Last Sunday I had the pleasure of visiting the annual Benson Veteran Cycling Club bike ride. I had another appointment in the afternoon so it was a flying visit to see friends and then a few pictures in Ewelme before the first pit stop for the riders.
Those interested in seeing the images they are now online and prints are available should you wish to treat yourself!
I’ve been doing a little fettling over the Winter on the Guvnor and wanted to change the bar end plugs from the Brooks ones to something more native to the UK. The Brooks ones look great but are a bit flimsy and apparently not made in the UK. I met a wood turner at a fair some time ago and we have kept in touch, last year he moved to Warwickshire and is not a million miles for the home of Pashley. I gave him an old bar end plug as a template and asked him if he could make me something using native wood that would compliment the bicycle. Yesterday I received two pairs of bar end plugs, one pair in a burr elm (from a tree chopped down in Warwickshire!) and the other pair made of spalted beech. I like the contrast of the cream and dark brown and think they look most stylish on the Guvnor. The gentleman who made them is happy to make bar end plugs for other bicycle lovers so if you are interested please email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I will forward your details to him and he will liaise with you direct.
Welcome to Readers Rides! Please send in a few of your favourite images and a brief bit of history about your bicycle and your most memorable ride or greatest achievement and I will post it on this page and my FB page. Please ensure you own the copyright to the images and they are no larger than 2MB in size. Please send your images (or image) to email@example.com together with your name, make and model of bike and up to 200 words. The only criteria is the bicycle must be made in Great Britain! Thank you.
This was a great afternoon ride along the banks of the Thames from Marlow to Shiplake taking in the sights of Henley on Thames on my Pashley Guv’nor. Love riding this bike, but due to my job I cannot get out as much as one would like during the summer. Thankfully, slowing down now so hopefully we will have some good weather to enjoy the ride.
In preparation for the Pashley Picnic this weekend and several lovely rides planned for this summer and beyond I have purchased myself a proper pair of British made cycling shoes! My Converse don’t quite look the part so it was time I looked online for a nice pair of shoes. I found a few articles about William Lennon; a company based in the Peak District, established in 1899 to make working boots for those that worked in the lead mines and local quarries.
I appreciate anything handmade in this green and pleasant land and just like my Pashley, these fine shoes are also made by hand in the traditional method. More can found out about William Lennon & Co on their website by clicking here
After deciding I needed a pair of these lovely shoes I called them and spoke to a lady by the name of Libs who was very helpful and took my order for a pair of Arturo in a size 10. She assured me they were UK sizes and I can assure you the sizes are accurate with my new shoes fitting like a glove…… well, shoe.
William Lennon are a great company, the shoes are a fraction of the price of their competition and fantastic quality at just under £70 inc postage. I am breaking them in today around the house but already they feel very supple and comfortable. I cannot wait to get these on my MKS pedal this weekend and be proud on my riding my British engineered Pashley with my British crafted shoes.
Rather over indulgently I took my shoes and bike out last night for a few pictures….
Spotted the deliberate mistake? They are now re-laced and my shoes are 100% streamlined!
Many of you that know me from Twitter (@ringmybrassbell) and Facebook (My British Bicycle) will be aware I am a proud owner of a Pashley Guvnor. I have owned it for just under a year and bought it new from The Traditional Bicycle shop in Stratford Upon Avon, the home of Pashley Cycles. It’s a fabulous shop and I cannot recommend them enough to anyone looking to purchase a Pashley bicycle. My good lady and I look forward to the Pashley Picnic later this month!!!
My reason for this post is just to share a photograph I took last year at a wedding. I am a professional photographer by trade and shoot around 25 weddings a year. The groom had arranged for Caroline Grace to do a fly past in her Spitfire for 10 mins or so on her way to Highclere castle! Caroline owed the groom a favour and all he had to do was pay for a tank of fuel.
Well, all I can say was it was an incredible evening and here is my favourite image of the Spitfire I took. Being VE Day today reminded me of this iconic plane and how valuable it was to us during WW2.
Reynolds supply the tubing for the Pashley Guvnor, the legendary 531 tubing, a very popular choice in the days of all steel bicycles. Now, I hope you are sitting down……Reynolds also supplied the tubing for the Spitfire during the war and made almost 25,000 miles of alloy and steel tubing in the production of Spitfire planes and other machinery used in the war effort.
Riding the Guvnor makes me even more proud to be British!
As it’s a great British tradition of voting on a Thursday and with our polling station around a mile away I though I would cycle the short journey to cast my vote. It was a lovely trip on my 1920’s /30’s Humber through the #Oxfordshire countryside to do my little bit for society. I love this time of year when the cow parsley is dancing in the breeze on the road side and took this opportunity for a quick picture under one of my favourite trees.
I have been lucky to take part in the Benson Veteran Bicycle Ride on a couple of occasions on my old Philips trade bike. Bikes have to be pre 1930’s although I’m sure a few newer ones slip through the net too! Here are a few images that I took a couple of years ago. Enjoy them and feel free to share them on your own blog and Facebook pages with a credit to my new blog www.mybritishbicycle.me. Thank you.
Pashley are England’s longest established and in my opinion finest manufacture of tradional bicycles. Based in Stratford-upon-Avon their small and highly skilled team have been producing handcrafted frames and components since 1926. Here is a short video showing their traditional methods of manufacturing their hand built British bicycles.
To find out more about Pashley Cycles and their rather splendid bicycles please click here
This video has been produced by Ralph Lauren for the launch of a handbuilt Pashley bicycle for the Tweed Run.
Just been watching some of the fabulous footage on the British Pathe archives online. If you have not yet seen them then I would strongly recommend spending some time of their website. Just make sure you have plenty of time!
Here is a great little video of a cycle race at Brooklands, Surrey. Maybe one day I will get the opportunity to ride around there albeit a bit slower.