3 is a magic number

Just a quick entry today; I’ve just come home from picking up my next project which is an Elswick Hopper Safeway town bike circa 1970-something.

And here she is! A beautiful shade of an almost metallic red with steel full wrap mudguards, chainguard and rear luggage rack. The Union dymano powered lights still work perfectly (well, as perfectly as they ever did!) and the 1974 3 speed Sturmey Archer rear hub shifts as nicely today as the day it left the factory.

Overall, the paintwork is in pretty good shape for its age although there are some scratches and chips here and there so it is tempting to repaint the frame but that would mean losing all of the original detailing like this rather nice bit of lettering on the chainguard… I’ll have to have a think and see how well it cleans up before I go anywhere near the wet and dry.

There was an additional odd little bonus to be had with this bike. As I was just about to leave the place I’d bought it from, I spotted this old French tin plate advertising sign up on the wall which I just had to have. Parting with whatever small change I had in my pocket (about ¬£2.73) just seemed like the thing to do! My girlfriend who was waiting with the car gave me one of those “What the hell else have you bought now?” looks as I carried it towards her… She was already annoyed that I’d bought another bike project, I think. But, I’ll ask you what I asked her the other day: Would you prefer I bought old bikes or had affairs?

I thought so.

Anyway, this one (like the Coventry Eagle that went before) is just too small for me so it’s another restore, make cool and sell on job but I haven’t quite decided what I’ll do with this one. Happily the wheels are in great shape and, being 26″, give me plenty of tyre options and the one thing that’s for certain is the bars and stem are coming off too… It may just end up being a laid back cruiser… white wall tyres, anyone?

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Welcome one and all to my new blog!

It’s still very much under construction and I’ll be adding to it from time to time, hopefully on a fairly regular basis.

It’s designed to be a blog about all things cycling related; kit I’ve used that works well, kit I’ve used that doesn’t work so well, the lowdown on some of the best and worst cycle routes I’ve found and the occasional custom bike build.

I’m an avid, albeit fairly average, cycist putting roughly 4000 miles a year on the clock between commuting to work day in & day out, messing about at the weekends and a bike tour or two each summer with my best friend.

I’m forever on the lookout for cool stuff that works well, last a long time and won’t break the bank; sometimes I get it just right and other times, I get it spectacularly wrong! So, hopefully I can share some of my experiences with you and save you some of the hassle along the way.

Each blog post will come with one of my favourite bits of music attached and, while you’re listening along, why not have a mooch around the existing pages on here and let me know what you think of my bikes.

Please feel free to share this blog with your friends and family and hey, join in the madness with a comment here and there; maybe you know of a decent bit of kit or somewhere cool to ride your bike?

Thanks for visiting and, happy cycling!