This year I’m dragging the whole family along to Eroica Britannia, Grandparents, Parents, Brothers, and Baby! Whilst the female fraternity will be enjoying the food, fancy dress and festival atmosphere (read Hendricks gin stall) , the male half will be slogging (read pottering and stopping for beer) out 30 miles on bikes intended only to get you to the pub……. Which means 4 bikes. I’ve sorted my Carlton Criterium (nearly a year in advance!), our youngest brother has his 1950s sit up and beg rod braked Triumph, our old man has his 1970s Hungarian Pannonia town bike. This left our middle brother bike less so we had to get something together, and seeing as it was his 30th birthday I thought it would be nice to build him something a little special.
Looking into possible stock opportunities in the family fold, we came up with an early 80’s black framed, unnamed road bike that was living outside, chained up behind Gregs the bakers in Greenwich. It was out youngest brothers university hack bike, but the lock had frozen solid and hadn’t been ridden for two years. After three weeks of pouring Coca Cola into the lock and a bit of wiggling the bike was free, it was dragged to the car (the tyres were both flat and the wheels didn’t spin) and recovered to Bournemouth. A plan was hatched and I started the bike off on its journey to Eroica.
Bike has ended up as a Gazelle tribute in British racing green, with a little bit of colour contrasting on the front end. It runs 27″ x 1″ 1/4 Weinmann rims on 70s Shimano Dura Ace quick release hubs, with new Raleigh tourer tyres. ITM bars, SR stem, with Planet X tape. It shifts with 6 speed stem mounted Shimano tourney gearing, new chain and 14 – 24 freewheel, and we splashed out on the saddle with a Selle Monte Grappa and new alloy seat pin. The Paint has come up pretty well for a back garden spray job, and it rides really well. Being a 27″ wheel with a relatively big tyre it rolls super smooth, it also has a slack head angle and a long-ish wheelbase so its fast and steady. Its no race machine, but it has that cool laid back feel without needing a lot of work to move at a nice pace.
Planned upgrades for the future? Ditch the cottered crank for a period square taper single ring affair to give the bike a more solid feel. But for now its a case of get out and ride it! something to enjoy over the summer and to show off at Eroica! Now its just the preferred system for carrying the bikes on cars to sort out………