Two years ago…

The snow was heavier a couple of years ago. You can see the streaks of it falling on this photo. I love the quiet hush as it muffles sound.

But the heaviest snow was several years ago. I remember cycling on a tandem from Stoke to Stone (about eight miles). It was a least thirty years ago and me and my hubby had no car yet. We decided to visit some friends. It started to snow but we were warmly dressed so we got on the main road. But the snow came down thick and fast. I remember a friend who was with us decided to turn round and go home. But we continued along a dark country road through Barlaston and on to Stone. By the time we got there it was like being on a snow plough! We were starting to slide and slip because of the ice and catching the snow with our pedals! There was no other traffic and the snow was illuminated in orange patches by the street lamps. We met our friends and left the tandem at their house. I remember going to the pub and sitting in front of a roaring fire. When we came out there was about two foot of deep snow. We stayed overnight at our friend’s after falling off the tandem when we tried to ride off!

Cycling

I was thinking about when I used to cycle several years ago. I used to be able to ride for miles. Unfortunately I was knocked off my bike and sustained a head injury. When I recovered I carried on cycling, but I did not know the brazing on the front of the bike had been damaged. I was cycling up a hill when the headset and down tube seperated. The front wheel bent forward and the forks collapsed!

I decided to have the bike repaired as I only have short legs, I’d tried getting a new bike, but it wasn’t the right size or shape of frame. Unfortunately the bike shop I took my bike to was a little disorganised. They lost the frame for a year. I didn’t have a bike, so I took driving lessons. By the time I got the bike back I had a job that I had to commute to, so I used the bike less and less. I eventually gave up. I keep thinking I will try and get on my bike again, but my hips and back are too stiff…. Life, sometimes it really gets you down.

My Old Viking Queen

I was talking about this last week and I suddenly found a drawing of it in an old sketchbook. This is a Mixte frame which basically has two top tubes that run diagonally down to the centre hub of the back wheel. Some ladies bikes have a single tube running down to the seat tube (where the seat pillar is inserted into the frame). I’m hoping I’ve got the terms right but its been a while since I used them and I may be wrong.

I was and still am in love with this bike. I could cycle really fast on it. I once came off on a lane in Cornwall. I was chasing my boyfriend (now hubby) and a friend, they had cycled off fast and left me behind. They had seen a pile of washed away gravel in the road and were trying to get back to warn me. I came round a corner too fast, hurtled onto the gravel, tried to brake, and ended up flying through the air over the handlebars. My hubby said I did a somersault! I was very badly bruised. Then wehe we got to the ferry to go back across the Tamar the ferryman would only let two of us on the ferry. We turned round and cycled several very painful miles to get to the Tamar Bridge and back to my friends house in Plymouth, Devon….

Poor old bike

Poor bike. I last road it seven years ago, and since then it’s been gathering dust. I still love it. Its actually the right size (19 1/2 inch frame) for my short legs. But my balance isn’t good and I think I’m shrinking. The bike still has toe clips in that I think my feet might get stuck in…. But… Now I’ve lost weight I might just be able to set it up and use it… Can anyone tell me where to get stabilisers? X

Old hands

Old hands hold tight, remember smooth skin when we first met. Remember missing you when you went away. Riding a motor scooter forty miles to go home for the summer, and you cycled after me.

Smelling blossom when we walked home to the student flats. A stolen kiss. Our history, together. The cats we’ve owned, the cycle rides. Buying a tandem, selling a tandem because the chain kept falling off.

Camping at minus 7 near Clitheroe. Snowy nights. Two pairs of trousers and three jumpers under canvas. Bike trailers and cycle clubs.

Life keeps going. Work, houses, learning. We keep together, stay together.

Old man’s bike

Old man’s bike

Old man’s bike

Has to have pockets,

Man’s old bike

Could be a plant.

Old man’s bike

Oiled and old rusted spokes

Man’s old bike

Malborough County.

Old man’s bike

Elderly wheels

Man’s old bike

With new tyres added.

Old man’s bike

Cycled up the hill.

Old man’s bike…..

He cycled down

Fell off

Landed flat on his back

Arms and legs flailing!

But old man’s bike

Was undamaged!

Trike – restored

The trike is restored! Very pleased, my hubbies tricycle was damaged last week when he turned. One of the back wheels had buckled! The tyre and tube had come off but the tube was still inflated.

We rang a couple of bike shops and were advised to contact Brian Rourke Hand-built Bikes in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent.

We gave them a ring and were told to bring the trike in. When we got there, there was a lot of sucking of teeth and questioning if they could do it? But yes, they would see what they could do. Then on Monday they rang, they couldn’t source the right size wheels, (26″), so they suggested it might not be worth fixing, which was understandable. But I argued that it was a historic machine. It had been ridden in time trials and my hubby had come third in a 25 mile time trial about thirty years ago. It would be a challenge. Also they could maybe use 700c wheel rims and spokes instead? Cue chat with the mechanic. Yes they would order them in.

Yesterday we had a phone call, the trike was done! It’s got 700c rear wheels built onto the original hubs, 32 spokes per wheel. The other back wheel was eaten away with rust so they replaced that too. Also a new 26″ wheel on the front (it has less spokes than the back wheels so they could source that). The wheels are all Mavic. New white walled tyres and tubes on 1 3/4″ rims. Also a new front side pull brake. It cost a lot, but it was worth the money. Call it my anniversary present to him.

X

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…

Off on his trike

Setting out in the sun to meet a friend on his allotment. I got a message later that one of his wheels has collapsed? Luckily it’s only about a couple of miles away. What you can’t see is that he’s on his sandals! I tried to get him to wear his shoes… Weird! I hope the ground isn’t too wet.

He usually wears a flat cap, but when he went to the allotments last week his friend accidentally put a pickaxe through it (it was on the ground). I do wonder if this is something they should be doing! But gardening and exercise is good for mental health, so I suppose it’s good for him. Meanwhile I’m off to get some college work done.

Old touring bikes

Claud Butler and Viking Queen bikes. Looking a bit the worse for wear, in need of TLC. I wish I could still cycle but I’m not very fit and my hips are too stiff to get onto my bike. My hubby still uses his. But I have memories of cycling thirty or forty miles at a time, cycling in the pouring rain, trying to catch trains and missing them so cycling home in the middle of the night. Mending punctures when it was so cold that the patch wouldn’t stick till it got warm when the sun came up. Visiting friends and relatives, visiting beautiful houses and castles. Cycling up massive hills. Lots of memories.