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.

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.