(Example: Books:Ron Kitching)

Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 02:31:00 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Michael Toohey" <B50@veloemail.com>
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Subject: [CR]None

Hi everyone,

I'm new here (though I've known about the rendezvous for some years) and I see that it is appreciated if I introduce myself, so here goes nothing. Skip to the bottom if you're bored and just want some opinion.

I'm a bicycle mechanic from the old school, meaning I can fix an AW (though we don't see too many these days) repair a steel frame and repaint it in the colour of your choice. I don't do Aluminium, that's for Gordon the welding specialist around the corner; it's not that I'm anti the stuff, I just don't have the skills with a TIG. I did repair a carbon frame for an impecuneous ironman once using some glue and a big block of wood but that, I understand, is getting off topic.

Working in a bikeshop which has been going for over sixty years causes a bit of interesting machinery to come my way now and again. Some of the stuff which may interest fellow enthusiasts is as follows:

ca1930 The Ruby. Made right here in Rangiora by Mr. Owen Alfred. He still had the shop when I was a wee feller in the 1970s. I'm slowly restoring this one. next job: building up the woods.

ca1936 Jones Special. Built and sold by Jones Cycles, Christchurch, NZ. http://www.fixedgeargallery.com/2005/july/MichaelToohey.htm

1956 J. Parsons track tandem. Built for the US '56 Olympic team but never used (Schwinn built them some Paramounts). Discovered by Norm Drexel, then of Bud's Bike Shop, Ca., who converted into typical 70s touring tandem spec! Enthusiastic stokers only need apply.

1954 and 1956 5 star and 2 star. Neither of these fine machines have transfers, but they do have stars brazed onto the head tube Malvern Star style. In fact I thought the 5 star was a genuine Malvern Star 5 Star Dural Racer but the detail differences are too numerous. Malvern Star had a lot of cachet here in NZ and there was even an associated firm making a bike in Christchurch called Austral Star, which featured a map of Australia brazed to the head tube. These two frames could well have been built in that factory for Jones Cycles who liked to use stars on their frames but had stopped building their own frames by the '50s, but I'm still just guessing. I've fitted the 5 star out as a club tourer with an FC hub, Bluemells Lightweights and a BIG saddlebag. I took it out for a 4 hour midwinter jaunt over shingle (gravel) roads and rolling hills today, it performed flawlessly despite the driving rain (got to love that dinky little Bluemells celluloid mudflap, it's fragile but it works).

ca1984 Tom Board tourer. My baby; bought 3rd hand for a ridiculous song. Tom Board is one of the most under-known builders out there. In my line of work I've seen alot of frames with their paint off and his fillet brazed beauties are way up there in terms of craftmanship. The Board rides like a dream and has taken abuse way beyond the call of duty. See the Classic British page for a profile of this unsung hero.

1989 bonded Aluminium Japanese-home-market Panasonic. I know it's off topic, but it's actually great to ride and an interesting evolutionary step between the old-world craftmanship of steel and whatever the heck it is they're doing now. And you can't complain about the quality, the Panasonic survived 10 years of being chained up on the streets of Tokyo with its finish perfectly intact and the seatpost slides home like a trombone slide. When I want to ride an almost modern, this is it.

Well that's some of the stuff anyway.

One thing I'd like to say if anyboy's still reading, all this talk about tubs versus clinchers seems to miss one thing, many, many classic bikes were fitted out with tyres other than tubs. OK, a 1965 Cinelli Super Corsa would look a little wrong on anything else, but what about a Rene Herse 650b cyclo-campeur or a 1950 Raleigh Lenton Sport? Today I ran on 27x1 1/4 block pattern high pressures (clinchers in transatlantic parlance). I even have a set of Cyclo wheel holders, devices which bolted to the front axle and allowed a fresh pair of (tubular) wheels to carried to the race while the bike was fitted with training/touring HPs for the ride to and from; standard practice for poor English clubbies in the postwar era.

Michael Toohey Rangiora North Canterbury New Zealand (where it is winter, Brrrr).

_____________________________________________________________ VeloEmail.com - Free email for cyclists and cycling fans. Get your own free email address at http://www.veloemail.com today!

Roadcycling.com - Cycling info as it should be. http://www.roadcycling.com - Cycling news, results, product reviews, interviews, forums, and even more.
- - - - - - -