Miele on the Motorway

Yes, that´s what my son and myself did on Sunday – we cycled on a motorway, to be more precise, on the land some planners and politicians would like to become a motorway in the future. Our opinion on the motorway which is to be called A33, is this:

In short, the motorway is unnecessary because there is another one leading to more or less the same destination, and the new one would save only minutes. What it would do: It would lead to the destruction of a lot of valuable landscape. For instance, the house just about appearing in the background would vanish, just like the field as well as the hill it´s on: The view below would show thin air if the motorway would be constructed as the hill would be taken away to a depth of ca. 27ft.

The two ride participants show the width of the planned motorway. Imagine the havoc it would wreak on the landscape.

My Miele had been ride ready (certainly not touring ready, that came yesterday and today after some shakedown rides of about 75km in all), so I thought it might be a good idea to take it. My son took his, too, so here we were riding antiques among a crowd of 80 who didn´t notice. Well, one ot two did, but in general it´s quite safe to use a veteran bike in Germany – people just don´t care. I love it, firstly because it affects prices or swap values, and secondly because all famous people like some anonymity from time to time.

And off we went, in two groups.

There were several stops on the way. A group of activists opposed to the construction of the motorway had had the excellent idea of marking the width of the planned motorway in some fields, it being autumn and the harvest having just taken place.

This for example is how close the planned motorway would come to a neighbouring village. Besides discussing the motorway, we also enjoyed the wonderful weather and had fun cycling where one usually wouldn´t.

We couldn´t resist to lean our bikes to the huge sign which also is right on the planned motorway.

Now some more snaps of my Miele.

Its frame dates from 1930 as per a list shown on the Miele Technikgeschichte website. I built up the naked frame (in original paintwork) with bits which I hope are not too far off period correctness, but as I´m hoping to go on some long rides using the bike, I chose parts which are still suitable to such an undertaking. That also implies that all the parts I touch with my various body parts have been chosen according to what I need on a long ride, i.e. a modern Brooks saddle and Shimano SPD pedals.

Looking at the catalogues on the Technikgeschichte website you might notice that in 1930 Miele didn´t have front mudguard mascots. The frame came with late thirties Miele Original ´guards with a beautiful plated bronze mascot, so I kept those on.

The wheels are Sturmey hubs built into wonderful Dunlop rims that had been languishing in my cellar for years. The rear is a 1938 AB three speed, the front a 1939 BF brake hub. Luckily all the periphery was still in my Sturmey box, including the plastic covered quadrant length gear cable.

Yes, there are brass washers under the spoke heads, and I wish I had taken two per spoke. Those Sturmey flanges have always been very thin, not a good idea for modern spokes made for alloy flanges. Let´s hope for the best. And yes, as soon as I´ll be certain I won´t have to change anything about the wheels I´m ging to tie and solder them, too.

This beauty came from the Detmold meet in August. The mech was missing, but unbelievably I had one in my bell box. The pre-WWII Miele bells had script logos, so they are easily discernible. They also were cast bronze and have a beautiful sound. If you look closely you´ll be able to see the Miele transfer on the down tube in exactly the same script:

Here´s the typical Miele five circle chainwheel. This one has 47 teeth and will lead to me using a 28 theeth sprocket so that I can use top as my standard gear (still a lot of inches with a Sturmey three speed and 40 x 635 tyres…) and I´ll have two lower ones for the wind and the hills.

This beauty is a Bosch battery lamp and came off a bog standard flea market about two years ago, and  a rather moderate price at that. It fits perfectly to the somewhat rough appearance of the rest of the bike. Need to get a battery to see if it works.

The Sturmey quadrant. I do have a late thirties trigger marked “Patent Applied For”, but I just couldn´t resist the show effect of the quadrant. And, actually, after only a few kms one gets used to it. The nickel plating has worn away to show the copper layer under it.

Here´s the front end of the frame. The knob is a steering damper knob: You twist it, and a threaded bolt will pull a metal band round the fork column. It´s a boon on bad roads of which Germany still had a lot in the 30s. It´s also a sure sign of a pre-WWII German quality bike; post WWII only Triumph in Nuremberg made them, AFAIK. There´s a better snap of the rare headbadge in the “Teaser” post.

I have seen more elaborate lug scrollwork, but it seems to have worked for the last 82 years, so, please, tubes, keep going for a few more years.


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