In the past I've done a little lurking around the edges of the forum so I could read postings that caught my interest, but todayI decided that it would be a good idea to actually sign on as it were.
I'm from New Zealand and I was a teenager when the Beatles 'Sergeant Pepper' album first hit the shops, - so I guess that makes me a somewhat 'senior' rider. I've always loved cycling, - my very first bicycle was an English green and white 'The Perfect' single speed and I covered a huge number of miles on that bike before someone-in-my-family-I-shall-not-name threw it into a skip during a cleanup at home because it was looking old and a bit rusty. Grrrrr.... I've never seen another 'Perfect' after all these years despite doing a fair bit of hunting around.
After mispent years in my twenties and thirties riding a string of New Zealand built 'Healing' 10 speeds much too fast I gave up bicycling for a time, but never entirely lost my fascination with bicycles. In my early forties I came across a lovely red Humber bicycle with the distinctive twin tube Humber fork while digging around in a demolition yard for old light fittings. The Humber was cheap, so it came home with me to the flat I was sharing at the time with a couple of other women. Sadly I have to report that I didn't really get much time to enjoy my Humber (sigh). I had to return to my hometown at short notice and one of my wonderful flatmates put my old Humber out for the bin men
Now I was back at the old family home I found myself a job and because I needed transport I purchased a 2nd hand non-folder 3 speed Raleigh 20 for around $NZ30.00. I went everywhere on that bike, - I even used to take it with me on the suburban trains when I was going further afield and it proved itself to be a thoroughly practical transport solution. Somewhat impractically I replaced the Raleigh with a NOS single speed, 28inch wheeled 'Wu Yang' Chinese ladies roadster bicycle that was a total copy of a 1940s Raleigh. It was somewhat of a pig to take on the train, especially at rush hour, but Oooooooo it was soooooo lovely to ride; - and the gold lined Black paintwork was an absolute delight
Some years went by and traffic became heavier and more frightening so I hung the 'Wu Yang' up in the garage and purchased a 1954 Morris Minor to take me to work instead. Morrie was good around town and she did a great job of handling bumper to bumper traffic. All things being equal a 2006 Whizzmobile is no better than a 50 year old Morris Minor when traffic is at a crawl; - sometimes.... sometimes.... I even managed to get out of second gear and drive for a little while in third
These days I live in a small quiet country town having come to my senses and left the city well behind me. Morrie has been sold to a collector and enthusiast because I simply wasn't making any use of her anymore; - and old Morries do need to be loved, appreciated and driven regularly or they begin to suffer signs of neglect. In a word it was a joy to be able to ride my 'Wu Yang' again on my new hometown's peaceful streets. And it wasn't too long before the 'Wu Yang' had some other bicycles to keep her company
- 1947 Raleigh ladies sports. Single speed, coaster brake, roller lever front brake, 26inch Westwood Dunlop alloy rims, 'Terry' 3 spring saddle.
- 1953 Hercules ladies roadster. SA 3 speed hub with rear drum brake, roller lever front brake, 28inch Westwood rims, 'Wright's Featherbed' saddle, Lucas lighting set. My favourite everyday riding bicycle
- 2005 Indian Hercules ladies roadster converted by me to a tricycle. SA 3 speed hub with coaster brake, 26inch steel Westwood rims at rear, 28inch steel Westwood rim at front, front roller brake. Fully enclosed chaincase. 'Brooks' Supreme saddle, braced front fork. This Indian made Hercules is almost identical in appearance to my English 1953 Hercules, only the English bicycle is finished to a much higher standard and has better quality fittings.
- 1950s 'Wearwell' Club Racer. Fixed gear, 'flip-flop' LeTour rear hub, Weinmann front brake, 27inch 'Rigida' steel rims, Brooks B-17 saddle, Gary Burges alloy stem and handlebars, Bayliss Wiley BB and components. The jewel of my collection
Pre-war Phillips gents bike. Obtained incomplete, but with a very sound fork and frame. Presently being converted into a 'Randonneur' replica.
- 1960s Raleigh Granada gents bicycle in original (but shabby) gold paintwork. 2 speed kickback Sachs rear hub with coaster brake.
- 1960s Phillips gents 'Frankenbike'. Somebody's conversion which I really like to tell the truth. Painted bright yellow, SA 3 speed hub, 26inch steel rims, Shimano alloy sidepulls, unbranded suede leather racing style seat, Maes handlebars. Needs a very good clean, repaint and service, but I've no plains to change the format.
- Prewar ladies and gents New Zealand made 'Empire' roadster bicycles (2). 28inch wheels, coaster rear brakes, roller front brake. The gent's bike had an 'Oryx' leather saddle when I got it and the ladies bike had a Brooks B-17 (!!) - which I don't think is the original somehow
Both bikes need a lot of work, but are essentially sound.
- 1942 Dutch 'Holfa' by 'Veeno' ladies roadster bicycle. Owned by the same family from new and ridden by several generations. Has suffered badly from being stored out of use in a fertilizer shed.
Well that's me,