25 Apr 2015

Forty Days by gazanson

27/40

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[Henley-on-Thames, UK]
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Twelve classic bikes
Impeccably maintained.
Champing at the bit.
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Like the boats in the previous entry, bikes are made to be used. These beautiful old bikes have all been lovingly restored. They are lined up in a row in the darkness of the shed -- their tyres all pumped, ready for the road. The collection (ranging from the late 1930s through to the 1960s) is owned by Martin, a school friend of Sue's. Martin has invited me to select one for a ride around Henley. The bikes almost seem to be leaning forward, whispering "Pick me!" I select a maroon coloured bike built in 1947 by a great British rider of his day, Freddie Grubb. The bike and I collectively are 128 years old! This doesn't stop us putting in a great performance on the road and later up a nasty one-in five climb though. The bike, to my surprise, actually rides better uphill than my carbon fibre Wilier bike back home. Martin suggests this is to do with the stiffer frame and shorter wheelbase. This needs investigation!