Thursday, 24 December 2015

Merry Christmas - Joyeaux Noël - Weihnachtsgrüße

I would like to take the opportunity to wish all my readers 'seasons greetings' from this corner of Ireland.  The weather has not been that kind of late with one storm system after another depositing lots of liquid sunshine outside. With the strong winds, the only variation appears to be the 'angle of attack' of the liquid stuff. 2015 has been very wet and I would expect the yearly average to be at least 130% above the statistical mean.

Despite the gloomy weather, things move on apace and 2015 did see one or two highlights for me.  I did manage to get my Goeland Randonneuse out a few times for a run.  I really like the way the bike rides. Frame is 531 tubing and bike came equipped with 650B Michelin 'World Tour' tyres.  They are amber wall tyres and it is over 30 years since my bike was equipped with Michelin 'World Tour' tyres, so the clock has been well and truly wound back.  The Goeland dates from 1960 but the rear derailleur was updated in the 1970s to a Huret 'Duopar' long cage mech.  The only thing I have added to the bike was a Lion Bellworks engraved brass bell.  I really like these and unlike the alloy 'ping' bell that equipped my racing bike in the 1970s, this one has a loud, lingering melodious ring.  Despite it's efficacy for those of normal, unobstructed hearing, the bell's performance is limited, especially where joggers and walkers are concerned, those who are plugged into their personal music player but 'tuned out' of the real world.

A friend completed two restorations over the winter of 2014/15.  The first was a 1938 Saxon Twin Tube.  His reason for wanting another Saxon was the fact his father ran a cycle shop before and after WW2 and was an agent for Saxon.

His second bike was even more personal.  It was a Hill Special from Padiham, Lancashire and was one of four frames his father had bought to sell through the shop in the early 1950s.  The bike was one of these four and had one owner from new.  He was able to buy it back from the owner as he had got too old to ride it. The bike was actually built up by his sister and given the 'once over' quality control check by his father to make sure the bike was up to spec before it left the shop.  Components are original to the bike and have been re-chromed and polished where required.

The staff at the Springhill Cycle Collection have received a new recruit in keeping with the ethos of the collection.  Meg, a rescue dog, has joined the staff in a supervisory role. Apart from watching, to make sure the restorations are up to standard, she has undertaken the onerous task of dealing with the dodgy catering. She has to be let into this role slowly.....