Monday, July 25, 2016

John Peoples NZ Cycling Legend 1934-2016

Last week I was contacted by Sandy Nott daughter
of John Peoples, informing me to the
sad news of his recent passing.
This post is a brief homage from me to R J C Peoples,
known in the cycling world as
'Gentleman John' a real New Zealand Cycling legend. 
Peoples, who came from a cycle racing family, was
heavily involved in NZ cycling in one form or another
throughout most of his life.
His first claim to fame was being selected for the
1958 Empire Games road team.
Unfortunately he developed saddle soars a few 
weeks out from the games, although he competed
gamely, he had of course lost his peak fitness.
 1959 saw him take a great second place and 
King of the Mountains in the 3 Day Tour of Southland, 
behind an unstoppable Warwick Dalton.
Peoples, Dalton and John Bigwood 
1959 Tour of Southland.

In 1960, Peoples was New Zealand Road Champion, 
but was unable to follow this up with a ride in the first Dulux
sponsored Six Day Tour, because of study commitments.
1961 was another strong year for Peoples, culminating
in a decisive win in the National 100 mile road Championships.
In 1964 Peoples brought a bike shop,
 Wellington Cycle & Sports, which became a
indispensable shop for Wellington wheelmen.

During 1965 Peoples along with Pete Smith, and Sam Taylor
started the classic New Zealand Cycling magazine,
the first issue being May 1965, running in this format and editorial
management until April 1968.
This was the only NZ cycling magazine on the market since the
demise of "New Zealand Cycling Review" 1949-52.
These magazines are a real treasure for enthusiasts
like myself, without them great swaths of our local
racing history would have been lost.
And one of the absolute treasures of my historical NZ
cycling collection, John Peoples personal bound volumes
of New Zealand Cycling magazine.

Peoples rode two final Dulux Six day tours in 1968 and 1970.
Peoples 1970 Dulux jersey. 

During October 1967 Peoples rode a epic ride to smash the
Auckland to Wellington record by nearly two hours, taking
26 hours 44 minutes, 32 second for the ride.

 If that record isn't impressive enough by itself, then take into
account that Peoples rode into 'near gale'
  rain, hail and sleet, at one time even snow over
the last 200 miles, sometimes the wind so strong it almost brought
 him to a standstill. Apparently it was the coldest Labour day in
Wellington in 20 years.
John with his wife Dorothy during the epic
record ride 1967.
One of my personal favorite pieces of cycle memorabilia,
A school project from Peoples daughter's class chronicling
the great ride.
Love that rain beating down in the second drawing,
but a big smile on Johns face.
The Gentleman John Peoples,is a great reminder of why
the great era of amateur sportsmen and Woman has
something special about it, a little something lost in the
modern professional era.
Maybe something of it's purity of spirit?

Sunday, July 3, 2016

L H Brookes Dolomite Super Tourer

Here we have a extremely rare fillet brazed
1950 L H Brookes Cycles Dolomite Super Tourer.
The machine seems at first glance, well underwhelming,
really rather staid, however dig just a little deeper and
you will be very well rewarded.
As you will see, there is a lot more going on tha
first meets the eye.
Unfortunately there is no real information
that I can find on this builder, just this...
Lesley Harrop Brookes was the owner of two shops in 
greater Manchester area...that is it.
I will contact the Veteran Cycle Club and see if
I can't glean some info from the members.
BTW,  if you are you are passionate about classic or 
vintage bikes should consider joining, it is a
fantastic club, and their magazine is a great read.
So let me unpack this really interesting machine for you.
The name is the first clue, Super Tourer, this explains the 
long racked front forks, full guards and lamp bracket.
Looking at the cockpit, you will notice the Reynolds twin bolt
stem with alloy bars, I haven't found a makers mark yet,
but I suspect they are Stratlite or GB.
 You might then notice the Hiduminium GB brake calipers.
Further down the front end, Chater Lea Lamp bracket
and lamp boss.

Beautiful Chater Lea high flange hub laced to a rare 26"
Alumlite rims.
 Then if you move on to the drive train, more treats await.
Chater Lea double fluted cranks with Chater Lea ring, 
running on a Bayliss Wiley No.15 hollow axle.
 Then comes one of the really very special components,
well for me anyway, Hobbs alloy pedals.
This is the first pair I have come across, and I can
see now, why they are so sought after.
I haven't actually weighed them yet, but they feel
like the lightest pedals I have dealt with.

Nice alloy saddle bag support.
Bluemel guards of course.

Then at the heart of the bike, a real surprise, a 1950
Sturmey Archer FC Close ratio four speed hub.
This FC hub was marketed at the 'massed start set' 
a set which this bike is most defiantly not part of.
Why a FM medium ratio hasn't been used I don't know.
It would have made a lot more sense I would have thought, 
for a fast day touring bike like this.
I guess the original owner wanted a really fast tourer!

So there you have it, really quite an extraordinary
British lightweight, not like any other that has come through my 
doors anyway. 
This Dolomite was obviously built with no expense spared.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Superbe E G Bates

Here we have a beautifully preserved late 
1970's E G Bates, which was built for mainly
TT work, but would also double for general
road work.
EG Bates was a shop run by Eddie Bates, brother of
Horace T Bates, famous for the classic cantiflex frame,
Eddie was a partner with his brother in the original Bates 
until 1947, when he decided to split from Bates 
and start E G Bates.
Eddie soon built a reputation for well built machines, 
that were always to a very high standard. 
After thoroughly stripping and reassembling this 
machine I can attest to it's high build quality.
More history here at Classic Lightweights.
One of the things that I really like about this bike, 
is it's nice mix of well thought out components.
Campagnolo Head set, Bottom Bracket, Seat pin 
and Hubs, Brooks Professional saddle.
First generation (1977) Suntour Superbe derailleurs, 
shifters and brakes set and
Sugino Super Mighty Chainset. 
 Sun Tour RD 2100 R/D
Sun Tour FD 1500 F/D
Sun Tour 4700 brake levers and calipers bear 
striking similarities to Campagnolo brakes of 
the period.
Super Mighty crank set, with steel dust covers.
Sun Tour Superbe decals, proudly displayed beneath 
the Reynolds DB 531 decals (of course).
One of my favorite seat clusters, for me so British.

A very well preserved piece of  boutique English 
frame building, with a classic period group set 
still fully intact, right down to
the cloth bar tape and brakes hoods.
It doesn't get much better.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Holdsworth Professional Sprint

Here is a very original 1970-72(?)
Holdsworth Professional Sprint.
For some reason these Pro Sprint track bikes seem
to be pretty rare, which is strange, as there are quite
a few Pro road bikes lurking about.

 Name says it all, the best of British.

With original team jersey, also quite hard to find.


For unknown reasons Holdsworth put their decals
on after paint, so they rarely survive intact.

If you have followed this blog at all, you will know I am a real
fan of British race bikes... if you look closely at this machine 
you can see why.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

1968 Dulux Six Day race jersey.

After much searching I have just
acquired this quite rare 1968 Dulux
Six day Cycle race jersey, 
made by New Zealand's
main cycling clothing manufacturer
at the time Vel-Sport.

This was the first year that the race, in it's eighth
year, had it's own jeresy, and the only year that
had the year on the jeresy.
Programme for 1968.
Derek Brown 1968 yellow jersey.

Derek Brown in action.