A Penny What?

I hope I won´t be chastised too badly for admitting that I never liked Penny Farthings, or Ordinaries, or High Wheelers, or whatever you´d like to call them. Still, it seems I have one in my collection now:


And digging a bit deeper in my boxes, I found this one, too:

PFpfI like the cheeky little wren on the farthing, but the difference in size between the two coins isn´t too impressive.

However, did you know that at least in the thirties, the farthing wasn´t actually the smallest diameter coin in the UK?

PFp3pThe threepence was still smaller. So should it really have been the Penny Threepence? Sounds funny.

Now look at this:

PFflwptThere´s a coin like token which is valued at a penny, issued by the Flint Lead Works in 1813, when coinage was scarce (I was told). Not surprisingly, the token is made from lead. What looks like a deranged carnival procession are the sorry remains of the Flint Lead Works buildings, after much biting and gambling by previous owners.

PFpptThe penny token is still larger than a real penny from the thirties.

PFpt3pShould it be a Penny Token Threepence instead of a Penny Farthing? Size-wise we´re getting places, but the sound of the word doesn´t bear thinking about.

Now you know why I never really liked Ordinaries.

The Forgotten World Champion

Some things don´t seem to age. Following a short discussion on the Classicrendezvous mailing list some weeks ago I thought it might be worthwhile to have another look at one of the most gripping cycling books there are. I can remember buying it (at a real bookshop, would you believe it) just after it came out in 1998. I had reason to take the bus into town that day, and I became so engrossed in the book that I nearly missed my stop on the way home. The same experience can be yours, if you don´t own the book already: It´s still available, which speaks for its quality. I´m talking about Renate Franz, Der vergessene Weltmeister (The forgotten World Champion). Renate´s book is full of pictures (actually some of them showing perfectly mouth watering track and road bikes) which makes it interesting also for the non-German speaking members of the cycling fraternity.


The story is about one of the most fascinating figures in German cycling, Albert Richter. Having worked his way to the very top on the track, he fell foul with the German fascist regime in the 30s, eventually being murdered by the Gestapo.

Albert Richter was born in Cologne, Germany, in 1912. His talent became visible very quickly, although he had to train secretly and hide his prizes under his bed because his father strongly opposed Albert´s predilection for cycling. He soon discovered the fascination of the track and soared to heights which took him to world champion´s honours. His name was mentioned in the same line as Kilian´s and Vopel´s.


Richter came from a background which led him to oppose fascism. Poverty and a broken family did not make him into a willing subject of a dictatorial regime, neither did they hinder his rise in his sport. He was no hero on the political stage, but for instance more often than not refused to raise his right arm in greeting.

His biography starts with a vivid and precise description of the German cycling scene before Albert´s birth with a later chapter showcasing Cologne as one of the centres of German track cycling. The 40 pages of cycling history of Renate´s book became a role model for my own little volume on track racing which I started about the time hers appeared. Richter´s life is described in great detail, Renate manages to convey the atmosphere of those days really well and shows how Germany´s slow transition to a dictatorship was opposed by Richter. His stance towards international relations for example was that he had been received extremely well in France and could not go along with official German policy making enemies of all Frenchmen. Richter was one of those clear sighted people who won´t allow to let themselves to be taken in by any sort of hate propaganda.

They provoked opposition then, and they still do with some people: Renate had some big problems in getting in touch with witnesses as well as relatives of the racers involved in Richter´s story. Some never broke their silence, others did, going as far as to give away photos straight out of their family albums. Renate needed them as some of Germany´s major collectors and private archive owners flatly refused to cooperate. At least in the early nineties, when the research for the book was done, Germany´s past had not been over. The more praise is due to Renate and her co-authors Andreas Hupke and Bernd Hempelmann for persevering with their project. OTOH, she says that a number of great friendships developed from the work on the book.


Also Richter´s relationship to his manager Ernst Berliner is remakable in that Richter kept assisting Berliner even after he had to leave Germany for reasons of Berliner being a Jew. This and the fact that Richter smuggled funds out of Germany in order to help his emigré friends led to Richter´s arrest on December 31, 1939, when caught with money sewn into his track tubulars on the way to a Swiss engagement.


Richter was murdered by Gestapo agents a short time after, and a hate campaign began against him in the German press. His name was expurgated from the annals that successfully that – in Western Germany at least – his name was not well known until more than half a century later when a newly built race track was named after him in 1995. In part this was due to Renate´s work. In the GDR, however, Richter was known better.

The book turns into a real life detective story when Renate relates the reasons for Richter´s death: He was arrested despite the professional hiding place for the smuggled money, and it seems that he was betrayed by some of his cycling competitors who, besides having personal grudges against Richter, found it hard to accept that he, one of the best track cyclists of his day, would not give in to the Nazis.


A great book on a great personality.

Rohloff Update

In cases like this, (see http://starostneradost.wordpress.com/2013/08/17/rohloff-test/ and http://starostneradost.wordpress.com/2013/11/17/rohloff-test-part-2/) the less one has to say the better – and there is not much to say. Rohloff themselves don´t give a run in mileage, but if you ask how long you should wait until panicking over the noise, they mention 1.500 km. So after having covered roughly this mileage, and nearly a year after my last report on the hub, I guess it´s time for an update.

RIckerfullThere´s some whirring noise still, especially in gears 1 to 8. This has to be accepted it seems, and is not as bad as it used to be – or possibly I´m getting used to it, don´t know.

RhubGearchange is smooth and easy – a cycle dealer who has sold loads of Rohloffs told me some time ago that they all vary in this respect and that my hub is especially good. Good.


On today´s ride I had a puncture in the rear tyre – daft. However, it made me realize how easily the wheel with the OEM hub can be removed and refitted. Undo Magura brake half, undo toggle cables (again very smooth and easy if you know how*, contrary to what you sometimes read on the net), open quick release lever, remove chain from sprocket – bingo. Takes less time doing than writing down. Refitting is not much slower, either. Great stuff, also the Maguras.


Front mudguard is slipping down – need to check that. Isn´t rubbing on anything yet, but looks ugly.

When removing the wheel I also found that there is a slight oil leak again – I had been wondering about the toggle cables being oily of late. Won´t bother to have it done, though – there´s no oil on the basement floor yet.

RfullWhat I still have to say is that the faster you try to go, the more energy is wasted in the hub. That´s not only my personal experience, but has been found out many times with all sorts of gear hubs. I´m not a strong rider, and I notice that I´m quicker up the hills on my derailleur geared bike. However, in muddy conditions

Rmudgthe hub quite clearly comes into its own. It´s the age old argument in favour of all geared hubs. Also the sheer fun of using one of the most complicated yet reliable mechs in the cycling world is something I personally savour.


* Don´t grip the clutches by their stainless steel springs, you´ll block them that way.

Still More Miele


Over the last couple of weeks I was lucky enough to score two more Miele bikes. One came out of the garden of a fellow club member,


the other one from the small ads.


Both are about the same age, mid/late fifties, both are top-of-the-range Originals, but they seem to have had widely varying fates. While the gents´ bike was painted over at some stage, and then used to display a basket of flowers in a garden for some considerable time, the ladies´ bike has led a more sheltered life.

I must say that I would really like to make the ladies bike into the nice bike it was, and I think there is a good chance that a serious clean, new grease in the bearings and some black wax over the rust may make a great deal of a difference, while the gents´ bike will not even end up as my son´s town hack to be parked at the university campus because the front fork is damaged. Hard to photograph, it is bent just above the fork crown. The bike will yield its b/b and headset bearings, the chainguard, and little else. A series of uncaring owners is to be blamed for this. The ladies´ bike actually seems to be three years older than the gents´ , but it was obviously much better cared for.

The Gents´ Bike

Let´s start with a few pics of the gents´. It has a dented top tube and there are hardly any Miele specific parts left. The unusable saddle is one of those horribly heavy and soft Leppers, the bell is wrong, and so on.


Unbelievably, the Bosch lights are still working, fore and aft. After a re-paint, they will perhaps be grafted onto the ladies´ as its lights are about 20 years out.


Also the spokes will be transferred as the gents´ wheels have at some time been rebuilt with s/s spokes, and those in the ladies´ are rusty.


Many Miele specific small parts, like the rubber grommet in the mudguard, are gone. XGchaing XGcrankrust  Acres of rust after all the time out in the open.XGforkcr XGfthubrustXGhbargrip The handlebar grips are modern, and old ones are not easy to get nowadays. XGlwrheadl XGplungerbksplit

The lower tube of the plunger brake is so rusty that is has split. This is less dangerous than it sounds; plunger brakes were completely useless anyway.XGrack

The rubber inserts which go between the traverse wires are gone.XGrearmudg  This is what the rear mudguard looks like.XGttdentsThe dents in the top tube.

The Ladies´ Bike

It´s a model 512, meaning Miele Original, 28 inch wheel diameter, 52 cms frame size.

In a case like this, grime is your friend.


The oiler is missing its cap, but that is not much of a problem.XLbell

Both on the bell and the cranks, 99 per cent of the chrome will be saved.XLchainguard

The gold lining and the lettering are still there.XLchainguardbolt XLchainwhcrankchrome Hardly any rust here, and absolutely no play in the bearing.

XLchromerimgrimeEven on the chromed rims, which were an expensive extra, underneath the grime…


… there is some chrome left, easily uncovered by a fingernail. Much rust will stay on the rims, however.XLdyntiresize XLlamprefl

Neither headlight nor dynamo are even remotely suitable for a mid-fifties bike. The Miele lighting seen on some of my other bikes was an extra. At the time bikes were sold without lighting. Miele parts were expensive, so many customers chose cheaper Bosch or Impex lighting. The first owner of this bike spent a lot of money on the Original model plus chrome rims, so the idea about the gents´ Bosch equipment might not be good after all. I´ll cross that river when I come to it.XLflammungabblättern

This is bad. The geflammte paint is flaking off. White was sprayed over black, and then specially trained workmen would put on the lining and actually take a small flame to the white paint. Its soot would then be covered with a clear coat. Lots of stages to commit mistakes, which I assume to have happened. Just figured that warranty has run out. Heck.XLforkcr XLfrontmudguardgrime

I guess that underneath all the dirt, much of the paintwotk will be quite good still.XLftdoXLgeptrbef XLheadb  XLlightconnect

The little connector which connects the interior lighting cable to the exterior one coming from the dynamo. XLpletscherpllightgrommetAnd this is where the cable re-surfaces again. Note the rubber grommet which in this case survives. The Pletscher plate holding the kick stand is a hint at the bike being a late production one. XLnetting Also the protective netting still is in place. Its rubbery parts however are not rubbery any longer, letting the netting hanging down slack, so it will have to be replaced. XLpumppegsawedoff

The top pump peg – or what´s left of it. It protruded from the seat lug and must have caused holes in the rider´s clothing. It really is in a daft place, so it was sawed off.XLpumppegstillon

This is the lower one.XLrack

Rubber strips still in place.XLrearlight

Rarely still present: The original rear light. The chrome is gone, however, so it will be painted black.XLrearmudguard

The horse – let´s hope it will come off without either leaving a sticky mess or taking the paint with it.XLsaddle

Original leather saddle in very nice condition.XLtoolpouch

Worth its weight in gold – the tool pouch in good condition. Its leather straps will be easily replaced – only one is moe or less intact and the pouche´s life literally hung by a thread.XLtopsteerhead XLtorpyear

Funnily enough, no frame number could be found. Usually this is in the seat lug, but not this time. I guess I´ll surprised by it jumping in my face when I´ll be busy cleaning. Until then, the little “55” must serve as a hint at how old the bike is.XLUnionfthubNo Miele hub – not that late. The Union hub is great, indestructible, but it´s not the same, is it, not having the “Miele” script on the hub. Neither is it on the pedals. Again, the oily grime will clean up very nicely.

So far, so good. I´ll keep you posted.

Season´s End

Last weekend it was the end of this year´s century riding season in Germany, not very successful for me, but the two rides on Saturday and Sunday were great. Inspired routes, great company, great bikes. One of which is a Koga Miyara Arabesque which was in the 2012 edition of Eroica. Not many words needed, wonderful craftsmanship and luckily an owner who appreciates this marvel. Cramped quarters and lack of time make this a somewhat incomplete set of snaps.

KAfullKAbbembell KAbrakebr KAchainstaybent KAforkcrKAheadb KAlwrheadl KAreardo KAseatcl KAseatl KAtopheadl KAtubingstickerLastly, two views of the early morning start on Sunday.

HalternNebel Halternsonnenaufg

Kids´ Stuff


“Bluschke” is the private label of the cycle sport shop in the town near to where we are situated

A few days ago our cycling club decided to get rid of two old bikes which had been used as training bikes for young riders years and years ago. Both have been snapped up quickly by their new owners.

One is a kid´s bike which I found remarkable as it has tubs and a complete RX 100 groupset. Once staple diet, these parts are becoming rarer, but they still are more or less indestructible alternatives for riders who want to keep it simple.

Like all hire bikes this child´s bike has had a hard life, but its new owner is a cycle nut who has a lot of knowledge and is a great mechanic, plus he has the daughter to go with the bike, so chances are that it will see a renaissance. Nuff said, here´s some snaps.


xkbshiftlevers xkbseatcl:lack xkbschaltw xkbrim xkbreifen xkbrear xkbkurbellänge xkbkettenbl xkbforkleg:Lack xkbforkcr xkbbrakeleverxkbftder


Taking photographs of this bike made me think about a really cute little thing which has been languishing in my basement for many years.


I bought it in a fleamarket for 30 French Francs while on holidays in Britanny – must be nearly twenty years ago. I had planned it to be my son´s first randonneur, so I got some tires in France in a size unobtainable here. The bike had come without pedals, and at home I realized that the pedal threads were French too, so during our next French holidays I had to get some pedals.


As all dads do, I got the bike with lots of time to spare, and even after I bought the pedals, my son still had to wait for quite some time until he grew into the frame size. I kept the bike in my attic study, and my son would come up ever so often to see if he hadn´t yet grown sufficiently. When he had, we did some beginner´s touring on it, among other things we attended a huge cycle meeting called 1000 Räder Bünde (1,000 cycles in Bünde). Aged 8, my son completed a 25 km course, for which he received a medal.

JM1000RBMedHere´s some details of the Moto-B:


The shop does not seem to exist anymore


Faux lugs


The infamous Delrin


Child-size brake levers

JM3spJMbb JMforkcr JMfrontbk JMfthubJMheadbadge JMrack JMseatclAfter this, my son grew into and out of a 48cm Alan, a 52 cm Trek 5200 which he crashed, though it wasn´t his fault, a 52 cm Gazelle AB, and an Ellis-Briggs Randonneur which he has been using since 2009. Time flies, and the bikes with it.

News on Iron Leg Veteran Bike Ride

(Nederlandse versie beneden.)

Plans for the Iron Leg are progressing. At the moment we´re looking at Sunday 19 April 2015, with a 10 a.m. start. That may well change again.

We have been checking out a route with loads of hills (not mountains, we don´t have any of those around) and of about 80km length. We will be riding in one group at a 22-25kph average. The ride is mainly for hand made steel framed bicycles, possibly older than 1984, but not necessarily so.

Here are the villages I would like to visit: Starting out in Belm, Marktring, close to Osnabrück, passing through Mönkehöfen (hill with rough stuff), Bad Essen (big hill), Schledehausen, Wissingen (hill), Melle (break from the hills), Wellingholzhausen, Holte (really big hill), Bissendorf (last hill) and back to Belm. Check the route on the internet, and if the hills are too numerous leave a comment, we can change things.

Please bring bikes with effective brakes and gears, and let´s avoid a repeat of the Amerongen tubular shootout if possible.

There will be mostly small roads,


a moated castle,

EBSchelenbsomething hardly recognizable as a castle,

Yholteburgone of the few places in the world where rivers (streams?) bifurcate,


a village sporting a number of half timbered houses,


a really steep hill on which one of the few remaining hill climb races for cars are held (not when we will be there, though), and other picturesque places.

EBHäuschenWe will meet in a village with ample free parking spaces and an ice cream parlour, there will be at least one spot in which participants will be handed refreshments, and of course the weather will be horrible, most likely.

The meeting place in Belm is about 222 km away from Amerongen, 223 km from Rommerskirchen, 272km from Haarlem, 232 km from Neerkant, 420 km from Oudenaarde, 181 km from Kiel-Windeweer and 291 km from Voorburg.

Once we have finalized everything we will ask people to register (in spite of participation being free) beforehand for various reasons, so please check this category nearer to the time.

I have for once added sharing buttons, please make liberal use of them.

Die wichtigste Info zur Eisenbein-Tour auf deutsch:

Voraussichtlich am 19. April 2015, 10 Uhr, veranstalten wir eine kleine 80km – Ausfahrt mit alten Rennrädern mit einem 22-25er Schnitt. Kommt bitte auf handgemachten Fahrrädern mit Stahlrahmen vor 1984 (grober Anhaltspunkt). Start ist in 49191 Belm, Marktring, wo es reichlich kostenlose Parkplätze gibt. Es ist ganz schön hügelig bei uns (Route oben im englischen Teil), daher bitte Schaltung und Bremsen checken. Falls mehrere Leute (bitte über die Kommentar-Funktion) sagen, dass es zu viele Hügel sind, können wir das noch ändern.

Die Tour soll Spaß machen, daher schauen wir uns ein paar hübsche Dörfchen an, ein Wasserschloss gibt´s auch unterwegs, und mindestens einen Erfrischungspunkt. Wir werden meist auf kleinen Sträßchen unterwegs sein, nicht überall ist die Straße asphaltiert, also auch die Reifen prüfen, besonders Schlauchreifen.

Wenn alles genau geplant ist, werden wir trotz kostenloser Teilnahme darum bitten sich anzumelden. Also demnächst nochmal diese Blog-Kategorie (Iron Leg) prüfen, ob es etwas neues gibt.

Nu is er ook een Nederlandse versie.

Het plannen van de Ijzeren Been tourtocht is in volle gang. Op dit moment denk ik aan zondag 19 April 2015, vertrek 10 uur. De rit zal worden gehouden in een heuvelachtige omgeving, afstand rond de 80 km, gemiddelte snelheid 22 – 25 km/u. Er zal tenminste één lunchstop zijn met broodjes en frisdrank. De route voert langs diverse rustieke dorpjes en zelfs een kasteel met slotgracht. Een routebeschrijving is beschikbaar in het engels; stuur een comment als het te heuvelachtig is.

Start is in 49191 Belm, Marktring, vanaf een openbare en gratis parkeerplaats, dus geen parkeerproblemen. Belm ligt tegen het Teutoburger woud, vanaf Amerongen is het 222km, vanaf Haarlem 272km, Neerkant 232km, Oudenaarde 420km, Kiel-Windeweer 181km en Voorburg 291km.

Belangrijk in verband met het klimmen en dalen: zorg ervoor dat versnellingen en remmen in goede staat zijn. Idem voor de banden, bespaar jezelf – en anderen- het tube knal feest van Amerongen!

(Vertaling Marten Gerritsen)

Thin Air

Yes, I do think that a book on old planes can be right in a bicycle blog.

Historically, cycle and plane construction were connected, if only by the fact that both bicycle and aeroplane are made as light and as strong as possible at the same time. Also the people who cycled early on often became pilots when they found that planes were faster than cycles.

So my visit to the London RAF Museum this summer was not completely out of keeping, even if this might not have been clear from the outset.


Former gate guardians made from glass fiber reinforced plastic swooping down on the trusty Volvo

After an extended visit, I chanced onto the museum shop book stall, where donated second hand books on planes are sold. I bought a book with a battered dustjacket because it seemed right even after cursorily leafing through it.

ShapefullIt´s called The Shape of the Aeroplane, was published in 1953 and is not only written by James Hay Stevens (1913-73), an aircraft journalist, but also very ably illustrated by him. I am even tempted to call him the aeroplane Rebour, because the tome abounds with line drawings like these:

HayPistengfightShapejetdet ShapepioneersAlso Hay Stevens had a knack of explaining complicated things in a few words, which together with the drawings makes the book very readable for the non-aircraft engineer. Why can a landing plane suddenly lose its tail, for example, or what was so special about the Junkers Ju 52/3m wing?

ShapebuffetingBack to cycling. Or rather, the common denominator of bikes and planes, like strong, but lightweight structures. Take the Spitfire wing as an example. After reading Hay Stevens, you´ll know.Shapestressedskin

As I write, at least three copies of the book are available on the internet, all in the US, and all of them more expensive than mine. Get one nevertheless.


Two more things, once we´re at it. If you want to know still more about how old planes work, you could do worse than getting a set of these:


They are available on the net off and on, but as prices vary wildly, it pays shopping around or waiting. the books mostly explain about aircraft engines, but these are considered parts of the plane as a whole, and so one learns a lot in general. too. Don´t be put off by the books being in Dutch, it´s easily learned tech language. Some snippets:

VliegtmotorblEngines, of course, are explained in detail, but if you are planning to set up an aeroplane workshop, here´s a layout:

VliegtwerkplOr should you want to learn DC3 instrumentation, this is for you:

Vliegtdc3cockpYou may want to obtain a version printed during WWII under Fascist occupation because there´s loads of info on old German aero engines in those, hard to come by elsewhere, whilst pre-WWII versions will have very old engines explained. Later editions deal with American engines mostly.

Vliegt44And lastly, a superbe example of British excentricity and weird humour. did you know that there´s actually Haynes manuals on old planes? I got the Spitfire one for a quid in a charity shop some years ago, and the Lancaster one off the internet, also cheaply. They are available new, but the new ones are naughtily expensive.

HaynesfullThe similarity to the usual Haynes car or motorbike manuals is what intrigues me and has made me laugh more than once. It´s not only the exterior, but, for example, you are told quite without much ado how you can change the brakes on a Lancaster.

HaynesbrakereplI´m not really quite sure if these manuals are just products of British humour, but perhaps the idea that everyone should have a Spitfire in his or her back yard is not that far fetched in many Brits´ minds. After all, it was their Finest Hour when these planes still flew.

Stalen Ros Utrechtse Heuvelrug – ride 2014

Yesterday one of the greatest old bike rides rides this year took place in a small town near Utrecht, Netherlands.

Am I really starting this way? No, I´m not.

After taking part in last year´s Utrechtse Heuvelrug ride I thought that the amount of hospitality, good humour, company and wonderful bikes in one ride could not be topped, but I was wrong.

As a first sentence, this is not much better, either.

Is there a way to adequately describe the hospitality, the atmosphere and the good company encountered in yesterday´s Utrechtse Heuvelrug ride?

Split infinitive, heck. Oh well, I have to get started somehow. So let´s carry on.

My son, an exchange colleague of mine from Austria and myself loaded ourselves and our bikes into my trusty Volvo and set off at a quarter past eight to cover 220 km of motorway in order to take part in a ride which I had been looking forward to all the time since last year´s had ended. We arrived just on time to get the last available parking space within easy cycling distance of the meeting point, Café Buitenlust, assembled our bikes and right away saw a great number of friendly faces.

XABuitenlXAStartvorMy estimate is that there were no fewer than a hundred participants, most on truly great bicycles. We set off a few minutes after the appointed starting time, and it soon became clear that we were on the same route as last year, only the other way round. I didn´t mind that one bit as I had enjoyed last year´s route greatly with its mix of cycleways and onverhard, not tarmacked paths, some slight rises and loads of miles in the woods.

Soon we came up to a feeding station where we were fed cake and Dutch Ontbijtkoek, literally translated breakfast cake, but just as delicious at noon. Despite the sign saying “office”, there was no registering, no fees, no hassle of any kind, with the organizing family once again paying for all the food and undergoing all the work of preparing the ride by themselves.

XAFood1Now there was time to have a good look at the bikes, and what an openlucht museum people had assembled.


Some impressions:

XAdttDelhez XAdttFrisol XAdttGaz XAdttGazChampMond XAdttGios XAdttMercier XAdttMerckx XAdttMiele XAdttMiyata XAdttPeug XAdttPina XAdttPresto XAdttReus XAdttTommas XAdttWimath XAdttZieleman, to mention but a few. To my mind, two bikes stood out of the crowd. One was a L´Express, adorned with much patina and great rear dropouts.


Typical shoddy Nervex workmanship, left untreated in this forkcrown.XAExpressheadlExpressheadl Expressheadtransf Expressmafacs Expressreardo Expressseatcl ExpresstripleStronglAnd look at the non-Nervex seatcluster. I was told by the owner of the Frisol-Zieleman that it´s not his bike, so the Express must be adormed with a mix of lugs.

The other bike that stood out was a Masi Prestige:

XAdttMasiPXAMasibb XAMasiforkcr XAMasiforkleg XAMasiheadtransf XAMasirearbrake XAMasireardo XAMasiseatclHaving regained the road, the group was split by a train at a level crossing, giving me the chance to take a few snaps of the gruppetto.

XAScharnke2 XAschranke1Soon, the next food stop loomed. More wafers with cream, sausages, cookies and Italian Limoncello liquor waited for the none too hungry cyclists, many of which had also partaken of coffee and cake at a cafe stop earlier on.

XAfood2All of the food was very nicely decorated to create an atmosphere of exquisite hospitality, right in the middle of nowhere. Participants were even able to wash their sweaty jerseys.

XAfood2washsnapThey weren´t, of course, the jerseys were part of the decoration.

By then I had given up on taking photos of all of the bikes, there just were too many. I restricted myself to details.

XAbikecrescXAChesOlymp XAChesOlympseatcl XAChromebike XAChromebike2 XAChromebike3 XADelhezheadb XADelhezheadlNervXAPinkJaboOn a more sombre note, we also passed by Grebbeberg Military Cemetary.

XAgrebbenberg1 XAGrebbenberg2Early on in the Second World War, the Dutch Army had tried to resist the invading Wehrmacht in a battle in which 420 Dutch and 250 German soldiers lost their lives. The battle is unconnected with the famous Operation Market Garden which was preceded by the Grebbeberg battle by about four years. It had taken place on 11-13th May 1940 right were the burial place now lies, and the cemetary now is the place where on each 4th May the Dutch national day of remembrance ceremonies are held. There are now about 800 Dutch soldiers buried here.

Back to the ride which did not pass without some technical hitches. There even was talk of a crash, but I couldn´t verify this. Most certainly, though, it was bedevilled by a number of punctures. Several times a sound like a pistol shot would announce another old tubular giving up its ghost. During the procedure to get the bike on the road again, many more conversations would be held, and on one occasion we were even able to watch part of a field hockey game in a location well chosen by the tubular which had blown up.

XAStopflat1XAgroupwoodXAflat2 XAflat3However, the weather was very nice, and so people didn´t mind for the most part, not even watching the game of field hockey. The ride ended considerably later than planned though, but this couldn´t mar the overall phantastic impression it left behind. It´s definitively a “tot volgend jaar”, see you next year.

Can I end the post like this? Guess so.

Guerciotti For Sale



Xfullbeauty lives quite near to me, and its current owner is compelled to sell it for medical reasons. No, it´s not that his heart rate goes up every time he sees it. I took the opportunity to play with it for an hour or so before it goes and as a consequence can share these photos.

If anyone of you is interested, drop me a line via the comments and I´ll pass your email on to the owner. The bike is 55cm c/c, and the asking price is 850 Euros. The bike needs a good service, but the chrome will clean up well.

I usually do not advertise bikes for sale on this blog, but once I had taken the photos I thought I might make an exception from my rule. Let me add that I do not own the bike, I have not fixed the price and I have no financial interests in the sale. Any agreement will be made between the current owner and the prospective buyer. My recompense will be a couple hundred views on the blog, I hope.

So, here we go:

Xbbshell Xbbshellb XbbshellrearXbrakebridgeXcabletoptube Xchainhook XchainstaycablestopXforkcr Xrearder3 XreardoXtubetransfXtttransf1The fly is not supposed to be part of the ointment, but if the buyer insists we might find another one. Now for the stuff hung from the frame.Xfronthub XftderXhandlebars Xheadset

Xrearder2 XrearderXbrakeXbrifterXcrankXrimBack to the frame. The paintwork really is nice, the colours being very subtle. From the distance the frame appears to be silver coloured, approaching it one realizes that there is a sophisticated paint scheme, albeit with a few light scratches.

XdossenaXpaintw1 Xpaintw3 Xpaintw4Xscratches


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