Thursday, 22 March 2007

Cateye strada

I know, I know it's not trad and it shouldn't be on a 1947 Humber sports , but in this case I'm making an exception as my fathers Lucas speedometer is broken and beyond repair. After spotting the above computer at my local bike shop and seeing it could be mounted on the bars or fitted to the stem I thought because of it's small size it would stand out too much if it was fitted to the top tube just behind the headset. I fitted it to the Humber yesterday and it was very easy to set up , requiring no tools at all and the users manual is very easy to follow. It has the following functions which the old style cyclometers didn't have such as a clock, Km or miles, current speed, max speed, trip distance, average speed etc. As I plan to do a lot of touring this year the computer will come in very handy on those long back country expeditions into the Niigata hills. And I plan to keep a record of the trip distances for future rides etc. The photo above shows the cateye strada fitted to the top tube of my Humber.

Monday, 19 March 2007

Bicycle collecting in New Zealand

I not sure when the collecting of bicycles really took off in NZ but I would say there was a lot more interest in vintage/ antique bicycles once Oamaru ( Oamaru a town in the South Island ) started including races for penny farthing's at their annual Victorian fete which has now extended into a full week of Victorian heritage celebrations. Around the same time as Oamaru held their 1st penny farthing race, a track race was held at English park in Christchurch & it was at this race that many of bicycle collectors & restorers came together for the 1st time. English park was one of the oldest concrete tracks left in Christchurch and was slated for demolition , so before the track was ripped up and transformed into a soccer park a vintage bicycle met was held. With Oamaru riders racing around the track on their replica penny farthing's and fixed wheel race bikes battling it out in a 3 lap race it was a lot of fun. The infield was full of early racing bikes with wood rims, shop delivery bikes, motorized bicycles ( there was even a race for them with lots of blue smoke involved ) . After this event I noticed more interest in general bicycle collecting and restoring. Now there are several groups throughout New Zealand who enjoy riding and restoring vintage/antique bicycles of all descriptions. In Oamaru the interest is mainly centered on ordinaries ( penny farthings ) but in recent years many ladies have joined the annual penny farthing tour riding restored loop frame bicycles from the 1930s etc and dressed in period costume . Also the other groups have put together period uniforms such as the Antique bicycle group in Christchurch who ride a wide variety of bicycles. I think for most people the collecting of vintage bicycles remains relativity easy and inexpensive compared to motorcycles and cars and there are still a vast number of vintage bicycles to be found rusting away under some farmers hedge throughout the countryside. But through the hard work of New Zealand's collectors many fine bicycles have been saved from the landfill and have been lovingly restored. If it weren't for these collectors future generations would never have the chance to see some of the bicycles of yesteryear. The photo in this post shows member's of the annual penny farthing & antique bicycle tour after departing from the train at the start of their tour last Nov.

Monday, 5 March 2007

Ebay transfer review

Recently I spotted on E bay some original water slide bicycle transfers such as Phillips, Humber etc and after much thought I decided to bid on some, I did miss out on the first set of Humber transfers but I got lucky on the 2nd set of transfers I bid on. I received the transfers in good condition from Thailand , my guess is the person selling these transfers stumbled across a pile of NOS transfers from the 1950s and has been selling them on E bay. Last Sunday I spent the morning applying the Humber transfers to the bike , apart from the larger one piece transfers such as the head badge, coat of arms, the other small transfers were so brittle they fell apart in the water before getting them on the bike. But in saying that the transfers I did manage to apply turned out very well and my next step is to give them a clear coat of nail polish to protect them from the elements. Even though some of the transfers fell apart or were un use able I was glad I purchased them as it very difficult to obtain period transfers from the 50s or earlier , so if you see some that might be of use to your restoration grab them before someone else does. But bare in mind you have to be very very careful when applying them and they are extremely fragile due to their age. The photo in this post is of one of the water slide transfers I applied which is the Humber head badge.

Thursday, 1 March 2007

The bicycle shop transfer

In the post is a photo of the only surviving transfer left on my Fathers Humber , the faded remains of the Humber transfers were practically gone which is a shame but then again I was recently lucky enough to win some 1950s Humber Sports transfers on Ebay. The transfer in the photo is typical of Bicycle shop & cycle agents transfers around the 1940s, this one is from the C.F.A ( Canterbury Farmers Assn ) which was an old fashioned dept store throughout New Zealand. I remember visiting the store with my parents when I was a youngster but by that time the bicycle section had long gone and there were no Humber 3 speeds for sale. The C.F.A has now disappeared from my home town but in other parts of NZ it continues to operate under the name " The Farmers " a reasonably priced dept store. My Grandfather also worked for the C.F.A in my home town as a tractor mechanic for many years before retiring. The C.F.A transfer is rather plain compaired to earlier cycle shop transfers that I have seen over the years as all cycle shops had their own colourful designs put onto water based transfers which were then applied as a way of advertising their store. In restoring a bicycle the shop transfer is of great help as from the info on the transfer you can then research where the store was located and with careful searching at your local museum you may even be able to find a photo of the store where your bicycle was sold. If the transfer is in reasonable condition it shouldn't be removed as it's part of the history of the bike. Far too many novice restorers get their bicycle repainted without taking down detailed info on the transfers & pin striping details on their bicycle , even if the slight remains of pin striping & transfers are visible these should be recorded or sketched down as a future reference when it comes time to paint the bike. Also it is possible to obtain the old cycle brand transfers through the website listed below or on ebay if you are lucky