Asleep, dreaming

After reading the cycling magazine the cat fell into a deep sleep. As I watched him his back legs started to kick and wheel, like he was pushing pedals, hard. In his dreams he was riding a small bike, resting his forepaws on softly covered handle bars. Cycling up and down the rooves, down into guttering, splashing along, kicking leaves down to the ground. Now he’s going for a wheelie, front wheel pulled up. Leaping the gap between two houses, tail flying like a flag. Eventually, after half an hour of chasing his tail on the bike, round and round in rattling circles, he falls gently into a quiet sleep but remembering his ‘mad cat’ adventures.

Today’s sketch, transport…

Todays ssketch for our band of sketchers prompt was transport…

My old viking queen bike. Bought when I was twenty… I was still cycling a few years ago. Now I’m too nervous so it sits in the living room and gathers dust….Still a great bike, only a small bike frame, but it was chosen because it was just the right size for me. I wish there was somewhere flat I could practice round here…

Bike store

Bike shed

We have wanted a bike shelter for a while. There is not enough room in the shed for bikes and they have been scattered around the garden for months. They are covered up but as the weather deteriorates they will need a bit more cover so we have had this structure built. I’m hoping it will do the trick for the storage of the bikes. If not we might have to go bigger!

Wheels

White walls or black walls, old fashioned bike wheels are getting hard to find. Everything has gone over to metric and the 27 inch and 26 inch tyres of yesteryear are hard to find now. That’s a problem for people like me with little legs. I had 26 inch wheels and when I had my bike rebuilt they put in 700c’s which are ever so slightly larger. That resulted in my saddle being slightly too high. I always used to lay my bike on the floor to get over the frame, but once I stand it up I can’t get on the saddle. I want to lower that, but the bolt had seized… Might try finding a shopper bike!

Watching the tour de France.

As an ex cyclist (I fractured my skull in an accident), I have to say how much I admire the cyclists in the tour. In my healthy days I could ride forty or fifty miles. Now I can’t even get on a bike. I’m old and creaky. I wish I could go back to the old days. I never raced but I did Marshall bike races occasionally. My hubby came third in a tricycle time trial. We used to enjoy touring. After the accident I cycled for a year, then the bike collapsed one day underneath me. It came apart, its brazing below the handlebars had been damaged and suddenly the front wheel was stretching away from me and the pedals cluncked onto the road. I got a car. Big mistake.

Watching the tour brings back those memories. I wich I still cycled.

Posted!

We posted a full size bike (minus its wheels), today. It was a racing bike, but with mudguards so we had to unscrew the back mudguard and twist it tound because it made the bike too long for the box. Then we rotated the handlebars downwards so they didn’t stick out at the side too much (we had tied then at 90 degrees to how they are when you ride) ideally we should have taken off the pedals but we roughly bubble wrapped. So the box is bulging… We also had to take off the saddle. The saddle stem is sticking up a bit so its covered in tape. The whole thing is a bit ramshackle.

Finally we shoved it in the car and drove round into town. We unloaded it out of the and started to carry it 100 yards and round the corner to the post office – which was closed and shuttered!!!!

Grr…. So we drove a few miles to another post office which was open. Bit of a bonus really, the original post office had quoted £30 for next day delivery. But this one quoted £16.50 for second class, arriving next Wednesday. Why not, cheaper and there is no rush.

Box

We contacted our local bike shop because my hubby wants to send his old bike frame to his brother so that it can be tidied up and restored a bit. If we were not nervous about going to visit hir brother, and they were not under a local lockdown, we would have taken it in the car. But no, we can’t travel there as we would not be allowed back!

So this is a HUGE box to put the frame in. It’s about six foot by four? It’s sitting in the living room because it’s too wet to pack it up at the moment. No doubt the cats will try and get in… Sending cats to Lancashire? Not likely!

Old bike spanner

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Funny what you find in the drawer when you are looking for something else. Hubbies bike spanner for tightening up his nuts. It’s a little rusty but still useful. If you turn it nintey degrees it looks like a shocked face! Maybe even like the painting the scream! The other end of the spanner has a curve at the end. I think it is meant to be a tyre leaver to leaver off a bike tyre when changing a tube or repairing it.

I love the old worn look of this spanner, I guess it’s at least forty years old. Sometimes things get put away then turn up when you least expect it.

Vintage

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This was today’s Urban sketchers challenge. Vintage.

My vintage Viking Queen mixtie bike.

Drawing this quickly it makes me realise how hard it is to draw accurate ellipses. This was the bike I bought a few pounds a week from Swinnerton cycles in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, forty years ago. I used it till I was knocked off and fractured my skull. I carried on riding it for a year, but it collapsed because the headset had been damaged in the crash. I took it to be mended and the shop lost the frame. I bought a new bike, but it was the wrong size for me. (my legs are slightly short). I ended up giving the new bike to a friend and learnt to drive. Big mistake. I got my old bike back rebraised about a year after I took it in to the shop. From then on I put on weight. I carried on cycling occasionally, but mainly used the car. The last time I rode my bike was about ten years ago. I’m scared to get back on it as my balance is not good. But I keep it, thinking one day I will have another go….

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Motors on bikes

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In the 1940’s and 50’s people started to motorise bicycles, This is an Auto cycle. Similar to how electrobikes are becoming popular today. The motor on this bike is mounted above the front wheel and runs on the tyre. There seems to be a hub brake at the centre of the wheel and what looks like a light that is running off the dynamo effect of the motor. Apparently it was a 50cc engine and ran on a 26:1 ratio of petrol to oil. I didn’t find out much more as I was looking at this picture upside down and couldn’t see the writing about it. These motorised bicycles then turned into mopeds in later years. The book isn’t my hubby’s. I think it’s called the History of Motorcycles, and also had details of many motorbikes including ones such as the Vincent Blackshadow and the Brough Superior which T E Laurence (Laurence of Arabia) was riding when he died in a motorbike accident.