Saturday, August 16, 2008

Other projects....

This is a photo of my Pop (my Mum's Dad). It was taken in 1945 during his time as a bike racer in Tasmania. He had a fair amount of success as a pioneer of the sport we all love. The stories that linger around my family are quite remarkable. There was no such thing as a bike industry in Australia back in his day, let alone in Tasmania. Cycling clothing was hand made, the frame you see here was made by a frame builder in Tasmania named Cyril Able to fit Pop. After Pop's passing in 1998 his frame and all the parts went to my Uncle Richie (the youngest brother of my Mum). His plan was to fully restore it to its former glory, but living fairly remote in Western Australia I decided to have a go. I plan on restoring the wheels (wooden rims in very poor shape-ie not round) and all the other components, whilst Richie wants to restore the frame. So between us we will hopefully have a priceless family heirloom to cherish for years to come.

As you can see from these two photos we have a lot of work ahead of us to pull this off. But the good bit is we don't need to source many components. Everything we need has been saved, except the perishable bits like tyres and toe straps.

I will be visiting the electroplater on Monday to see if he is able to bring some shine back into the parts. Everything is quality and stamped with "Made in England". It is this stamp that is critical to the restoration. So wish me luck and I will keep you updated with progress.


Anonymous said...

Fascinating bike!

Is it a fixed hub? How do you stop with no brakes? It looks like only the front wheel is wooden - is that by design or did the rear one decay too much?


Anonymous said...

all maintanence done on kitchen floor. chains,sprockets etc soaking in jam tins tyres mended with cotton pulled through bees wax then stuck on wheel with shellac.Old Harold gave all the boys a rub down on our kitchen table with wintergreen liniment mixed to Pops specification by local chemist. Room didnt smell of lavender but great days

Bellie said...

Hi Shane,

It will be build with two wooden rims. In the pic it only show one wooden rim because the other one was so badly out of shape it didn't fit in the frame. Yes it is fixed.

Charz, I can only imagine what it must have been like back in those days to do such a sport. I feel privileged to part of a family with links to Australian cycling history.