News from East Westphalia

This year´s big German veteran cycle collectors´ and riders´ meet took place in Detmold from Friday 17 Aug until the Sunday. On Friday there was a big cyclejumble, an auction of high class items and afterwards a big cyclejumble.

The Saturday started with a big cyclejumble, carried on with a ride, some races on historic bikes, and finished with a festive dinner, and doubtlessly a big cyclejumble. Sunday I guess must have been the same, only the races and the ride were replaced by the organizing club´s AGM. I was there only on the Saturday for the ride together with my son and Oscar Casander who also took some of the photos in this post. They are marked “(O)”.

The meet took place in the huge LWL open air museum displaying historic buildings from the area. The organizers had found a fantastic venue in it, and in general must be thanked for a super job. All the participants I met thought likewise. We all felt very well looked after and were made very welcome indeed.

The weather was absolutely marvellous, if perhaps a little on the hot side, but after this and last year´s washout summers nobody minded that.

The three of us came mainly for the ride (and of course for the inevitable and unavoidable cyclejumble in which I found a bell for my latest acquisition, a ca. 1930 Miele, and a 1939 AW stamped “Patent applied for”). The pace was rather leisurely, 13 kph, and ADFC (German CTC / Wheelmen equivalent) helpers in there orange vests were everywhere and shepherded the roughly 100 riders safely. Another very good job. The accompanying Police were overanxious and overly strict, though, stopping us, dishing out admonitions, and making the 17 kilometers seem longer than they were.

At 9.30 people were slowly assembling for the ride near one of the many exits of the museum, giving onlookers a chance to appreciate some very elaborately done costumes. I personally think that those costumes distract from the bikes, but many people seem to enjoy historical crossdressing.

The racer boys were getting envious glances from the bread and butter cycle riders, or so it seemed.

Then we were off in the blistering heat.

Here some of us are, cycling through one of the picturesque villages on the way.

The highlight of the ride were Externsteine for which there is a Wikipedia article, also in English. We took a long rest there and were doled out some rather nice hot soup in a neighbouring restaurant.


Here´s a group foto in front of Externsteine; my son took it while I was grinning away in the throng. Before that we had all dispersed into the shady wooded parts of the park.

On the way back the Police found that we were a very undisciplined lot so they officially gave up chaperoning us. The groups they had required we form fell apart, so that a more familiar atmosphere of riding at a personal pace while talking to friends and a general enjoyment of the nice day prevailed.

Here´s some of us on the last meters of the ride looking forward to a cool drink.

What´s needed of course are some pics of the nicer bikes we saw. First there was a Caminargent; not exactly fitting into the blog´s “steel frame” category, but a nice bike nevertheless.






I also liked the Bauer featuring a full Altenburger groupset a lot.





Next there was a beautiful black and red Jack Taylor with some very interesting and unusual touches.




And of course Oscar´s own immaculate 1975 PY 10, seen here reposing in the grass after the strenuous 8 km to Externsteine.

What would a meet be without the weird and wonderful? Take this sociable for instance.

Also some really great and unusal bike were to be seen, unusal mainly because they usually are not to be found in Germany, like this Peugeot having come from Belgium.

Of course there´s always the weird and not quite wonderful, too, like this Chater parts tandem someone thought might have been used for pacing during the early 1890s. What sense does it make to use such a small main drive chainwheel for pacing, and of course the forks of the paced single seater bikes were reversed, used with small size wheels to increase closeness to the drafting bicycle/motorcycle, and the forks of the drafting tandems/multiseaters stayed what they were. As to disc wheels – well. A chance to have a truly great quality tandem on the road missed for a cheap and ahistorical effect.


I´d like to finish with a nice and typical scene, though. This pair of 1930s Opel bikes were lovingly restored to a quite high standard and ridden by a couple, both enjoying the old bicycle hobby. That´s what it is all about, isn´t it?


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