[CR]Re: Paris-Brest-Paris on 1948 Rene Herse tandem

Example: Books:Ron Kitching

From: "Mike Dayton" <mdayton1@bellsouth.net>
To: <Classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Date: Mon, 8 Sep 2003 21:15:16 -0400
Subject: [CR]Re: Paris-Brest-Paris on 1948 Rene Herse tandem

Thanks for that report, Jan. In fact, there were quite a few on-topic bikes at PBP -- but many of their riders, like me, were bringing up the rear a full day behind you! I rode a circa 1972 Silk Hope "Perfect Pleasure" frame -- the one that is on the McLean/Silk Hope link on Classic Rendezvous' USA builder's link: http://www.classicrendezvous.com/USA/McLean_D_Borden.htm. I acquired it from listmember Dan Borden several months ago and built it up with PBP in mind, using a mix of old and new parts, as well as fenders. I also used a SON dynamo hub. The bike handled beautifully, a testament to the care and craftsmanship McLean put into his frames. Yes, there were mostly newer bikes in evidence, but a healthy minority of the 4,000 riders chose vintage rides. Before the start of the event, I walked among the hundreds of bikes in racks outside the St. Quentin gymnasium and saw dozens of old English, Italian and French machines. Herses, Singers, Bianchis, Raleighs, Merciers, Longstaff racing trikes, and older frames by makers I was unfamiliar with. In the "flame-keeper" department, I saw lots of Rivendells as well as a Richard Sachs bike. The British riders in particular turned out in force with a vintage fleet, many on frames from small custom builders. My favorite, though, was a repainted 1960s Holdsworth, complete with the fork lamp bracket, about four inches of rake in the fork and a beautiful headbadge. The owner told me the rake provided an extraordinary degree of comfort. A dozen or more riders rode fixed gears, including one fellow on a Claud Butler who said he was forced onto his "back-up" bike because he broke his "good" bike on a 600K qualifier when the seat tube snapped in half, forcing an emergency repair with a strap. I rode for long spells with British riders, including one on a new Flying Gate. They recognized the English influences in the Silk Hope, and we spent the better part of an hour talking about the vintage bikes each of us had at home in the basement. I've since corresponded with one who is restoring a 1948 fixed gear for his father-in-law. On the third day of the event, I rode for several hours with a five-time finisher from Tennessee who was on a Mercian he'd purchased in the early 1980s. He bought it at a time when fenders were required on PBP. For me, PBP proved to be the event of a lifetime, in part because it was the largest collection of vintage bikes I've ever seen outside of the Cirque. It was great to see them in motion and set up for pure functionality.

Mike Dayton
Raleigh, NC