Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Richard Brimer work shop photo

Ok, sorry about photos of me in two consecutive
posts, but my friend and great photographer
Richard Brimer took this a few months back
and I thought it came out pretty good.


After many years of being out on loan,
I have my 1950 Sturmey Archer ASC three speed
fixed gear back, and back in action.
What bike to run it on was a bit of difficult question,
but luckily my own impatience has answered that 
difficult question for me. 
As my 1949 Bates was the only suitable bike in a complete 
riding state at the moment, and I have always been unhappy
with the 700c Fiamme wheel set on it, it was a done deal.
A few hours later I had a reasonably period correct, 
late 40's British TT machine to try out.
 Chater Lea drive train.
Brooks Swallow with alloy clip, surprisingly comfy.
Bluemels "Tour de France" pump, another one of my seemingly
endless fetishists, vintage lightweight pumps..sad I know.
Serious looking vintage lightweight front end.
View from the cockpit, you can see why I was pretty excited 
about trying this one out, sort of like riding a AC Ace...
...a Boutique English builder
who probably made a few more machines than you thought....
..based around a pretty stodgy old motor that they made cool.
SA ASC 3 speed fixed ultra close ratio hub gear,
 with alloy body and wing nuts, looks
good and goes well too.
Not quite like the 3 speed on your average Raleigh
Ruddspeed modified Zephyr motor in a AC Ace.
Not quite the same as in your uncles old Zephyr.
 But what I really liked about the Bates fitted with the ASC hub,
is that this is the first bike that actually made me laugh out loud
while I was rattling along as fast as could.
I love riding this bike, it's fast but it feels authentically old, 
which is a much more difficult combination to bring off
 than you might think. 
Maiden voyage.
Before the power of 3 fixed gears on a vintage
lightweight brought a huge smile to my face.
Even the broken chain after 25km didn't dampen my
enthusiasm for this wonderful time machine.
So the Bates Bar gets my vote as the 
AC Ace of the bike world.
What bike is that car?