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.