Archive for ‘Bicycle’

August 21, 2016

I’d like to buy the World a Coke

The Grand Hotel – back from a weeks much needed vacation touring Michigan. We spend a night at the much lauded establishment on Mackinac Island, where only hotlrses and bicycles are used for transport. I spied this vintage Coca Cola delivery bike in the the foyer in red paint and shiny bell. 

Oh, and the roads in Michigan are wonderful, I now need to plan a motorcycle trip there someday…

March 27, 2016

Is that a real bicycle or a Sears bicycle?

The Rebel Yell! We had a day trip to Milwaukee today, where the Museum of Art has been reorganized with a new layout for their modern collection. I spied this cracking bicycle devised by Wisconsin industrial designer Brook Stevens. A basic trailing arm front suspension, double rear wheel caliper brakes, stick gear shifter, comfy banana seat, and a noodle of a shape to the handlebars. 

December 20, 2015

Under the Tree

  Some form of two wheeled transport is always wished for at Christmas. If I was a young ‘un back in the early sixties I want one of these. Red Triumph Thunderbird inspired pedal motorbike. I bet many a motorcyclist started out like this! Pillion capabilities too. 
This one was sold recently on EBay for $175. 

December 17, 2015


One of my old trusty fixed gear bikes.. Now long gone after an abrupt meeting with a car door. It was a steel framed Schwinn and 27″ wheels the rear being a flip flop fixed gear on one side and freewheel the other. Great for nipping around the City and up and down the Lakefront.

October 25, 2015

The Quiet Man

Maureen O’Hara who passed away yesterday was a feisty and beautiful Irish actress who met the leading men of the day as their equal. Here she played Mary Kate Danaher who was John Wayne’s love interest in what was my granda’s favorite film. One of the best scenes is when the Duke’s character ex boxer Sean Thornton has an epic fistfight with Mary Kate’s crabby brother.  


January 22, 2015

Round and Round

Old bicycles have beautiful features that hark to the craftsmanship that went into these popular modes of transport. The chairing where the pedals attach typically have the name or logo of the maker. Here’s Triumph.


Look at that rod operated rear brake and the rubber tread pedals.

January 20, 2015



Martin Luther King Jr. Would have been 86 today. He gave a heartbeat,  voice, and power to the unqual citizens. Promoting human rights to a minority. He has a dream that lives on.
This cycling image shows the humility of  the man.

December 8, 2014


December 8th is Jim Morrison’s birthday, but more poignantly was the date John Lennon was shot in New York City 34 years ago.


He was of course a great bicycle rider. From Liverpool to NYC…
“As a kid, I had a dream – I wanted to own my own bicycle. When I got the bicycle, I must have been the happiest boy in Liverpool, maybe in the world. I lived for that bike. Most kids left their bikes in the backyard at night. Not me. I insisted on taking mine indoors and the first night I even kept it in my bed.”


August 11, 2014



He could make you laugh so hard you’d cry; he could make you cry hard too. From off-planet Mork, to on-air hell-raisin Vietnam DJ Cronauer , influential teacher Keating at a stiff prep school in Dead Poets Society, a dogged doctor in Awakenings; his ragged professor of Good Will Hunting a true zenith of roles. And more. Stand-up to the heights of a frenetic manic colossus. He rode and collected bicycles too.


“O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,

The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,

The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,

While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;

                  But O heart! heart! heart!

                   O the bleeding drops of red,

                    Where on the deck my Captain lies,

                                  Fallen cold and dead…”
Walt Whitman

August 7, 2014



My Pa dug out this old snap of me on my chopper bicycle. Not your common or garden Raleigh but an esoteric 5-Speed big chunk of a ride. Before I got my racer this was the mode of transport around Wooler. My trouser leg is tucked into my sock – Classic!

April 10, 2014

Charles Benoit et Abel Bardin 1922


Once the largest motorcycle manufacturer in France Motobécane was crucial to Gallic all two-wheeled transport for over half a century. Literally “motorized” “bike” its logo is quite striking with the capital “M” and facing Mercurial or Hermes heads. I saw this on a locked up bicycle today and had to capture as part of my ongoing collection of M’s (my wife’s name begins in this strong symmetrical letter).

January 7, 2014

Of Stamp & Toy


This small cast metal toy motorcycle has a clunky charm to it that would surely fill any youngsters imagination with two wheeled deeds of daring-do. Indeed it has a striking resemblance to the noted stunt team of the Royal Signal Corps.

Here’s a First Day Cover type commemorative posting of a Royal Mail stamp with the classic Triumph and uniformed white helmet rider tearing across the mailing in fine style. This actual mailing was even more special using Forces mail to an Earls Court Cycle exhibition in 1980. Charming stuff…

August 11, 2013

Welsh invention

Though seen use from Egyptian stone block moving with trunks and Leonardo da Vinci sketches for his helicopter air-screw rotation; it was the development and patent of a Welsh ironmaster Philip Vaughan that the modern ball race bearing was created. Its 1794 timing came at an ideal moment for the burgeoning Industrial Revolution. However it was Frenchman Jules Suriray who patented the first ball bearing. Used to great low resistance rolling effect by Englishman James Moore astride his velocipede in the first Paris-Rouen road race later that year.


Bearings are of course very important in ALL wheeled and powered contrivances: today I measured for and ordered the bearings for the Cub wheels (two for each) and the crank shaft and main gear shaft.


However a bearing is only as good as its lubrication and cleanliness… Spin Doctor

June 1, 2013

Tool o’ the Day

You can take apart an old Raleigh 3 speed with this spanner multi-tool. From the pedals, bottom bracket lock ring, brake cable adjusters to the handlebar stem nut. It came in handy for my Cub fork dust cap. It needed the backbone c-spanner to fit a notch. A clout wi’ the hammer and jobs a good un.


It’s simple, elegant and serves its purpose with no fuss or breakable plastic bits.

May 6, 2013

A Heron Badge

Nottingham England, a well known logo emblazoned on the head tube of the many bicycle models offered over the years by Raleigh. Named after the original street the first bikes were manufactured on they went to the far corners of the world as efficient transportation.


The ‘R’ is a very recognizable icon seen on Roadsters, Choppers, Grifters, racers, mountain bikes, folders, trikes and 3-speeds galore. I’ve done thousands of mikes on Raleigh’s from my first racer (see blog entry a few days ago) to a mountain bike I commuted in London on, and toured Ireland with. Good bikes!