Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking
Too hot in Brisbane..can't sleep at night and thinking of story to accompany picture from another thread that makes you go mmmmm.
After the style of PG Wodehouse...
The younger Lord Wooton was looking quizically, over the top of his kippers, at the Cycling magazine on the breakfast table.
“Really George, its such bad form to be reading like that at breakfast.”
“Rather” agreed his Uncle, staring oddly at him through his pince-nez.
“I’m sorry mater. Not sure where it actually came from.”
He paused briefly in thought. “It does look rather good fun however. I think I’ll ask Bertie to come with, for a ride!”
The first part of a plan was working.
Later that day when George met up with Bertha he was quick to ask her to join him cycling in the countryside. “I say, Bertie it looks like cracking good fun. Look at this picture in the Cycling magazine. Couldn’t you see us picnicking under an oak tree like that?”
“But where would we go George? You are such an enthusiast but you never consider the practical details.”
“Well, there are some lovely places.”
“Undoubtedly, but where my dear chum?”
“What about Avebury? It’s not too far and has a quaint pub.”
“So its pub’s now, not picnics?” She played at looking hurt, then excited “I like Avebury though. It has those standing stones,” dramatically, “It would be fun to reach out and hold onto something so hard and erect!”
There was no response from the Lord. Truly, he was slow witted sometimes and she wasn’t sure what she saw in him. Oh, wait ..she thought to herself…it was the money.
“There is just one little thing though Georgie dear” Bertie quipped with a touch of sarcasm in her voice, “ I can’t ride a bike”
“We’ll soon show you how to mount the iron steed Bertie. Come round to the manor Saturday morning and I’ll have Eccles bring the bicycles out. If you can’t master it, well then, I’ll have him drive us in the Rolls 20hp. One way or another we’ll make a day of it.”
The plan was progressing. She would get him alone and their relationship could move along apace.
There was no question that she would master the bicycle. When she had been in Sussex , teaching at that dreadful girl’s school she was 10mile Time Trial champion of Southern England. It was her greatest pleasure to be disguised in her bicycling livery. In the evenings after teaching those horrid girls she would expunge her mind of work by scorching through the villages of East Sussex. There was not a man who could stay with her up Ditchling Beacon. Once she had anonymously made the newspaper after an incident at high speed with a lady and an infant in a perambulator. She smiled even now to think of the shocked look on the uppity woman’s face. She had left that life behind now though. She had come across to Wiltshire to marry well and marry she would.
On Saturday, Eccles had the bikes clean and ready on the macadam in front of the garages. Bertha had come dressed in simple dress that showed off her slim curves. She deliberately wore heels to complete her appearance as the incompetent novice. George struggled to hold her upright, as over and over she fell back into his arms. She managed to get his hands to stray well up her thighs but he was gormless as a suitor. Damn his chivalry.
Quite suddenly she learned to cycle. The charade had to end if they were to make it alone into the countryside. Bertie didn’t want Eccles’ prying eyes along for a ride in the Rolls Royce.
“Well lets be off then!” announced the Lord grandly. “I shall carry the sandwiches and ginger beer that cookie has prepared for us.“
And so they rode off through the pretty Wiltshire countryside. George was somewhat taken aback at how quickly Bertie could propel herself on a bicycle. He worked to keep up and tried vainly to hide his gasping on the hills. I’ll have you gasping one way or another Bertie thought to herself.
When they reached Avebury they paused at the pub, deciding to have a half pint of lemonade before exploring the stones for a picnic spot. As they emerged they found another cyclist had stopped for some respite.
“I say, Bertie look at that racer”
Bertie was looking. It was a handsome mount with cyclo 3 speed gear. The tyres had been scrubbed so there was just a thin smooth covering of rubber upon canvas. It was a speed machine.
Thinking about other times Bertie dreamt of riding it in her scorching days..things that make you go mmmmm
Meanwhile George was looking at the rider. His eyes roamed over the sculpted calf muscles, the muscular thighs and buttocks ….things that make you go mmmmm
It would take Bertie quite a while to figure out her plans would never succeed and the younger Lord Wooton would only ever be a chum !
went for ride this arvo on the mtb, Sth Boundary Road towards Mt Nebo. 41 when I left, 43 in the forest (thought it would get cooler!) and still 41 at home at 5.30.
Had a nice swim in the creek though.
Yeah.. footage of fruit bats falling out of trees during the day up there.. Sad stuff. I think there's gonna be a lag time between start of new govt's. incumbency and the inevitable drop in temperatures. We must be patient. Oops, political, better watch out. :tapedshut:
Well, no, it's not a pushbike, otherwise I'd be pushing it...
Time for another word picture? Here is one I wrote quite few years ago. It seems more topical now with the royal commission and the Rabobank Team last year riding in plain clothes.
Doesn't matter if you miss the gospel and literary allusions.
He can hear the announcer clearly.
“An incredible effort. What a day it has been. This man has smashed his rivals and thrilled the crowd with his magnificent ride today. It has been a virtually perfect scenario for this amazing athlete. The start today was so close to his home town of Rome as the tour rolled off on the outskirts. His team mates were alongside in their totally black outfits… more reminiscent really of the cassocks of more traditional priests. And his brothers supported him well before he launched the series of blistering attacks over the final hills before this terrible final ascent up the Zoncolan”
He was proud to be in black. No advertising for this team. No corruption. No drugs. It was about pure passion and devotion. Il Papa’s inspired idea was to redeem the Giro d’Italia along with the whole sport of cycling. It had come to reality with an ease and certainty that was surely miraculous.
And today he would pull on the leader’s pink shirt, the maglia rosa. He had only to suffer to the end of the climb. His suffering was a choice. He felt as if he could fly today despite the pain. His legs burned with a holy fire. A gaping mouth sucked air into his lungs. The flailing tongue and foam of spittle told the crowds of his commitment to win on this day. People at a distance might imagine that it was the fastest riders, the strongest and most pure who were most at ease on the Mount of Purgatory. Surely the fastest and strongest suffered least in conquering the final terrace? But when one came up close, like the screaming fans lining the mountain roads, one could see it was in the faces at the front where passion and pain mingled most plainly. Journeymen at the back of the pack have flat grey featureless faces. They are not living, they are just surviving to the end.
The peak of the mountain approaches. The crowds who have been so close on the slopes are now even bigger, though held back by barricades.
He raises his arms in a blessing to the masses.
Then comes the swirling confusion past the line.
Later, with the team, he is wearing the maglia rosa, the bright tunic which separates him from all others.
“Did you hear the way they screamed for you today?”
“Yes they love you.”
“Who do men say that I am?”
“Some shout Fausto Coppi ; others say the spirit of John the Baptist or Bartali is with you”
“But who do you say that I am?”
“You are …
“Father..Father…excuse me, sir!”
The Bishop looked up distantly at the attendant who had gently touched his shoulder. The effects of his short sleep and the dream shrunk back instantly.
“Yes?” He must have nodded off here in the warmth. “Is it time to go?”
“Yes sir. Your plane is ready for boarding.”
The departure lounge was almost empty. It was bulging with a full planeload of travellers when he had arrived at the small country airport, glad of the delay so that he might just sit here for a few moments finally alone amidst the crowd. The warm winter sunshine flooded in through the windows and paled the mere images of life showing on the flat screen TV. He made his way out of the terminal and across the tarmac towards the dash8 commuter.
The wide clear western sky made him pause and smile with wonder.
At the top of the stairs the flight attendant welcomed him, directing him down the narrow aisle to his seat. After settling in he began to ponder his unexpected dream and the strong feelings which lingered.
“Who do men say that I am?”
It was a good question. He had his own maglia rosa to identify him. The bright tunic always attracted a mixture of gazes from a group; the curious, the cynical and even worse, the adoring. But he was just a man. His egoistic dreams of glory in a cycle race were a long way from the hard reality of his job. The politics and physical pain of sport were nothing compared to the church. There were much worse things men did to themselves and to others than cheat in competition. The principalities and powers of ecclesia are infinitely harder to change than a simple sport.
He laughed inwardly at his dream of a team of priests riding to redeem a community. His whole life lately seemed an effort to redeem the church and there were those who would have him cover things up. Mountains are eternal and suffering is inevitable unless one is content to merely watch.
i will pitch posters soon.
i will poach pista's soon.
(Sorry.... can't help it with the word pictures)
Guaranteed for Ever !
Early life is confusing. I was discombobulated and hot then pitted and patted and twisted. Someone took great care painting pin stripes along my tubing. My first real memory was being delivered into a shop. They put me right into the window and I was shiny and beautiful. There was a baby carriage next to me because it was a shop for babies things and bicycles.
I watched the occasional car trundle down the street and the pedestrians going past. When the men knocked off at the workshops nearby a stream of bicycles went past and sometimes a man would stop and look in the window. There was talk of a woman. She was setting a record from Brisbane and she was going to arrive at my shop this weekend.
“A pretty tough sheila!” I heard one bloke remark. But in her picture in the window next to me she looked pretty and glamorous.
She did break the previous man’s record. By nearly a whole day.
It just goes to show what a woman can do when she is determined. I wondered if I would be ridden by a woman. But in the end I was bought by a young apprentice. He rode me to work with all the other bikes going that way. On the weekends we went racing. The showgrounds was a great circle of dirt and we loved the thrill of being among the other bikes on the turn. Sometimes it was onto the train to Gladstone after work on Saturdays. I would wait patiently in the baggage car. When they stopped for water and passengers along the way my apprentice would walk up to the locomotive and they’d make a fire beside the track with some coals from the firebox and have a cuppa. We’d race and spend the night in Gladstone. In the morning we would ride all the way back home. It was a grand adventure and such fun.
Eventually we stopped racing and I just went to work and back again to my owner’s shed. One day I heard an older man say darkly to my owner “Just what we need, another bloody war!” It seemed serious and after that my owner went away. Then it seemed a long time and I didn’t move. I was hung on the wall in the shed. The dust settled on me. The rust started creeping around my rims and along my handlebars. Over time it became crowded in the shed. The mower and I were covered with old furniture and assorted rubbish. There was a new noisy smokey mowing machine and everything was moved over to fit a new car.
One day a boy came in and started moving everything. He was after me. I could hear him talking excitedly with the old man. “Wow..it’s a Malvern Star” I was dragged out and taken away. He tried to ride me even though my tyres were flat and the seat too high. He dragged me all the way to his shed where he and his dad fixed me up. He changed my wheel to a pedal brake. I was worried about my rust but he didn’t mind and we rode everywhere within twenty miles. Sometimes he would have a competition with other boys skidding along the road in front of the house. Clouds of dust and laughter. I would be piled into the bike racks at school and it reminded me of the days I was left with hundreds of bikes in the bike shed at the apprentice’s workplace.
We went to the movies and out to waterholes to swim and down the river with a fishing rod balanced on my bars. I was used everyday for a while. One day we stopped going to school. Gradually I was used less and less. I had a flat tyre and he left me round the side of the house. The rust grew and the rain fell. Weeds grew up through my spokes until one day I was taken to the tip in the back of a ute with a load of rubbish. I felt sure it was the end.
Lying upsidedown in a pile, my Terry saddle rusted almost completely away, the rats and ibis crawled over and around me.
Just as my hope was fading a couple of teenagers came towards me and dragged me off the pile. They took me home and I was recycled. A girl painted me carefully with a brush. I was all flowers and bright colours though not at all like the paint used by the man who had painted me in the shop of my origin. They put on a long seat. A banana seat they called it with a sissy bar too. I didn’t like the sound of that. Instead of simple handgrips on curved bars I had bright metallic coloured flexible grips with tassles on the end of the long and wide “butterfly” handlebar. When I caught sight of myself as we rode past a window I thought I looked ridiculous but the girl who now rode me was as excited as any of my owners. We rode to college and to her friend’s place a lot. One night when I was parked against a fence at a friend’s house, a noisy group of boys suddenly grabbed me. They took me over the river to an old house with a yard filled with junk. The next day they painted me all black, even the handlebars. I started going to high school again. I would be left under that house near the railway line each afternoon. When no one came to ride me, I stayed under that house a long time. Eventually there was only a very old woman living in the house. Then she died and the house was silent.
People came to clean up the yard filled with rubbish. Once again I was piled into a truck with rubbish and taken to the tip. Instead of being put in a pile with all the stinking rubbish I was thrown into a pile with other bikes. One day a workman came and decided which bike went into a big bin and which bike went onto a rack of other rusty bikes. He seemed to chuckle when he saw my butterfly handlebars and banana seat. He put me on the rack and I have been there for years now. I wonder if I will ever be ridden again. Boys walk past talking of making fixies. I’ve been there, done that. My tyres are perished and my rims are rusty but my frame is sound. The other bikes and I wait patiently. Maybe our time will come again.
The highway patrol is not working for those days too, so cyclists better stay indoors the roads will be chaotic
bychosis (bahy-koh-sis): A mental disorder of delusions indicating impaired contact with a reality of no bicycles.
The trick is to train yourself to go into a mini-hibernation for those three days. There's a very simple and foolproof way to do this. I will post details soon.
Sent from my fortified compound
i will roast pickles moon.
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