Friday, 23 February 2007
Why use an old 1947 Humber ?
Well after being involved in the MTB scene in New Zealand in the early 90s and spending vast amounts of money on high tech bikes and racing equipment and seeing local MTB clubs loose their family members as everybody wanted race instead of just enjoy a nice ride. I decided to turn the clock back 100 years to experience the real joys of cycling, so I built a 50 inch Ordinary ( penny farthing ) and since then I have built several more. Around the same time time as I built my first Ordinary I started collecting and restoring pre world war 2 bicycles and very soon my double garage was bursting at the seems with Humbers, Rudges, Triumphs, BSAs etc. With so many bicycles laying about my garage I started to restore some of the better examples and the first bike I restored was a 28 inch Humber Royal Tourist which was a fantastic touring bike fitted with a Sturmey archer 3 speed. It was then I discovered the real joys of cycling 1950s style ,taking your time getting to your destination , taking photos, relaxing under a tree in the middle of nowhere eating sandwiches and really enjoying the ride. When I look at Lycra clad racers flying past me along some scenic route I wonder if they are really enjoying their sprint through the country side as with their head down over the bars they are missing out on the things that make cycle touring fantastic, meeting people along the way, an old historic building on the main route, a small local cafe serving good food washed down with a beer etc. This is what cycle touring used to be like, some people still enjoy a gentle ride through the countryside with plenty of rest stops along the way and this is what I intend to do once the Humber I'm restoring is back on the road in a month or so and believe me you won't see me racing through the country wearing Lycra at all as I want to enjoy myself. The picture in this post was taken about 7 years ago when I had my 50 inch Ordinary here in Japan