[CR]My Mentor & His Bikes Visit

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From: "Mark Poore" <rauler47@hotmail.com>
To: Classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2001 22:28:26 -0500
Subject: [CR]My Mentor & His Bikes Visit

Boy what a quick weekend it was. After leaving the Snowshoe area and heading towards Washington, D.C. I encountered several hot spot fires on the hill sides and along side the roads. It has been drier than a pop-corn fart for on now 3 months and with the leaves falling people are getting a bit careless with their burning.

First stop was to see Karen Rawls in Winchester. She took me out to the house to see her wonderful collection of vintage bikes. Many Paramounts, 2 De Rosa's, and her award winning Frejus. There were so many fine bikes she would have to put forth a list of them as I can not recall all of them. There was a new project in the stand, a Eddy Merckx that she got for a song at a swap not too long ago.

After a visit each of the weekend days with my sisters I stopped at Boots house on the way home. 10:00 am and no answer at the door! He first said he would like to head out at 10 then later changed it to 10:30 am. Did he forget about the time change and head out early? After 1 1/2 hours I decided to put the bike together that was in the trunk of the car and go for a short ride and catch Boots after he got back. About 5 miles out I see a rider coming towards me with an unmistakable silhouette, it was Boots. While we didn't ride the 35 miles of his ride together we did get to finish the last five side by side with some chit chat. Plans for the spring are in the making, more on that a bit later.

After going through several photo albums from the fifties and sixties we started the task of taking down the bikes I wanted to shoot photos of. I believe many of the bikes have not been taken off the hooks in the fifteen years since I last had been there. The bikes I was most interested in shooting where the bikes that I have not seen on the CR web-site. Many of the bikes collectors lust after can been seen at almost any show or swap, I was looking to shoot what most have not seen.

He had a Bob Jackson, but I decided not to shoot it as most everyone has seen several. I did shoot photos of the Jack Taylor with the Nervex lugs. And then the first very special bike, a gold plated Condor. Boots said he was told that this was one of two bikes Condor had Gold plated. The lugs on this bike looked very similar to the ones of the Hurlow posted on the CR web-site of Bill Vetter's Hurlow. Just a note here that there were many photos of Bill Vetter in Boot's photo albums as well as many Bill had take, he was always with a camera when he was riding or at the races, he was one of gang back in the good old days. Bill was killed in a car accident many years ago. This has always led me to wonder how and why the Hurlow on the CR website was credited to Bill as he was not alive when it was posted.....thoughtful new owner I would imagine....Thank you who ever you are!

The next bike that many photos were taken of was a Joko track bike made in Holland. Another one of those bikes I have never seen another one of. The frame was made from 531 and had chrome lugs with a good bit of pin striping and a beautiful fork crown.

The prize of the litter or the collection to me was The Higgins! Now Boots will always mention The Higgins when talking about his bikes and I gather that this bike in particular has many memories and rides stored in the tubes. Now when one talks about a bike and refers to it as the Masi, or the Hetchens, or the Paramount we know they are preceding the bikes name with the. That is not the case with The Higgins! On the down tube the transfers clearly read THE HIGGINS. This frame is a beautiful example of days gone by. While the frame could be raced with many of the frames of today none could stand with this frame's attention to detail. The pin striping is the most delicate I have ever seen and all over every tube on the frame. It is in a class of it's own, Angel Hair! The seat stay caps were very unusual as well and last but not least the seat tube The Higgins decal was incorporated with the 531 decal that had a stunning effect. It is nothing short of a work of art!

I will be a few weeks before the photos are back from the lab and then off to Dale. In the mean time if there are any of you out there, in particular our British Isles friends, that might be able to shed some light on this marquee that would be great. If you would like me to e-mail you some digitals photos of The Higgins please e-mail me off list. Those photos are not great, but until the 35mm shots come back from the lab they will have to do.

Take care and may all you pedals strokes be round ones,