Friday, 19 August 2011
My regular ride - 1947 Humber Sports
Well for many years I have owned several bicycles and when I was living in New Zealand I once amassed a large collection of vintage bicycles in various states of disrepair. But one bike has been my favorite all along which is now my regular ride, it's not light in fact it's made out of high tensile steel tubing and has a transfer on the down tube to prove it. The bike I'm talking about is my Fathers 1947 Humber Sports 3 speed and was the main reason for starting this blog many years ago. Unlike every other bike I have owned I have never had to repair the Humber apart from restoring it a few years ago. As a regular bike it's perfect for the ride into work and if you want to go for a 100km ride into the mountains it can handle that easily as well. The 26 inch x 1 3/8 tyres are the prefect size for Japan's bumpy footpaths and I haven't had one puncture in the last four years. The Sturmey Archer hub gear is the prefect combination and allows for a nice low gear for hill climbs ( Although I did fit larger cog to the rear hub for that purpose ) and the middle gear is the perfect commuting gear for around town. If you are in need of speed just flick the trigger shifter into 3rd and you can fly along at a decent pace. The Humber is kitted out with a Lucas Cyclometer with keeps a record of your overall travels. And with a Carridice Nelson longflap saddle bag there is plenty of room for a tool kit, rain jacket and anything else you may wish to carry. Most of my customers are surprised when they see my regular ride as most likely that would have imagined me to be riding one of the latest alloy road bikes with carbon forks. My father purchased the bike at age 18 in the year of 1947 and every day as a kid I watched him cycle to work and home for lunch no matter what the weather, when my father retired from his job as a motor mechanic the staff at his retirement party had calculated that the Humber sports had circumnavigated the globe in distance. I'm sure the Humber will serve me well for the rest of my life as well.
Pictured above is the Humber parked outside my bicycle shop here in Niigata City and a scan from the 1947 Humber catalog.