Stabile Hochdruckzone

978-3-931965-54-9

As the book I´m reviewing in this post is a German translation from a French original, it makes little sense to write it up in English, I think

Ich geb´s zu, ich bin ja auch einer von denen, die diese ganze Fahrradsache oft echt ernst nehmen; geknechtete Radfahrer, Klimarettung, Critical Mass. Und Stahlrahmen erst, guter Himmel. Es ist dann ganz lustig, unser Thema auch mal von einer komplett anderen Warte betrachten zu können, und diese Warte stellt sich sofort ein, wenn man den ersten Band der Velothek aus dem Maxime-Verlag aufschlägt.

Vorher schon, eigentlich, denn ein Büchlein, das hübsch sein will, hat man heutzutage nicht oft in der Hand, mit Fadenheftung, Feinleinen-Einband, Lesebändchen und vielen Illustrationen im Text, die sorgfältigen Satz benötigen.

Diese Ausstattung entspricht aber gut dem Obere-10.000-und-Belle-Epoque-Gefühl, das einen schon auf der ersten Seite der Novelle anspringt. Wir treffen die vier Protagonisten der Handlung, Pascal und Régine Fauvières sowie Guillaume und Madeleine d´Arjols, im Jahre 1897 in der Nähe von Paris. Genau, Vorabendserie, Soap Opera, stimmt. Die Namen verraten es sofort, und so geht es auch weiter. Die vier (die Damen sind zur Zeit der Handlung dem Mädchenpensionat noch nicht allzu lang entkommen) bilden zwei Paare, die schon nach kurzer Ehe frustriert sind. Sie stillen im Club nach ganzen drei Kilometern Radfahren im Bois de Boulogne den Bärenhunger, den eine solche Anstrengung nunmal verursacht, nachdem die die livrierten Diener ihre Räder wegstellen ließen.

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Die Herren, wie der Autor, sind Experten der Radtechnik, was in manchen etwas didaktisiert wirkenden Dialogen ausführlich bewiesen wird, obwohl, Ehrenrettung, die Unmittelbarkeit der Darstellung der Vorzüge des Fahrrads auf den Seiten 42 und 53 die Begeisterung des Autors fürs Radfahren plastisch widerspiegelt und aus heutiger Sicht einen guten Eindruck von der damalig revolutionären Bedeutung des Fahrrads gibt.

Richtig, der Autor – Maurice Leblanc. Was muss man über ihn wissen? Une Femme (frustrierte Frau), einige Jahre früher, noch etwas Kurzprosa (frustrierte Frauen), dazu journalistisches Alltagsgeschäft der 1890er, und, natürlich, ab dem frühen 20. Jhdt., Arsène Lupin, das französische Äquivalent zu Sherlock Holmes, nur auf der anderen Seite des Handschellenschlüssels. Französische Literatur-Nationalikone. Leblancs frühe Werke erleben zur Zeit in Frankreich eine Renaissance, so erschien Nun wachsen uns Flügel vor knapp drei Jahren im Verlag Éditions Le Pas de coté neu.

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Auch Literatur-Nationalhelden haben mal klein angefangen, mit Fingerübungen, und um sowas handelt es sich bei Nun wachsen uns Flügel. Auf dem Schutzumschlag als amouröser Roman angekündigt, entpuppt sich das Buch als Novelle (ein Handlungsstrang, kurz, unerhörtes Ereignis) ohne unerhörtes Ereignis. Selbst im ausgehenden 19. Jhdt. gab es schon deutlich amourösere Bücher, in denen auch intellektuell was los war. Aber die hatten natürlich nicht viel mit Fahrrädern zu tun, meistens, und deshalb ist dieses kleine Büchlein interessant, obwohl überhaupt nichts mit irgendwas passiert, (Zola gab´s schon!), noch nicht mal gute Schreibe, außer den Liebesqualen wirklich spät pubertierender RadfahrerInnen. Erfolgloser Jungautor sucht verkäufliches Thema: Obere 10.000, Fahrräder als neue, faszinierende Technik, nackte Oberkörper, das steckt dahinter.

Die beiden frustrierten Ehepaare, die sich um Geld in keiner Weise kümmern müssen, beschließen, mit ihren Rädern die Normandie zu bereisen. Sie sind auf dieser Luxusreise völlig mit sich selbst beschäftigt, unter flüchtiger Wahrnehmung der vorbeihuschenden Umwelt in Form von Sehenswürdigkeiten, und abends wartet das Gepäck im Hotel. Leblanc baut dazu einen leider holprigen Spannungsbogen auf, in dem auf S. 57 schon Leben als umgekrempelt dargestellt werden, aber es noch weitere 50 Seiten dauert, bis dass ein “Doppelgipfel Ziel und Grund [eines] wollüstigen Spaziergangs” wird. Blümchensex ist Hardcore dagegen. Zum Quietschen, wenn man´s mag, und nicht nur aus heutiger Sicht.

carte-3

Mit freundlicher Genehmigung des Verlags Éditions Le Pas de coté (lepasdecote.fr/?p=37)

 

Die Vorhersehbarkeit der Handlung ist das nächste, das einen bei der Lektüre je nach Geschmack vergnügt oder genervt in irgendwas zurücksinken lässt, das gerade zur Hand ist. XX und YY fahren los, XY und YX kommen an. Nun gut. Aber ein kleines retardierendes Moment wär doch nicht zu viel gefordert gewesen, oder? Irgendwas unterwegs, das irgendjemanden ins Schwitzen gebracht hätte? Etwas außer dem stabilen Hochdruckwetter, das nur bei einem kleinen Knatsch zwischen den Neuverliebten von neoromantischem Regen unterbrochen wird? Ein klitzekleines Crime zum fast nicht vorhandenen Sex?

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Wirklich unbeholfen wirkt die Charakterisierung einer der Hauptfiguren. “Doch wie war er wirklich? Die widersprüchlichen Vorstellungen, zu denen man im Umgang mit ihm gelangen konnte, hätten nur zu einer recht verworrenen Einschätzung geführt” (S. 13f). Das bleibt auch so. Aber es ist gar nicht so schlimm – wenn man sich einmal auf das Buch einlässt. Auch die zahlreichen abgedroschenen Topoi des galanten Romans (Guillaume d´Arjols als frustrierter Lebemann, der seine Frau vernachlässigt…) kann man diesem Buch verzeihen. Sogar der knüppelweiche Kitsch, der unweigerlich bei Frauenbeschreibungen eintritt (“… erschien sie in einem weißen Wolltrikot über dem Oberkörper, das ihre junge Brust hervortreten ließ und dem Beben ihres Leibes nachgab” (S. 56)), macht nicht viel aus. Den Lesern bleibt zwar auch nicht erspart, dass Leblanc den uralten Schönheitenkatalog (volle Lippen, Harmonie von Hüfte… und was war´s noch gleich?) ausgräbt und bei der Ausgrabung böse beschädigt. Egal. Sogar die ungewollte Komik, die sich einstellt, als der Erzähler es als bedeutsames Ereignis klassifiziert, dass Pascal seiner neuen Liebe dieselbe gesteht (S. 80), geht durch.

Denn: Die Illustrationen, entnommen aus der Originalausgabe, sind wirklich der Traum, wenn man Jugendstil liebt. Jugendstil, das Aufbegehren gegen die akademisierte, historistische Kunst des 19. Jhdts, gegen Kitsch und Schnörkel. Der Illustrator Lucien Métivet, der Meister der Karikatur, der Satire, des Humors – er rettet das Buch mit seiner Ironie. Die mega-süßlichen Darstellungen der Protagonistinnen; der weibliche Zephir, der das Fahrrad stilisiert mit Rückenwind antreibt – das kann nicht ernst gemeint sein. Wenn auf S. 68 der Vergleich mit den Statuen beansprucht wird (“He, hört mal, Ihr sehr aus wie drei Statuen… Sie, Guillaume, wie die des wohlerzogenen Begehrens… du, Pascal, wie die des anhaltenden Grimms…”), kommt Métivet prompt mit einem Bild rüber, das die Beschriebenen zeigt wie Porzellanfiguren auf einem Sockel. Das ist köstlich und erzeugt eine ironische Spannung zum Text, die das ganze Buch genießenswert macht.

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Überhaupt die verschwenderische Fülle der Illustrationen, manche sogar zweifarbig, ganz in Métivets Plakat-Übung. Die von den Protagonisten erradelten und von Métivet gezeichneten Sehenswürdigkeiten allein sind es wert, das Buch zu betrachten. Jedes Kapitel erhält zudem eine Schmuckinitiale, die die Handlung zusammenfasst und deren Großbuchstaben die deutschen Herausgeber sorgsam angepasst haben.

Das kultur- und literaturhistorische Nachwort von Elmar Schenkel überbrückt die zeitlichen und kulturellen Entfernungen, die zwischen Buch und heutigen Lesern liegen, sehr informativ. Ich empfehle es vor der Novelle zu lesen.

Wenn Ihr also mal Lust habt zu entspannen, Euch nicht für die Weltrettung zu bilden, aber doch was mit Fahrrad zu lesen – Nun wachsen uns Flügel ist Euer Ding.

________________________

Maurice Leblanc, Nun wachsen uns Flügel, Maxime-Verlag 2015, Reihe Velothek, 157 Seiten, aus dem Französischen von Una Pfau und Matthias Kielwein, mit einem Nachwort von Elmar Schenkel, zahlreiche Ill. von Lucien Métivet, Hardcover, ISBN 978-3-931965-54-9, Preis 19,95€.

Anmerkung: Ich bin Autor des Maxime-Verlags und habe ein Rezensionsexemplar des besprochenen Werks erhalten.

Métivet-Illustrationen mit freundlicher Genehmigung des Maxime-Verlags.

Spring Haul 2: Is This What I Think It Is?

I swapped this

ADfullframe the other day for a couple of vinyl records. The frame has been re-painted quite badly, not only destroying any transfers, but the frame was painted with the chainset on so that the r/h side of it has hardly any paint in the b/b area. Strange.

The only readily visible clue as to its provenience is on the seatcluster:

ADseatclDoes this mean Austro-Daimler? Perhaps even the legendary Vent Noir? The bike pictured on classicrendezvous has the same type seatstay top. It also is chromed, and as the dropout ends on my bike both fore and aft have chrome, I do hope that a paintstrip will reveal acres of chrome on my frame, too.

ADreardoADfrontdoADforkcrAnd the fork crown is plated, too; forgot. So there´s more hope.

The frame is very lightweight, being constructed of Reynolds 531. True, there´s no transfer left, but the fork shows clearly what we´re talking about:

ADR4 ADR3 ADR2 ADR1This imprint is to be seen right around the fork stem, and nice and clear, too, unless sometimes when you can hardly make it out. So let´s assume that the rest of the frame is Reynolds, too. And of course there´s hope for more info when the paint is stripped.

More details:

ADforktang

ADcableeyeseatstay ADbrakebr ADbbThe cable guides on the b/b date the frame to roughly 1970s, I´d say.

A view into the b/b shell shows medium clean work. Also it looks a bit bright for braze in the decisive places – has this bike been silver soldered?

ADbbinnerview

What I find most fascinating, however, is the headlug treatment. Paper thin is actually too thick in places.

ADseatlADlwrheadlVery nice.

Spring Haul I: Montague Folding Frame

This is the first post in a series of three or so resulting from a chance visit to a spring cleaning cycle shop. Besides free saddles, brifters and what have you there were three items purporting to be bicycles to be had for a song, and here´s the first.

I´ve never had one of these before – and, honestly, I hope that I´ll never have the displeasure again. It´s one of those things which have great promise, but where economics dictated that not only corners were cut but whole miles of winding road. To be fair, it was not possible for me to try the machine out as this

Montfullis all that was left of it when I got it.

Whence but the funny angle protruding under and in front of the bottom bracket would my first look go upon beholding the bike? The keen eye of the triple Thanet Silverlight owner (one SL sold long ago) was soon placated, however, but for the first split second I did think I had struck it rich.

Right, what´s so funny about a Montague? The basic idea (shared with a number of folding bike constructions) is that you can have full sized wheels, and that you don´t have to split the chain, or wrap it up with the help of weird and wonderful contraptions: On the Montague, it just stays where it is.

You just open three Q/R handles, clearly marked as “OPEN” for those who really don´t know what a Q/R is,

MontQRopenthen you pull up a safety locking device,

Montlockyou carefully start something which feels like destroying the frame if you´re unused to a Montague,

Montfoldand a few seconds later the whole thing collapses on the floor in a giggling heap. Or was it me giggling?

MontfoldtwoMontheapThe front wheel comes off to reduce the size of the heap,

Montlawyerafter you have tricked another safety device. You thought that lawyer lips are bad? Ha.

And then the front mudguard also comes off. It is held in place by three real, honest to God Tenax fasteners, just like the ones on your MG T or any other oldworldly soft top car.

Montfrontdo

MontTenaxoffMontfrontmudgtenax

I have not yet found out what this Tenax part facing rear on the seat tube is for. Actually, it looks more like a Tecalemit oil port, but this makes even less sense. Or does it?

Montdownt

MontbblowerIf you should feel inclined to unfold the bike, these little blocks, held at a precise distance by a grub screw, see to it that the frame literally clicks back into position. That´s great.

So far, so good. Now for the miles of winding road.

MontcarrierShall we start with this strip of metal holding the carrier rack to the brake bridge? Or what about the really heavy, welded steel tube construction? Or with the plastic grip shifts? Or the useless bottle type dynamo? Or the cheapest rims available? Or the cheapo steel handlebars/extension combo? You could go on endlessly.

You then add the fact that hamfisted doesn´t begin to describe the first owner (all cables were wrapped around the handlebar, for instance) who used acres of sticky tape, miles of additional lighting cables and routed gear cables really adventurously, so that the only recourse to be taken was the wire cutter.

Montcableshbar Montcables

My hope is that there was (or is, the Cambridge, MA firm is still trading) a real Montague for sale in the US, and this contraption was just produced for the German market which back in 1994 (I found several date marks on the bike) was ruled by price alone.

This then is all that´s left of a good idea.

Montframefolded

 

The Season of 1953

One of my finds in this year´s Neerkant fleamarket was this bound 1953 volume of the Dutch cycle racing paper

WielesrpfullI snapped it up for a tenner, thinking myself lucky until getting to go through it more closely and finding that someone, hopefully a long time ago, had torn out numerous pages, but there´s still a lot left that´s unusual and interesting.

The book is quite big, 29 x 23 x 3 cms, so my scanner is too small for it and I had to take photos. Hopefully the quality is still palatable.

WSWevoOf course one finds a large number of advertisements. This one unites four legends.

WSStephiThis one, Stephi, is interesting because there was a Stephi bike in Neerkant this year, I think I´ve got the headbadge in my post.

WSSmitRenners zijn kenners – racing men are experts. True, but Julius Smit was one, too.

WSRIHRIH called themselves het rijwiel der Kampioenen – the cycle of champions. Looking at the impressive list of successes, one might agree.

WSRadiumTunulars – which are the best ones? Radium thought they had the answer, but they couldn´t imagine that the dispute would rage on to this day.

WSracesOf course cycling clubs advertised their races – and there were loads of them.

WSBrooksIt seems that even in the day it was little known that Brooks saddles were in vier breedtes verkrijgbaar – available in four widths.

WSGerkinetNow what´s this? There must have been a maker of all sorts of cycle products in Belgium of which I have never heard before – J. & H. Gerkinet in Herstal. And look at the fantastic design of the products. A quick look at the internet shows that they also made motorcycles under the name of Geco, and had been supplying the motor industry for decades when this ad was published. Anyone who can shed more light on this firm?

WSNieuwenhOne very tasty looking bike – helas in a very small pic. Did they make their own frames?

Not only bike firms – there was a major sponsor of cycle racing in the watch trade, too. Ets. A. Kinsbergen S.A., Bussels, were a long established trading house dealing in Swiss watches of good quality, produced by some of the many Swiss private label watch factories under the Pontiac brand. There is one ad to be found on the net which shows a crashed cycle racer with his Pontiac watch still working: “En Pontiac kan tegen een stootje“, a Pontiac doesn´t mind a bump. The racer is looking definitively distressed, but never mind: His watch is a) still working, and b) if it weren´t it would be insured for two years against loss, theft and accidents. Great idea, that.

WSPverzekerd

Insured for two years (bottom photo) against loss – theft – accidents

WSPkerstf

A wonderful Pontiac sports watch is a useful (X-Mas) present

WSPverzekhochk WSPverschDolf Verschueren says that his Pontiac´s nice. Mine isn´t any more, but it has three stars (as from the sixties, one to four stars would denote quality and price points) and a definite relation to cycling:

https://starostneradost.wordpress.com/2012/10/23/on-the-day/

On a sombre note, the horrible news also had to be spread:

WSTvL18-year-old racer Tonny van Loen died in hospital on November 1, 1953, after a cycle accident. He had repaired his derailleur, wanted to take his bike for a trial run, and never returned.

Of course there are dozens of racing photos. Here are some to drool over:

WSvierkant WSvanVliet WSvanEstWSTdFWSgangmaker WSFtpgjan WSCoppi WSCopdeRiWSN9

WSN7 WSN5 WSN4 WSN3 WSN2

So where to get the following year´s volume from?

Impressions from 2015 Neerkant Stalen Ros

After a number of visits to the Neerkant event over the last few years I have the same problem writing up the event I encounter when looking for birthday presents for old friends: What´s new?XNdruk

This time my personal news was that the venue was very crowded, it literally was hard to move between rooms or among stalls. My guess is that the organizers will have to look for a much larger hall soon. Given the prices people seem to be prepared to pay for bikes and parts, I can´t very well imagine anyone objecting to a moderate rise in the entrance fee if better conditions are the cause.

Also I again found it very hard to get a good look at the marvellous bikes lined up in the expo part of the event. It was basically impossible to take decent photos because of the cramped conditions. So one more idea: If the venue changes anyway, why not improvise a photo studio with a choice of the nicest bikes presented there at certain times? The really great pacer for instance which was there yesterday would have been worth a better opportunity for appreciating it.

XNSteherrear XNstehermot XNSteherhead XNSteherfullElse, what was up? I met a number of friends, had lunch with some of them in the neighbouring chippy, and bought a great book (of which more in the near future).

XNStallext XNstallNumerous stallholders offered unusual things for sale.

XNredrimsOne Belgian had brought a time capsule NOS 1980s Motobécane, shrink wrapped and untouched.

XNMotobecnewdet XNMotobecnew

However, some merchandise in the boxes under the tables really was substandard in every sense of the word. Rusty cheapo derailleurs teamed up with cracked Record crank spiders to make for some nasty surprises.

Dutch Gazelle frames abounded, as did Italian ones, with one special all French equipped Mercier catching my eye.

XNMercheadb XNMercgold XNMercallFrenchThere also was a good specimen of a late thirties Helyett with an Osgear, but most photos I took of it just didn´t come out.

XNHelyettrearmechdo XNHelyettdt XNhelettshiftlev XNheadbhelyettSome bikes in the expo were quite rare local brands.

XNHeadberoba XNHeadb XNheabstefiThe stall I took most snaps at was the one with the toys. I just loved the Renault scale model with the dead insect on the roof.

XNReninsThe rest of the toys just were too colourful to pass up.

XNmoddssaf XNModpeugXNMehyog XNMehunico XNMehkakaoWhy is it that I keep ending my Neerkant report with pics of cars?

New Season

What better way to start the new randonneuring season than riding a steel framed bike in brilliant sunshine? I guess people will very soon tell me all about this Sunday having been the warmest March 8 on record and how bad this is, but frankly today I didn´t care. I just enjoyed the gift of the unexpectedly wonderful weather, my son´s company and the landscape.

FrviewTeuto

The Freckenhorst RTF was a great foil to project the enjoyment onto with a good route choice, friendly people and – yes, after all those years, nice food at the control posts.

FrFarm58One of them was on an old farm, the main building dating from the 1870s and providing a spectacular backdrop for the 1958 Miele I chose today.

Frdet58FarmIt still feels strange to park the bike in a row of carbon fiber high tech machines at the control post, but reactions by fellow riders are mostly favourable.

FrRow58

They often ask for the weight of the bike, expecting anything up to 20 kilos, but they never ask for the sense it makes to ride 7 kilo bikes in the flat. Besides it feels good to be admired for riding an RTF on such a bike, riders mostly assuming that it must be hard work, which of course it isn´t due to good tyres and well cared for bearings.

The second control post is reached via a disused railway line.

Frdissdrly58

The post itself is situated right next to a bridge, giving the opportunity to shoot an aerial picture of it without leaving terra firma.

FrAerialView

Returning to the start I discovered a Rohloff equipped mountain bike.

FrRohlfullIts well-worn hub surface showed that it must have seen quite some use.

FrRohldethubThat meant that this construction

FrRohlbandlwr FrRohlbandmay have kept up longer than I would expect it to. The band has probably been sourced from a Dutch roadster; it´s the part attaching the front brake drum torque lever to the fork blade on cheaper bikes where a braze on is not used.

Even this little horror couldn´t spoil my day.

Another Bitser

Gdtransf

A bike with a frame dating from two decades, built up with bits from at least three countries – that´s not what one would expect of a successful restauration. Indeed, this

Gfullwas one of my earlier tries, and it will disintegrate again soon, so I thought I´d document it here before it will vanish again in some boxes.

The frame I bought off the late Ron Sant, or rather swapped it together with some other bits for a pair of horrible Fendt Cardanos. I was glad to be rid of them, and Ron was concentrating on shaft driven bikes and those made in Manchester, so a swap was the obvious choice.

Ron had gotten the frame minus its original forks, so he had George Longstaff reproduce one, using an old Ekla crown and also copying the mudguard stay tabs halfway up the fork leg.

GforkcrThis is why the frame dates from two decades: The main frame from about 1936, the front fork from the eighties.

It seems Granby had a strange mix between headclip and more modern headsets – note the locknut and the floating ballrun headlugs.

Gheadset

GbbAt the time I was hunting for what you call funny frames – those with unusual build features. The discussion why people made them is not to be repeated here, let it suffice to say that most of those strange constructions did not make it into general practice, and only two – the curly Hetchins and Baines Flying Gate, to a lesser extent the Paris Galibier – have survived in their own little niches.

Anyway, the 1936 Granby Taper Tube offered to me by Ron seemed irresistible and I decided to try and make a bike of it. Note the fat tubes arriving at the bottom bracket shell; higher up they taper to a smaller diameter. The paint, another neuralgic spot, is so thick that any measurement of tube diameters will be inaccurate.

GseatclAnother nice touch is the concealed brake cable routing. However, there´s no provision inside the top tube for guiding the cable, so you pull out the outer cable, and you´ve got a problem.

The rims had to be 26 inch ones, and it took me years to find a pair – with 32/40h to boot, because I wanted to use my Sturmey AF. When I had found a pair, they had a strange surface – all pimply from having spent decades in the sun in a shop window.

DSCN0565 KopieLuckily the goo came off easily with a straight edge.

The hub of course must be the nicest item on the bike.

GAFIt is a real working example of an AF, be it without original trigger which I think I´ll never find. The thing about the AF was that it had a special ratio, and of course the F meant Four Speed. The top three gears were close together giving plus 9.1%, direct, minus 10% and then the fourth would drop down 25% for the steep hills. The press ravished about this hub, Sturmey-Archer received the CTC Silver Plaque for it and the FM brought out in 1939, too, for having produced the most interesting innovation of the season, and then the AF was only made for two seasons, 1939 and 40, because of WWII intervening. There is a lengthy article about the AF in Tony Hadland´s fascinating book The Sturmey-Archer Story.

Then there´s a great 1930s Brooks

Gbrooksand a Chater knock off Diamant chainset

DSCN0564GCrankDiam GcrankfluteThe Chater pedals fit perfectly, and note the really deep flute.

GhollowchainwhboltsOK, English frame, German chainset, and the third country? Here´s another one of my French scrapyard finds:

GCaminargIt fitted, that was enough reason for me to fit it.

Two more parts on the bike which don´t really fit, I think; one´s the BT brake which only appeared in the immediate post war years, and the other´s the toeclips – more Italian I think. Need to look into this. They are unusual, and were NOS when I got them.

GbrakeGtoeclLastly, a personal remark: I´m still quite booked out with all sorts of activities, including work and some health issues, so I wouldn´t be surprised at all if there weren´t any more posts until after Neerkant.

Will This Work?

After a fortnight of not blogging, and no end in view of being sidetracked, here´s at least a small tidbit.

There´s loads of pictures of bicycles in children´s books or on other children´s media which really are no illustrations, but abominations and insults of young people´s perception of the world and their technical understanding. I can very well remember as a child thinking, when confronted with similar illustrations, will this really work?

Here´s one particularly strange specimen:

SAM_5137It´s on the sleeve of a 10″ double album of A.S. Pushkin´s fairy tales called “Recordings for Children”, issued in 800 copies in 1981, costing 2.10 Roubles, at the time no mean sum for people on average incomes.

SAM_5139SAM_5138

Back to the bike pic: Look at the front fork, twisted and rigidly attached to the frame, the non-existant connection of the rear wheel to the rest of the bike, fittingly hidden by the leaf which must be there for the reason that the creator of the illustration probably did not know what a bike really looked like. As an excuse it must be said that in the Soviet Union there were few more unpopular pastimes than cycling.

Still…

Knochenschüttler – The German Equivalent

I guess it´s about time I delved into my archive and wrote a short post on the old-bike – publication of my home country, the Knochenschüttler (KS). After all it´s been the lifeline that has connected the German cycle collecting community for nearly 20 years now.

Seeing that even lifestyle blogs like avecpassion.net in a post called fur-nostalgie-liebhaber seem to like the mag I guess I just have to harp in.

Founded in 1995 by Tilman Wagenknecht from Erfurt it was based on a newssheet published by Fahrradveteranen-Freunde Dresden right after the demise of the GDR. As such Tilman did a great job in developing the publication to a much more interesting format. This is what the first KS A5-sized front page looked like:

No1Cov

No1Inner

It had 10 pages and featured a report on the 1995 IVCA Rallye in Haarlem/NL as well as an article on German bottom bracket geared bicycles, and had a run of 60 copies.

No2Cover

Already the second issue, appearing in September 95, sported 16 pages and was not loose leaf anymore, but properly stapled. Leaps and bounds. Its main attraction was a multi page article on MIFA. It said on the back cover that “at least” 300 copies had been made. No 3 had 24 pages, and No. 5 showcased 28. As from No 4 there was a stiff cover, and the run was upped to 500.

No12Cover

This format stayed the same until No 12, spring 1998, when there was a colour cover – printed on green cardboard. This was also the first issue which was the official newsletter of the freshly founded Historische Fahrräder e.V., the German old-bike club which has since taken over the show, after Tilman´s leaving the editor´s desk.

HistofaMitglCoverIt´s surprising how many entries in this, the first members´ handbook are still in the latest one. My personal record, for any club, is the V-CC which I joined in 1988, so there must be something in old-bike clubs. (Although having long passed the 50-year-mark, I still refuse to join FCOT – it would make me feel really old.)

Actually the Eastern German Knochenschüttler absorbed its Western equivalent, Christoph Guder´s Velorat, also around 1997; can´t remember the exact date. The title did not refer to a small furry animal, btw.

VeloRatCov

After that, No 18, the first issue after the Millennium, was in its present format: A4, b/w cover, new design.

No18CovSave the introduction of colour (and not only in the form of a green cover), this has stayed the same.

No58CovThe next issue will be an unbelievable No 59, issued by mainly three editors: Tilman, Thomas Busch and Michael Mertins, who has returned to this job after an interlude of a couple of years. These three really have done a lot for the German old-bike scene, especially Michael, who has been at it for years and years, adding up his two tenures, managing to introduce full colour to the 36 A4 pages the mag now has. The board of editors have recently decided to concentrate on two issues per year.

No 59 will be issued, as always, to members of Historische Fahrräder e.V., inside Germany as well as abroad. If you´d like to become one, you can easily go to their homepage and register.

Not About Bikes, But Necessary

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