Not Neerkant Anymore – Stalen Ros 2017

To sum it up, a new location, but the same friendly faces.

Arriving, you find that the parking space situation has changed – from unregulated chaos as it was for the first nine years (or so?) to regulated chaos. Oh well, you aren´t coming for the cars – or are you?

 

As always, there were a few nice cars to be seen, but of course, hundreds of bikes.

You start off by seeing the insignia of the host,

the Natuurpoort de Peel, and of Stalen Ros:

Once you have made your way through the restaurant and waited in the line to pay the 2€ entrance fee, you arrive in a big shed.

You see at once that the stall have now near-completely taken over, there is only very little room now for the expo bikes,

as many people are trying to sell off their unwanted parts

and are actually expecting to be paid for this sort of scrap, or, if it´s nice items, prices are about where they have been for the last few years.

Not really a Peugeot, of course. Nice, but definitively not what the seller said it was. And possibly believed it himself?

Also I noted a great deal of wholly off-topic items for sale.

But OTOH, there was this really great asymmetrical Labor bike to see. Once properly restored, it has the potential to become a real sight. As it is now (see rims…) there´s still a lot of work to be done.

Not saying that I like the construction; the Labor people just flogged the dead horse of an unusual idea obviously long after it had started to putrify, refusing to admit that this is not a viable way to make a bike, but still, it´s 1920s, and as such an exception in the meet. Sad, really, that people seem to look nearly exclusively at 70s and 80s bikes nowadays.

What I noted this year was the sheer number of items for children, ranging from the superbe to the horrible. Anyway, we all like kids to cycle, and on steel too, so – carry on with it, everybody, please.

This handlebar/extension/bell set was the show stealer, if I may say so. Bearing the markings of Kessels´ Main d´Or, the combination of green anodizing and chrome was – well, resistible at the price, but very nice to look at anyway. The Belgians really knew how to make beautiful bikes.

What did I take away? A very positive impression of the new venue and the people working there, the many nice talks I led with interesting people, some even in-depth, and two saddles: A 1979 full chrome Champion Narrow in pretty good nick, and a 1974 B17 Standard which is barely broken in. Both have untouched tensioning bolts and had escaped being maltreated by people wielding oil cans or whatever unsuitable fatty matters there are, and both were bought (relatively) cheaply.

Dus, tot volgend jaar, definitively.

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