Cecil Walker Motorpaced

Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking

Cecil Walker Motorpaced

Postby europa » Sun Dec 02, 2007 9:31 am

Now for something interesting from 5 Star Rolf.

Tell us about her mate.

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Last edited by europa on Sun Dec 02, 2007 9:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
I had a good bike ... so I fixed it
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by BNA » Sun Dec 02, 2007 9:33 am

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Postby europa » Sun Dec 02, 2007 9:33 am

Are those wooden rims on that bike?

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Postby tallywhacker » Sun Dec 02, 2007 6:56 pm

looks like thats an old stayers bike used behind a derney. definately look like wooden rims and from the markings on the front rim looks like the previous owner used to wrap cloth around the rim and tube which was then shellaced. This was to stop the tube from rolling off the rim.

http://davesbikeblog.blogspot.com/2007/05/stayers.html
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Motorpace special...

Postby 5 Star Rolf » Sun Dec 02, 2007 7:25 pm

europa wrote:Are those wooden rims on that bike?

Richard

Hey Rich,
I just placed a front wood into the rear for the pic...the actual front rim/wheel is as found with frameset, sporting Harden bacon slicer. The bars and stem were just a set I had kicking around...not really appropriate, - again for the quick pic. Stem looks rather precarious actually! I'll probably fit a period Major Taylor and suitable bars.
The previous owner did say it was fitted with a rear wooden rim too and yes tw, they were bound to avoid 'slip'- good observation. :idea:
Frameset is believed to be 1936-39 according to its previous owner, its just very unfortunate he didnt have any of its original parts. One very nice aspect is the decals, the British Tube Mills Reynolds 531 Aircraft quality tubing...the majestic Cecil himself with original shop address!
Original hand painting in gold certainly looks classic against the black, - this bike is one of my favorites! I am yet to peice together some inch pitch and a few other vintage parts to finish it...in as original style as possible of course! Not a ridable concern however another steed for the stable!
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Postby Kev365428 » Sun Dec 02, 2007 7:38 pm

What can you tell us about the 4 bottles of plonk in the foreground?

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Postby Kid_Carbine » Mon Dec 03, 2007 3:21 am

Note that the motorcycles were specially modified for this purpose. The saddle was set back as far as possible & the riders rode in the most upright position possible. The handlebars were extended right back so that the rider could control his mount while almost standing up which was done to break the wind as much as possible for the cycle rider. The motorcycle rider was sometimes selected on the basis of his size. The bigger & bulkier the better for this reason.

They usually used large V twin motorcycles, like Big X, Indian, Harley Davidson, Brough Superior & others as these were much more stable to ride & the low compression engines with heavy flywheels were much more controllable, needing only the slightest throttle adjustment to allow just a few more revs, or a few less. The last thing they needed was a bike that accelerated or decelerated too quickly as this would screw it up for the cycle rider, so a modern superbike would be a total waste of time.

The forks may appear to be in backward in the bicycles, but they are in fact correct & a smaller front wheel was normal to get the rider down behind the motorcycle. The cyclist needed only to see the mark in the middle of the roller behind the motorcycle, so looking up to see where he was going was not necessary since the motorcycle did all the navigating & I have seen pictures where the roller was just behind the motorcycle's back wheel to try & get the bike right behind the human windbreak.

To watch a team in action is a true joy with smoothness, stability & fluidity of motion the hallmarks of a great team.
Bring back the motorpace events.

Image

As for 5 Star Rolfs machine, it will be wonderfull to see it rideable again & yes Richard, of course the pre war wheels were wood as only the best would be good enough, but singles tyres for the smaller fronts are no longer available.

The Harden Bacon Slicer hub is regarded by some as the best ever made, but it's a post war creation. The original hubs in this bike were quite possibly Airlite small flange as these were regarded to be about as good as they got in the prewar era.

This image is from 1906. Note the position of the roller & the human barn door on his motorcycle that has no clutch & no gears.
The reversed fork & smaller front wheel had yet to be adopted.

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Postby MichaelB » Mon Dec 03, 2007 10:03 am

What is the whole idea of motor pacing ?

I have been fortunate to see some of Rolf's gear, and impressive it is.

I am still hankering after that Pogliagli (hope I spelt it properly) Track bike that he has.
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Postby tallywhacker » Mon Dec 03, 2007 10:48 am

this is from the the UCI track regulations. Before the regulations the motorpacers used to bulk up by wearing several jumpers/jackets. Ended up looking like the Michelin man.
Attire of motor-pacers
3.6.052 Motor-pacers shall wear a leather jacket of the following dimensions:
- length of the back without collar 67 cm
- width of the back at sleeve level 45 cm
- width of chest at sleeve level 35 cm
- circumference of chest taken under the arms 120 cm
- circumference of the bottom of the jacket 120 cm
- length of sleeve from shoulder seam to elbow 60 cm
- circumference of sleeve around biceps 40 cm
- circumference of sleeve around wrist 28 cm
- circumference of collar 44 cm
- height of collar 3.5 cm
3.6.053 The collar shall be closed by two hooks. The jacket shall zip up the back (from the bottom up).
3.6.054 The jacket may not be opened during the race or in any way modified for the purpose of favouring a rider.
3.6.055 Pacers shall wear leather trousers, without gaiters, and of the following dimensions:
- length of outer leg 94 cm
- length of inner leg 68 cm
- circumference of waist 102 cm
- circumference of hip across the buttocks 114 cm
- circumference of thigh 72 cm
- circumference above the knee 48 cm
- circumference below the knee 36 cm
- circumference of calf 40 cm
- circumference of ankle 30 cm
3.6.056 The leather trousers shall also have a 22 cm wide cloth belt with, to the rear and pointing downward,
a rubber tail 48 cm long by 9 cm wide.
3.6.057 The trousers shall have no openings other than on the outside of each leg, running 40 cm up from
the ankle. These openings shall be secured by zip fasteners closing from the top down.
3.6.058 The trousers shall be held up by straps crossing and secured behind with rubberised loops.
3.6.059 Under their leather suits, pacers shall wear only a light, tight-fitting jersey and cyclist’s racing shorts.
The jacket must close without straining the seams or the zipper. The jerseys shall be of equal thickness
throughout and may in no way be padded. There may be no openings in underclothes and jerseys.
3.6.060 Pacers may wear only one pair of socks. They must be held up by suspenders.
3.6.061 Only normal-size, fully enclosed leather boots shall be permitted.
§ 4
UCI CYCLING REGULATIONS
E0107 TRACK RACES 63
3.6.062 A rigid helmet shall be worn at all times during racing and training. It may not be unstrapped or
removed during the race. Ear-flaps, which may be fixed to the helmet, may not protrude by more
than 1 cm by 3 cm.
Attire of moped pacers
3.6.063 All pacers shall wear the same attire:
a) a light, short-sleeved pullover
b) a clinging rider’s jersey with patch pockets; long sleeves shall be allowed; the commissaires
may permit the wearing of a supplementary racing jersey
c) shorts (tight black descending to mid-thigh)
d) special black shoes known as “cyclists’ shoes” and all-white or all-black socks
e) a pair of racing gloves or a pair of normal unlined gloves but not gauntlet gloves
f) a moulded shell hat of the type worn by stayers; it may have neither ear-flaps nor leather, felt
or cloth strips that could act as artificial wind-breakers.
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Postby Kid_Carbine » Mon Dec 03, 2007 1:24 pm

tallywhacker wrote:this is from the the UCI track regulations. Before the regulations the motorpacers used to bulk up by wearing several jumpers/jackets. Ended up looking like the Michelin man.
I presume that this means that even the size of the motorcycle rider is controled since he must fit exactly into the clothing as specified in the regulations, or are these 'maximum' sizes.

Even if that were true, where does it leave a big man? If the clothing is too small for the motorcycle rider, then surely they can't ban him from riding, that would be discriminatory. No other person in the entire cycling fraternity is regulated for physical size, particularly the rule makers.

I just love the sound of the big V twins & the sight of a paced rider at full speed from back when it was less regulated.
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Streamlining...

Postby 5 Star Rolf » Mon Dec 03, 2007 1:29 pm

MichaelB wrote:What is the whole idea of motor pacing ?

I have been fortunate to see some of Rolf's gear, and impressive it is.

I am still hankering after that Pogliagli (hope I spelt it properly) Track bike that he has.

Hey MichaelB
I will keep the Pogliaghi, its complete and all original which is getteing rare these days!

The CW I shall also keep , - yet to be restored.
As KC pointed out, that front bacon slicer is more of a 50's concern - I wont eliminate it from the resto, I will merely introduce a rear Harden to make the set...reason being it will upset that fragile front wood too much. the Hardens look extremely vintage anyway.
I'm no expert on Motor-paced nor 'Tandem-paced' racing however I believe the idea was to eliminate resistance as much as possible in that of a streamliner effect so as to achieve maximum distance gain within a nominated time limit.
For example Opperman rode a record 865 miles in 24 hrs and then furthered with another record 1000 miles in 28hrs.
A sensational style of riding to watch though extremely foul to smell the exhaust fumes...It makes for an unhealthy sport which is probably why it was minimised.
Keep hunting, ride safe - 5*R :wink:
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Re: Streamlining...

Postby Kid_Carbine » Mon Dec 03, 2007 2:01 pm

5 Star Rolf wrote:As KC pointed out, that front bacon slicer is more of a 50's concern - I wont eliminate it from the resto, I will merely introduce a rear Harden to make the set...reason being it will upset that fragile front wood too much. the Hardens look extremely vintage anyway.
5*R :wink:

Is the front rim really that fragile? I just tallied up 21 wood rims in my collection. Some are mechanically damaged from impact [all rears] & these would be regarded as fragile, but the others, some of which are badly warped [but hopefully saveable] are all structurally sound. None have any wood rot or borer infestation, which I'm told was a problem in the UK & in the Continent, & they are surprisingly strong.
Most people are quite surprised at just how light a wood rim can be too.

If you have a matching Bacon Slicer rear hub, then go for it as it will look great, but all of the Hardens that I have seen in Australia so far have been made for freewheels, while most of them in the UK seem to be for set gears, [fixed] so if you don't have a suitable hub yet, then that would seem to be the place to go looking.
Apparently only one export shipment of Hardens ever left old Blighty & they were the ones for Bruce Small who made them optionally available on 5 Star models in the late 40's & early 50's, as well as wholesaling them through his other business. [General Accessories?]

You have a wonderfull piece of history there & i look forward to seeing it completed.
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Re: Streamlining...

Postby MichaelB » Mon Dec 03, 2007 3:19 pm

5 Star Rolf wrote:
I am still hankering after that Pogliagli (hope I spelt it properly) Track bike that he has.

Hey MichaelB
I will keep the Pogliaghi, its complete and all original which is getteing rare these days!
[/quote]

Bugger. Probably couldn't afford it.

Still after something which is 1966 vintage though ....
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Re: Streamlining...

Postby 5 Star Rolf » Mon Dec 03, 2007 9:51 pm

[/Apparently only one export shipment of Hardens ever left old Blighty & they were the ones for Bruce Small who made them optionally available on 5 Star models in the late 40's & early 50's, as well as wholesaling them through his other business. [General Accessories?]
You have a wonderfull piece of history there & i look forward to seeing it completed.[/quote]

Cheers KC, I have several Hardens, low, high, fixed n free so that was an easy choice, - not sure about Bruce Smalls shopping lists though, - didnt he claim BSA stood for; 'Bruce Small,Australia'...yet an entrepreneur riding Oppy's wheel... or is it shirt tails....now that is motorpacing!
I have collected many wood rims in the past, the only ones that still look and function well are those I havent tampered with too much. Its a lesson to be learnt with woods and it takes a few frustrating attempts of resurrection to comprehend that these laminated beauties were not made to be repaired easily. I prefer to leave it be.
- Hey Kev - that plonk just keeps it all real, - you may see me ride past on a Sunday afternoon with one of those fine reds in my bottle cage! 5*R
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Postby LittleWheelsandBig » Tue Dec 04, 2007 1:52 am

tallywhacker wrote:looks like thats an old stayers bike used behind a derney.


A Derney is a moped, usually pacing normal track bikes (or in Bordeaux-Paris, road bikes). Bikes with reversed forks were paced by motorbikes, with seated motorcyclists early on but standing motorcyclists give a better draft. Motorpaced events in the last 20 years have pushed the roller as far back as possible to limit speed.
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Re: Streamlining...

Postby Kid_Carbine » Tue Dec 04, 2007 2:47 pm

5 Star Rolf wrote:, - didnt he claim BSA stood for; 'Bruce Small,Australia'...yet an entrepreneur riding Oppy's wheel... or is it shirt tails....now that is motorpacing!

It's my belief that it was Bruce Small that made Oppy the legend that he became.
Bruce Small was a shrewd businessman & he knew a good thing when he saw it & without the almost 'money no object' sponsorship that Oppy received, I don't believe that Oppy would have had the best machinery that money could buy under him, I don't believe that he would ever have raced in the TdF, or had the opportunity to do even a fraction of the things that sponsorship allows.
Needing to go to work & make a living really sucks when one has talent like Oppy had.
Oppy would have become one of the cycling greats in Australia on his own, but with Small he became a global legend.

So it was a two way deal that worked for both. Bruce Small paid the bills, lots of them, & it gave Oppy the chance to be the world wide Legend that he rightly became. The spin off is that he rode bikes with BSA & Malvern Star names on them which generated sales the likes of which nobody in Australia could match.
Business is business.

It was Oppys fame that allowed him to be invited to be the candidate for the seat of Corio for the Liberal party & it was his fame that ensured that he was ellected in this blue ribbon Liberal seat, so he also had a parliamentary career after he retired from competitive cycling, but it was Bruce Small that all but gifted him the fame in the first place by ensuring that he had every opportunity to ride & race all over the world with the best equipment & best backup that could be provided at the time.

In the business world there are those that regard Bruce Small as a bastard, .... but he was a shrewd one.
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Re: Streamlining...

Postby 5 Star Rolf » Tue Dec 04, 2007 9:04 pm

It's my belief that it was Bruce Small that made Oppy the legend that he became.

You're right KC, ...but dont you think Oppy was a legend in the making and Smalls timing was impeccable for the opportunity?
I'm sure Oppy would have achieved as much without Small, only the publicity sped his carreer...so perhaps Small accelerated his derny for dollars and passion ultimately pursued!...
A veteran friend of mine fondly recollects a memory of Oppy being picked up by a vehicle and dropped closer to the finish...I wonder If Small was at the wheel scrambling for his Kodak Brownie?...
Its all in jest KC, - I'll send you one of those reds to quench the bearings!
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Postby stevendavid75 » Tue Dec 04, 2007 9:37 pm

This is an interesting discusion, I sort of agree with the last post, I cant really comment too much though however when you consider Oppys ride from freo to syd in 13 odd days in fairly tough conditions, the man had the talent and was obviously prepared to use it very regularly in a range of disciplines. This made him a very marketable athelete in a time when cycling was major form of transport as well as a very popular sport, in Melbourne anyway.
I have a copy of People, Pedals and Politics and have only read bits and pieces of it, antone else read the boof and have comments??
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Re: Streamlining...

Postby Kid_Carbine » Tue Dec 04, 2007 10:59 pm

5 Star Rolf wrote:You're right KC, ...but dont you think Oppy was a legend in the making and Smalls timing was impeccable for the opportunity?

Its all in jest KC, - I'll send you one of those reds to quench the bearings!

Basically, my sentiment, & I said so in the last line of the first parra. & I'm looking forward to some of that bearing quencher. Yum.
Cheers.
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Re: misread quote?...

Postby 5 Star Rolf » Wed Dec 05, 2007 9:21 pm

Oppy would have become one of the cycling greats in Australia on his own, but with Small he became a global legend.

- KC my point is that Oppy would have achieved global recognition on his own, not just national status...as I mentioned Small made it happen a lot faster with his promotional and marketing skills...and so if his ambition was to make sales via Oppys popularity then why didnt the Malvern Star reach worldwide sales of that era?
A 5 Star bicycle advertised in all its glory, based on the stardom popularity of Hollywood actors...surely the US should have been an interested market for such a cycle, especially adorned with stars and stripes? Cheers, 5*R :wink:
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Re: misread quote?...

Postby Kid_Carbine » Wed Dec 05, 2007 9:55 pm

5 Star Rolf wrote: so if his ambition was to make sales via Oppys popularity then why didnt the Malvern Star reach worldwide sales of that era?
A 5 Star bicycle advertised in all its glory, based on the stardom popularity of Hollywood actors...surely the US should have been an interested market for such a cycle, especially adorned with stars and stripes? Cheers, 5*R :wink:

To quote from Rolf Lunsman's work.

Light as a Feather......Strong as a Lion
History of the Malvern Star Five Star [July 2001]

"In 1939 Allied Bruce Small, the company behind Malvern Star bicycles, undertook a radical reshaping of their product line. The changes were part of a proposed entry to the United States market.
As Company Director, Hubert Opperman stated in his autobiography, ...

"The preliminaries were in hand, Hollywood showed interest and American and United Kingdom investment was available to launch against the local dreadnoughts, a lightweight bicycle, proven by performance to be equally strong and more sensible to ride."

Oppy was planning a ride across continental America to promote the new range. Ginger Rogers & Deanna Durbin were engaged to lend 'star quality' to the new products.
The 'Utility' and 'Roadsters' became One Stars and Two Stars.
The sports bikes became One, Two, Three, Four or Five Star Racers"

He goes on to write.

"The war prevented the well prepared and brave marketing plan from being put into action and robbed the US of an early opportunity to discover lightweight bicycle technology on a mass production scale.
The needs of war meant that molybdemum steel tubing was not available for bicycles and the Four & Five Stars disappeared from Malvern Stars wartime catalogues."
Last edited by Kid_Carbine on Wed Dec 05, 2007 10:15 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby 531db » Wed Dec 05, 2007 10:05 pm

Some comments and questions about those presumably water slide transfers on the seat tube.

Cecil Walker himself was a very interesting character. Initially from Sydney, he had early cycling fame in NSW, before heading to the USA were he was a US track champion. On his return to Australia some years later he chose to live in Melbourne rather than return to NSW, and opened his cycle shop in Elizabeth St, just a few doors down from it's current location.

The Cecil Walker Cycles transfer shows the American flag as a result - does it show an Australian flag on it's right side?

A very interesting Reynolds 531 transfer as well, I've never seen one like this before. I know that BTM (British Tube Mills) had a manufacturing works in Kilburn (Adelaide) SA, from either WW2 or just immediately after. I've seen a copy of a similar transfer for Reynolds 'A" tubing from circa 1952. My questions are: These transfers must be unique to Australia, was there a reason for this - did BTM actually make '531' or "A' tubing at Kilburn or was it as I suspect, a UK import? Does this transfer possibly indicate a post WW2 frame - or a repaint?

Inquiring minds want to know....

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...the plot thickens...

Postby 5 Star Rolf » Thu Dec 06, 2007 6:21 pm

interesting quotes and questions...it was unfortunate timing then for Small with the onset of War...thanks KC.

The great ol' 5 star would have definitely struck global success!

...leading back to the CW decals...the other side of the BTM one has the Australian flag however with the red ensign!

"When the Commonwealth Government announced a competition to design a flag for Australia in 1901, entrants were asked to send a design for two flags – one for official and naval purposes and the other for merchant ships.

The resulting Commonwealth red ensign or merchant flag was identical to the Australian National Flag (or Commonwealth blue ensign as it was then known) except that it had a red background instead of a blue one.

Historically, the Australian red ensign was used on land and at sea and Australians have fought under it during both world wars.

There was considerable confusion in the first half of the 20th century over the appropriate use of the red ensign as opposed to the blue ensign.

This was clarified with the passage of the Flags Act 1953 which proclaimed the blue ensign as the Australian National Flag. The Australian red ensign became the official flag to be flown at sea by Australian registered merchant ships."....possibly a British import ?

I do not have much knowledge of CW cycles and would appreciate any further history of his earlier years...thanks 531db...very informative!
Ride safe, cheers 5*R :wink:
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Re: ...the plot thickens...

Postby Kid_Carbine » Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:45 pm

5 Star Rolf wrote:interesting quotes and questions...it was unfortunate timing then for Small with the onset of War...thanks KC.

The great ol' 5 star would have definitely struck global success!
Ride safe, cheers 5*R :wink:

I agree entirely. I believe that if Oppy had been able to do the cross continent ride, it would have turned American cycling on it's ear.

Thanks for the exchange of views. We agree on the basic points, but differ in some of the detail. It's all good.
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Postby fyxomatosis » Tue Dec 11, 2007 12:21 pm

cecil was a good looking chap ;)
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Newsflash...18/12/2007

Postby 5 Star Rolf » Fri Dec 21, 2007 10:01 pm

Podlesch hit by car while training
Carsten Podlesch, the last ever Stayer World Champion, was hit head-on by a car on Monday in Berlin while training for the Dortmunder Weihnachtspreis. He crashed heavily and suffered injuries to his head, chest, shoulder and ankle. The German was being treated in hospital on Monday evening, but no further information was immediately available.

Stayer racing (high speed derny racing) was dropped from the World Track Championships in 1994 after Podlesch became the last man to win the event that year. The discipline remains popular in Germany and is a regular feature of Six Day track events.

- 5*R.
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