I ever owned was a '72 Buick Skylark, big motor, lousy brakes...
First bike I ever owned/rode was a "Sears" 20" "convertable". That is, the top tube was removable, and could be converted to a girl's bike. (my sister was 2 yrs younger than I...) At age 6 I had other plans however and "modified" the bike with a friend's brother's bike parts (left in th drive, run over by his Dad...): Banana seat, Ape hanger bars, streamers, and a fat rear tire.. At age 15 I had saved up enough to buy a real "10 speed".
My fascination with all bikes English came when I visted a sports consignment store and saw a beat up Raleigh Superbe.(Buried under 3 coats of Canadian Tire's finest silver spray paint...) Never in my life had I seen a 3 spd dyno-hub, oil ports on the BB, locking front fork or "weird" caliper brakes that had no eyebolts. Intrigued I bought it, and at age 38 spent a lot of time, money, research and effort restoring it.
What a blast!
| Name: Larry, Dingmans Ferry, PA, USA|
Avocation: Packaging Design Tech, Mars, Inc.
Current Car: '07 Pontiac G5 GT
Current Motorbike: '01 Kawasaki Vulcan Drifter 800
Grand daughter: 3
Forgive me Pete... but my first MOTORBIKE... was a 1950 AJS 500cc Twin... I forget the model... ;-) Alas.... it became nearly impossible to get parts for (pre-internet years)... including having to special order "Gold Palladium" spart plugs!
First car? a 1963 Plymouth Valiant. Pushbutton automatic trans, 171cid "Slant 6"
I've stated here before... my initial interest in what we wrongly refered to at the time as "English Racer" bicycles was shortly after I had been given a Columbia "Playbike" (muscle bike) for Christmas in the late 60's. A buddy had just acquired a brand new Dunelt 3-speed that same year. Interestingly enough, he really wanted a muscle bike... and I ratler liked his machine... and we would often "trade" machines... if not for the day... at least for an hour or so.
That machine captured my interest... apparantly on a very deep level indeed. To the point where I slaved two summers cutting grass (1969 & 1970) to save up the handsome sum of $100 in order to purchase my very own Sprite 27 10-speed. I rode that thing everywhere...
As with most... once we start piloting motorized machines... and entering the "adult" world... oft times our "toys" of the past get set aside. My dad eventually disposed of the Columbia... and then gave away my Sprite.
Years go by... and I never really lost the affinity for the Enlish Bicycles... though, for many years... I didn't even own any bicycles at all. I did play around with a 21 speet GT mountain bike for a while.... but... then.....
Decided 4 years ago.... I missed riding bicycles. Thought... "Gee... what would be nice... an olde English machine".... What I ended up with was the very large frame Sprite 5-Speed that I've pictured here before... my very first ever Ebay purchase.
The rest... is, shall we say.. history.... I have a basement full of machines.... from my "feaux" Armstrong Clumbman to my 74 DL-1. Wish I had more time to spend on them too.
As far as the balance of life.... I've been trying to sell my home here on the mountain for almost two years... so that my Fiance and I can like... you know... actually buy a place TOGETHER... She has her place to sell too... but mine must go first. Real Estate here in the US is beyond dead... so, that part of life... is... and has been... "on hold". We're not thrilled... but we're abiding as best as we can.
As stated, I work as a Packaging Development Tech / Prototype Specialist for Mars, Inc. The folks that put the "M"... and almost anything else you may be willing to pay for... on your M&M's Chocolate Candy. As such, I hold one US patent... have filed for another... and am working on a third.
Other interest include: Boating, Fishing, MUSIC (Another OCD obsession as I own no less than 8 guitars), motorcycling and photography.
I enjoy going online for the most part... but over time, had seen too many discussion boards "decay". It's interesting that the English Roadster board is not at all one of them. Seems we're very much a civilized lot... and even if things go awry we're very quick to rectify any such issues. Usually attributed to a missed meaning or simple misunderstanding.
LOL... you want to see a Motorcycle or Automotive duscussion board break down into name-calling anarchy... start a thread about either Oil or Tires... It can get downright ugly.
A great topic Pete. Kewl to learn a bit more about our fellow denizens. I daresay... many of us are well on our wey to becoming anachronisms... and certainly I for one am a self-professed Luddite. ;-) (Another interest of mine... WORDS).
Larry "Boneman" Bone
| I'm a self employed film and broadcast editor/producer/writer currently living in the town of Wolfville Nova Scotia with my wife Elizabeth, Adelaide(8) and Cole(10). I'll be 50 in 3 days. Yikes.|
We opted out of urban life 18 months ago when we exited downtown Toronto and came to this small university town in the beautiful Annapolis Valley.
1st 2 wheeler, at 5 years old was a Raleigh single speed with 16 inch wheels.
1st car was a 69 Mustang coupe and 1st motorbike was a Honda Z50 minitrail. We currently drive old Volvo cars and old BMW motorbikes. Elizabth turned me on to Volvos when we met and that's all we've driven for 11 years. Just picked up a "new" 1990 740 wagon with only 200k kms! Also have a 91 240 sedan. In the motorbike world, we share 3 BMW's... a 72 R75/5, a 77 R60/7 and an 89 K75c. Incredible bikes, easy to maintain and relatively cheap to run as well. I would love to have a classic British bike, maybe a Norton featherbed (ES2, Dominator) or late 50's Thunderbird, AJS, Velocette, HRD (cough) will do nicely
You know most everything about my bike fetish since I rarely shut up about it so I've leave that alone. All I know is that everyone should have at least 6 bikes and at least 3 of those should be british.
My bike resolution is to restore my 51 CCM light Delivery bike this year and make it my daily rider.
Happy New Years to all you good people out there.
| I must confess that I've only recently caught the bike bug again after an absence of some thirty years. I happened to be at a vintage agricultural machinery auction and purely by accident came across a pair of old sad looking bikes.|
There was something appealing about them, so I bid and got the one I wanted (nobody seemed very interested)! I hadn't really got a clue what I'd got but nevertheless felt extremely proud and looked forward to getting it running again.
As kids, my brother and I would find bikes in the local stream, canal, pond etc and drag them home to be rebuilt or converted into Formula One racing cars which usually consisted of a scaffolding plank with wheel on each corner and a piece of rope attached to a flimsy wooden front axle to act as steering. Note - no brakes, just a good incline, a prayer or a nearby hospital was all that was needed !
I will lay the rest out methodically or else I will go off at a tangent and talk for ever.
Home: London (but originally from the countryside).
Job : General "dogs body" of coach (bus) business.
Trade: Transport Manager (passenger road industry).
Family: Wife plus three.
Current car: Nil (I hire one or use the works van).
First car: MG 1100 saloon (67 Model) sounds good but it was a rust bucket.
First Bike: BSA single speed rodded childs bike with roll-over stand that unclipped from the rack and went underneath the rear wheel. I was aged about eight and I remember studying the BSA headstock badge and asking my dad what "small arms" were and why people in Birmingham suffered with this !
Someone managed to paint this bike with the left overs from the exterior house paint.........it still gives me nightmares to this day !
Strangely enough I did acquire a very similar Hercules recently, thankfully in original black.
First adult bike: 5 speed racer of some description.
Favourite bike: My old Herc Roadsters with K4 & K6 hubs.
Most missed/never should have sold bike: None - The bikes I've sold have been fairly modern or poor quality so it hasn't really bothered me.
Best cycling moment: Riding a vintage bike that I've bought back to life (especially after people laughed at me when I first acquired it as a heap).
Best Website: I was going to come out with a smart remark here but I have to say that I have really enjoyed reading other peoples comments, knowledge, ideas etc on this very website - it has helped me a great deal.
(1) Cyclists.........going through red/stop lights at busy road junctions.
(2) Seeing rows of tyres hanging up in glamorous bike shops........none of which are of any use to me !
(3) Not having a cycle book that tells me everything I want to know !
(4) Having to convince my wife that there's only six bikes in the garage when shes counted 36 wheels !
Things I like: An old boy in an old fashioned traditional bike shop who knows exactly what I'm talking about.
To finish off, I must mention that I have maintained my wifes externally geared bike for the last twelve years until she had it stolen recently. I've since replaced this with a good old standard 68 model Raleigh Ladies 3-speed (I've just put a lovely new rack on the back which cost me a heck of a lot more than the bike itself)!
People I hate: Bike thieves.
Oh I almost forgot....my other interests are Crawler tractors i.e. Caterpillar, Marshall, Fowler etc etc.
Steve keep the info rolling in because I'm still a novice.
| The bits I missed out.|
We keep away from religion and politics here so I will keep to that but will just mention that my faith is very important to me.
Music; I play jazz percussion in a six piece band. I like so many different types of music it would take me a month to make a list. I don't like heavy metal, thrash metal etc.
Home; Is a small 1975 end terrace house in a medium sized village near the east coast (so near we don't often get a frost).
Other interests; Old tractors (see my 'trade' above, Local history or as it is said in Norfolk 'Loocle Histree' and the Norfolk dialect. Films particularly, but not exclusively, British. Writing prose and poetry. Corresponding with friends by letter; real-mail.
I try to make time for friends. Good friends are like good bicycles, a small amount of regular maintenance will keep them in good fettle for many years.
This DB is a staple of my life and has been a good resource of two way information for many years.
THANK YOU to Vin and the guys at Oldroads and to all the contributors here.
Matthew - 45 and spinning.
| Real name is Sammy,but that just means I'm a sam.Son now 25 is a sam too(getting married next year),daughter is 27(2&1/2 grand kids)The wife turned 51 and I'm 57(married 31 years today)|
First bicycle was a sears middle weight with bendix manuel two speed for christmas 1959
First car was a 1948 chrysler fluid drive bought in 1960s---still have it.
motorcycle---had a harley
Work---all my life!started in the 5th grade with a paper route--since 1972 I've worked for the railroad(like my Dad)
I live in south texas--near San Antonio.
current bicycles---amoung others I have a 1952 Claud Butler,1936 Russ tandem,1955 Fothergill,1953 maclean,and a Raleigh sports.
My projects for next year are restoring a 1910 house and finishing a couple of wood wheel bicycles
| I deliberately forgot to mention that I played in a punk rock band in the late seventies early eightees............but don't worry I will never ever post any photos on this website (I would be to embarrassed). I've since matured into a "normal" person with abnormal hobbies (according to some people) and abnormal tastes in music (also according to some people).|
I just don't see anything abnormal about Classical music, Jazz guitar improvisation, Roadsters, Steam, Vintage machinery and the smell of the countryside.
I'm just one of those people that can't sit still on a beach all day sunbathing, I have to be doing something.
Anyhow, you'll be pleased to hear I've just managed to acquire two new 20" x 1 3/8 tyres for my Junior Herc.
Quality is debatable (made in Indonesia), so the jury is out until something better comes along.
Steve have you got your New Years Day ride planned yet ?
| Age: 48 3/4|
Occupation: electricity salesman/ surplus military truck screener/ classic English car parts business owner
Residing in: Shutesbury, Massachusetts
Drive: 1960 MGA roadster/1963 Jaguar 3.8 Mark 2/1968 Volvo 122S/modernish VW and Volvo for the snow and salt. Also own 1955 Jaguar XK140, 1969 MGC roadster (neither running) and 1952 Dodge M37 to plow the driveway and drag the dead cars around
Live in: 1848 Greek Revival cape cod house, always needing repair and paint.
First cycle: AMF ballooner. Rubbish. Learned to fix bikes by talking Mum into bringing home three stationwagon loads of junk bike parts from the local dump. Spent the summer building bikes and selling them (aged 12). Learned about Sturmey Archer and Brooks and lugged frames. Fantastic stuff!
First car: 1961 Jaguar 3.8 Mark 2. Never got it running.
Current cycles: too many to mention, but several Sports, '35 R-R-A, '30s Dawes club bike, nice original '54 Superbe, '47 Lenton Clubman, '56 Super Lenton. Trying to thin the herd a bit, though.
Family: saintly wife, Andrea, son Angus, 13, daughter Fiona, 8. We all love to ride and the grownups appreciate the finer qualities of the Brooks saddle.
Other passions: Morris dancing, folk music and dance (I play guitar and mandolin), my community, natural history, Cape Cod, good live ale and Scotch whisky, in fact, almost anything English or Scottish, especially manufactured products from the 1930s, 1940's and 1950's, environmental justice (what's that? Oops! No politics here).
| So we have the makings of a folk, jazz-punk quartet with drums, guitar and mandolin + Steve.|
Almost completely off subject, this is one of the best threads for a while. (the best so far in 2008!)
Matthew - glad I called in.
(Larry would you say 'called in' or 'called by' to indicate a social visit?
| I started in about 1975 (I was 11) restoring old bicycles with a neighbor that told me he was born before the advent of the automobile. His name was Leonard Carlson. He fixed up old bikes at his house and sold them. I have very strong hands and helped him with mounting tires. He gave me pick of the pile. I chose a 1957 Sunbeam 3 speed. I stripped it to the bare bones. He called it my scorcher. I now teach at a bicycle Recycling shop ( buffalobluebicycle.org ). This is a fun way to meet other bikers and share in the community. I live on the Niagara river at Gratwick park. About 5 miles up river from Niagara Falls My house is full of old bicycles. I have English 3 speeds, folding bicycles old French lightweights and modern bicycles. I sell some on EBAY. I work in a plumbing shop as a purchasing agent. I am influenced by geography to ride bicycles. The Niagara river has a path running down one side and up the other. Some of the best paths for cycling in the world. This is connected to the 500+mi. Erie canal trail Sunday December 30th I rode from Gratwick to the Peace Bridge and back along the path about 25 miles round trip. What nice weather! As far as internal combustion engines. They don't deserve mention. Very dull! HAPPY NEW YEAR! Ed |
| Wow, that was interesting.To get to know a little about the people on here with a similair interest and to have a glimpse of their other interests and a bit of info on their day to day lives has certainly made the forums a more personal thing.It's great to see that our interest is spread over such diverse people from all backgrounds and regardless of wealth or social standing etc.Can only be good news for the longevity and appreciation of our beloved older bicycles for future generations to appreciate as much as we have and do.|
My very best wishes to everyone and may we all find that two wheeled hidden treasure that's still out there somewhere in a basement and just waiting to be discovered.
| I've enjoyed reading this thread and while I don't contribute very often to this forum, I do know several of you through trading bike parts, so I thought I'd add my bit:|
Name: Neal Lerner
Job: I teach technical writing at MIT, Cambridge, MA (though I don't have a background as a scientist or engineer--mine's in English and Education)
Other significant employment: I worked as a bike mechanic/service manager in a couple of different shops from 1986-1990.
Family: Two kids: Hannah, age 9, Clay, age 5, and my wife Tania (who's a biology faculty member at MIT), two cats. We live in a house built in 1851 in Brookline, MA (a Boston suburb)
First car: Chevelle Malibu with a 307 engine
First bike: a green Vista Flyer (a POS)
Current bike fleet: 11 English bikes, mostly Raleighs, including Raleigh Clubmans from 1949, 1950 and 1951; several other bikes including my newest: a Kogswell P/R that I bought as a frameset and built up (650B wheels); rode today to the office on my Bridgestone CB-1 winter beater (at around 10 degrees F with a stiff wind!)
When I'm not teaching or fiddling with bikes or riding, I'm often running, my primary form of exercise all year round. Otherwise, I'm writing academic stuff for a very narrow audience (just finished a book draft a couple of weeks ago after two years work).
Best wishes to all for the new year!
| I read this almost every day. I am 59 years old and live in Southern Wisconsin. I have a wife and two cats. I spent most of my working life in building maintenance. I am currently working part time as an office assistant in a law offce. I am sort of semi-retired but not by choice. My first car was 64 VW. I now prefer Subarus but will probably go for better gas mileage next time. I spent the three best years of my young life in the USAF in England. I have always been an anglophile. My father had a small welding/repair shop when I was a kid and all my bikes were built out of junk parts. They got me around though. I always wanted an "English Racer". When I got out the airforce, I bought a new 1973 Sports with Brooks B-72 and tire pump. Very stupidly I sold it a few years later to move "up" to a ten speed. I have kicked myself ever since. After not biking at all for ten years or better, I decided to get back in. I have a 1973 sports that I was given after bugging the guy that had it sitting outside his garage. The paint is bad but I have returned it to mechanical perfection. I also have a Phillips Ranger that I put together from just a frame and one fender. I don't know the exact age as it had no rear wheel. I have a 1959 AW on it. I would love to have a large frame DL-1 but any I can find are far out of my price range. I keep busy by digging bikes out of the junk and making them into interesting machines. Most have north roads style bars and some are single speeds. I try to ride them all and the locals think I am nuts. Suits me just fine. For better or worse, I do all my own maintenance. |
| Mr JDuck, you sound a bit out of place in that law office.|
I like what you're saying though about the locals thinking you're nuts and you don't care,all sounds too familiar!
If I win the lottery big time I'm going to pay for all the members here to come and sample some British beer,morris dancing and general bikey chat accompanied of course by the newly formed english roadster quartet.
I have been known to shake a mean tamborine after several ales so if the band are still recruiting,,,,,let me know!
A night out like that would definitely be a blast.
Cheers Pete the tamborine man.
| Hey Pete,|
Roll on that lottery win! Mine's a Spitfire, or maybe pnit of Wherry, or Nelson's revenge?
Matthew - so much good ale so little time!
| Just come in from the garage having completely stripped down a 55 rodded Raleigh to the bare bones(frame)!|
I'm just glad I filled the headstock with diesel fuel yesterday so that life was made easier today whilst trying to get the handlebar stem out without damaging it. Is there an easy way of doing this or do they always put up a good fight ?
Anyhow, whilst twisting, pulling, swearing and generally questioning the meaning of life whilst doing the above I couldn't help but notice that my more interesting bikes (in my opinion) are black which made me think of Henry Ford and Ted Crane(Hercules)and no doubt many others.
Were they colour blind or just to busy rolling them off the production line to bother with such a minor matter.
(1) Were other colours available pre I guess the 1930s.
(2) Was there a premium to pay for this if they were available.
(3) Was it the automobile or the cycle industry that made the break through into glamorous colours first.
I think the above questions prove that I've got no cycling history books here............just a pair of oily hands and loads of even oilier but healthy tools !
Steve the novice and Happy New Year when it arrives.
| Once Ford's assembly line was fully operational (mid-teens?) they went to all black because it dried quick enough to not slow things down. Before that you could have a variety of colors.|
| Manny other colors were used.The original color industry came from germany in the form of dyes.I think they were trying to make gun power and ended up with color dye.|
and Old Henry's black was really Japaned(a very dark green or blue)that only looked black.It dryed in minutes.
Manny of the brit bikes were painted black and re-painted a color on order.They were oved dried)You will find a lot of them showing the black through the color coat.
| Hi Folks,|
Early Rudges were often deep red (maroon) Royal Enfields were sometimes blue and Raleighs of all ages were available in, and sometimes exclusively, green.
In England black was fashionable throughout the Victorian period due to Royal preference with primary colours considered garish or vulgar. Red was the fore runner to hi-viz in a less complicated world and was associated with the General Post Office and fire brigades from very early on. Navy blue was just that and a lighter blue was French and we certainly didn't want that did we? Yellow was extremely loud and vulgar best left for fairground roundings and hoardings.
Black was classless and yet gave an air of distinction. White of course was not at all practical.
Matthew - multi-cloured but predominantly pink.
| I did a very stupid thing, needing a ride for a job interview... I made a friend who turned out to be the town turd and I'm sorry I accepted a ride in that car! I had the scare of my life and we nearly died! This person is not going to be near me ever again. Not in my world!|
I will run the other way!
Traveling along the same roads as beloved family and friends are complete lunatics. This fellow could not stay in his lane, went off the road, nearly sideswiped cars, people honked and I screamed and pleaded to be let out! He is taking psych drugs and god knows what else! and loves to drink on top of that. A lot! I persuaded him to pull over and I ended up being a chauffeur. It was that or walk 100 miles back into town. No police anywhere to save me. I'd be grabbing the lapel of the officers coat screaming "Save me!"
The system fails, these goons get behind the wheel and go out regulary and put everybody at risk. I am not going to chaufer him ever again and so, Look out! It's just a matter of time before he kills himself and who ever is unlucky enought to be near him. Hopefully, he'll get arrested. Dear God! The types that are out there driving! I don't miss driving a car. I love my little bicycle. I am safe from the Devils angels that drive.
We need the police to be able to stick a gizmo into the mouth and analyze the leagal and especially illegal drugs, booze in the saliva of a motorist and when the thing lights up like a christmas tree..... put them in jail and take their car and sell it and give the proceeds to the police departments for more bullet proof vests or whatever equipment they need. Finally getting calmed down enough to rest four days later.
Everybody please be careful out there, especially cyclists who have nothing around them.
| The officer walks up and inquires if you have been drinking.|
They need to go a little further...
Are you on mediacation (s)? Do you have a mental history? are you suicidal? are you possessed by devils?
The cops don't ask enough questions!
My old grandmother said it best when she said to "be home in bed before 10 p.m.!"
| I'll have enough money for a car soon and I will have mixed feelings about driving again.|
| Yet another good reason to restore the old Raleigh in the basement ...|
| Did you get the job?|
Matthew - just asking
| Chris... not for nothing, and please don't take this at all as an affront... You're one of the most eloquent folks that I've had the pleasure to observe online. All your posts here are well written... and nearly photographic in their descriptive quality.|
I daresay, you could harvest all your posts on this forum over the years I've been here... string them all together and it would make for a most interesting book! ;-)
That being said... sounds like an harrowing experience... and I'm surely glad you got through it safely.
It's interesting to note... And sometimes many don't think it through... but there are so many circumstances in life where we literally put our lives in the hands of others. 99.9% of the time, it works out... but then you hear of experiences such as the one Chris just went through.... and it becomes nearly un-imaginable how a simple act.. such as getting a lift... can put us in such jeopardy.
Even riding a bike along side the road. A colleague of mine, whilst riding his... was struck by an SUV... he went flying... landed on his helmeted head....
It pretty much was a major life-changing event... as he was never able to return to work... and to this day suffers from debilitating headaches. I'm not real big on helmets for bicyclists... but in this case, I believe it saved his life...
Chris, glad to hear you're OK... let's all hope that for all of us, '08 is a banner year!
Larry "Boneman" Bone
| Update! Thought you'd like to know!|
He got a ticket for 29 over the limit! he was going like 90 miles perr hour! He has a court date! grin! hee- hee! oh, I love it!
I learned this before telling him I won't allow him in my world ever again.
Chris- safe on the bike, alone and safe!
I appreciate your concern. I'll be more cautious.
| I was wondering what was a good look the part tire for a Raleigh sports? I have been running good used tires for some time, those from Kenda that the local shops stock are look undersized when mounted on the Raleigh rims. They look more like 1 1/4" tires than 1 3/8" to me. |
Tire prices online are just out of range, I've seen some listed at $29 and $39 each plus shipping, that puts a pair of tires at $72, I bought 2 tires for my car for less. These aren't high tech or ultra light road bike tires, just plain old blackwall three speed tires. The ideal tire would look correct for the bike and not be so narrow and low that I have to worry about rim damage.
| When I needed tires, I bought a girl's lightweight at a rummage sale for $5, removed a good set of tires and other parts, and discarded the rest. |
| hi Joe,|
if you are in the states then I am given to understand that Wallmart stock the tyres (tires) that you need.
Matthew - its amazing what you learn here!
| Tires at Wal mart have kevlar beads now instead of wire beads and are sold folded up in boxes. Tubes are one size fits all at least for 26 inch tubes.|
Wal mart, the fine folks who brought you China made Huffy bikes, the folks responsible for the closure of the 100 year old hardware/ clothing store in a small town near you.
| There are lots of things wal mart does not carry. Hot pots, electric kettles that heats hot water and other things.|
| No 26x1 3/8" tires in Walmart either. The one here still has some wire bead tires, but their all pretty much low end junk. I tried a pair of 27" tires last year, I couldn't find one that was round, the sidewalls ran into the tread and vise versa. The tubes are pretty much one size fits all in Walmart, but I've seen the same thing with this size in most shops too.|
| Joe & Chris,|
As a UK resident and British citizen I have never shopped at Wallmart and was not making a personal recommendation. We have a Wallmart owned subsidiary over here called ASDA (associated dairies)and I don't shop there at all. How ever I do shop at other big supermarket chains and none are better than the rest. The loss of corner shops and local retail experts in hardware, bicycles, electrical goods etc has been going on all my life and seems no faster now than when I was a boy in the 60s. Bulk buying, poor wages, cartels, out of town retail developments have all contributed to the demise of local shops.
Matthew - mourning but realsitic
| Unfortunately thats the case here too, we have one good bike shop near me, all the others are chain run stores with no really clue when it comes to anything that was built more than a few years ago. I doubt if those that order inventory for places like Walmart have any clue as to what those tires they ordered actually fit, or care for that matter. |
The local shops can't and don't even try to compete, it's nearly immposible to tell or even show the average consumer the difference between a $49.99 bike and one that sells for $400 in a bike shop. All they see is cheap bikes. Most people don't care for their bikes anyhow. I worked in a shop for some time years ago and I was shocked at how many really nice bikes came back for service or repair that were simply stored outdoors all the time. Most died of rust and neglect.
I can't imagine telling someone now that they need two new tires and tubes for their 5 year old bike and it will run them $80+. Most would junk the bike. The cheapest tires in the local bike shop are in the $16 range, and those were super cheap road tires. The majority of bikes sold are comfort or mountain bikes, those tires are higher yet. Most in the $21 and up range, figure another $5 each for tubes and something for labor and I don't see how they stay in business at all.
Part of the problem is that the local bike shops just don't do the volume to be able to buy quantity to be able to compete with the big chain stores.
Another problem is the high mark up lately with the rise in fuel and shipping costs. That and I am sure along with some greed has driven the parts prices up out of reach. I find it hard to believe that a wholesaler needs to sell at a higher price to a bike shop than can be had online to a retail customer. Tires are an excellent example of this.
Hope your Christmas was a good one and that you enjoyed peace relaxation and good company.
I have been reflecting, as one does, and I know already what I'm doing in September 2008. I'm off on another epic ride, probably about 300 miles in all and spread over five days ending in the capital, LONDON, having started in Hunstanton, Norfolk. I will ride the East Anglian (Norfolk, Suffolk & Essex)coast to raise funds for the renown Royal National Lifeboat Institution, which is a wholly voluntary funded lifesaving organisation providing all(bar one) of the UK's all weather life boats and most of the inshore lifeboats too. No UK government money goes to save lives by boat, at sea in British waters.
I will keep you posted about my ride and of course there is only one choice of machine for such a ride. Yes of course, my trusty trade bike! See it on Flickr in the 'working bicycles' group.
Matthew - mad* - for all the right reasons
(*mad = slightly eccentric; not as in US English mad = angry)
| I forgot this link, most important.|
The specific fund I'll be supporting will be 'train one save many'.
Matthew - and so to bed.
| Interesting stuff Matthew and very worthwhile.|
My wife has planned our Boxing Day outing here and I'm glad to say it involves a bike ride of approximately four or five miles to a shop with some vouchers (well you can't have everything can you) !
My dilemma is which bike to use.
Do I use my trusty old emergency friend of twenty five years which my sister found abandoned and gave to me............it's hand painted in Hammerite grey/gray and silver, has standard S/A AW 3-speed and is nothing special to look at but has come to my rescue on many occasion in the past.
I don't even know what make it is although judging by the style of frame number (which is located on the framework above the rear brake caliper assembly)I suspect possibly Puch. When I've figured out how to decrease the size of my 760kb photos I will place it on "readers rides" together with some of my other much older stuff.
So it's a choice between Roadster or Alien ?
Finally, a basic safety tip.
I was fixing the old twenty inch junior Herc the other night and decided to inflate the dodgy looking tyres just to see out of interest where the air would instantly gush out from..............well it didn't.
Well it didn't not until about ten minutes afterwards when the front tyre exploded just as I was dismantling the rod assembly.
Thirty pounds of pressure doesn't sound much to me but when it catches you unaware and hits you in the face you then realise what a fool you've been !
Steve the novice and still learning.
| Hi Steve,|
I too have been hit by bits of flying tyre and have been rendered temporarily deaf by the consequent report. My Dad literally blew up the front tyre on my trade bike when he rescued it. The war grade Dunlop tyre and butyl John Bull innertube gave up after 60 years. Poor show!
Matthew - I'll take the coast road.
| It was a lovely sunny winters day so I chose the Roadster (of course).|
We enjoyed our ride so much that we totally forgot about the shops (ha ha ha).
Question. Why do certain cycle shop assistants look at me as though I've recently escaped from somewhere supposedly secure when I ask for 20" x 1 3/8 tyres ?
Please tell me that they're still produced (even if it's in a land far far away that I'll probably never ever go to) !