Monday, November 23, 2015

Thanksgiving Fox Hunt

For years now. we have assembled a small group to go watch the Norfolk Hunt Club's Fox Hunt.
They never hunt or kill a real fox, but instead follow a dragged scent. The view of Horses and Hounds out in the field with the morning Autumn air is always a great way to start Thanksgiving.
The weather for the day looks perfect. Sunny and in the 50's
We will be meeting at the start on North St in Medfield Ma. Easy to find, look for the horse trailers south of Medfield Center on the road to Dover.
We hope to see you there.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

New Brake Pads for Steel Rims.

Nick at Curious Velo in Lexington, Ma handed me a pair of these special brake pads designed for steel rims.
We will me testing them on Friday.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sunday Morning Breakfast Ride, June 7th at Curious Velo

Lets do it again! Bring out your favorite British Cycling Iron Sunday June 7th for a slow go and show ride to the Colonial Inn in Concord.
We will meet at Curious Velo in Lexington at 8:00 am and be on route at 8:15.

The ride takes the Minute Man Bikeway to the end and picks up the dirt Rail Road bed beond. Its a little sandy with the lack of rain we have been having so you will know.

Bring Cash for Breakfast and a Lock for your bike.

We will be eating in view of the bicycles.

Afterwards, return back on the Battle Road, A Historical National Park that was the road the British Solders took on their way to concord On April 19th 1775.

If we have time we will stop at a grave of an un-named British Solder that never made it home for a moment of silence.

For the most part, this is a Car Free Ride!

We hope to see you there. Rain cancels the ride.

Check back here for photos in a day or so.


Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Perfect Sunday Morning for the Perfect Sunday Morning Breakfast Ride!

The Perfect Day for the Perfect Bike! Nine riders of The Raleigh met at Curious Velo off the Minute Man Bikeway on Mass Ave in Lexington for a fun ride to Concord at the Colonial Inn for breakfast.

The best plase yet to start a Raleigh Ride, Nick Bennett's "Curious Velo" is like a museum of British Bicycles from days gone by. From Bikes to Bits. His shop is really something to see and a real great source for that small part for your Raleigh Project. Love for the Bicycle is here. You have to visit and return!

Cool, comfortable and slow going, we started at 8:30, early enough so it wasn't too crowded as it sometimes gets on such a beautiful Sunday morning.

At the end of the pavement and the end of the bikeway, we continued on the dirt Railroad bed to Concord. Shady and quiet.

We made it to the Inn around 9:30 and parked the Cycling Iron in photogenic spots, un-locked in view from our tables.

Breakfast at the Inn is first class. Just the right amount for hungry cyclists. It became quiet while everyone enjoyed their breakfast treats!

Afterwards we headed off to "The Battle Road". The Battle Road is the road the British solders marched on from Lexington to Concord on the morning of April 19th 1775, after the battle on the Lexington town green, now known as the Battle Green. British solders graves with the Union Jack can be seen along the way. The National Park Service has claimed the land and have knocked down homes that were not standing at the time of the battles of Lexington and Concord. Sandy and slow going, we passed old homesteads once the farms of the people of the then, new country.

At the end of "The Battle Road" we returned back to the pavement and up over the hill we know as "Shirley's Pimple" and back to the Bikeway in Lexington Center.

We arrived back to Curious Velo at noon.

The breakfast Ride was a total success! Every one was happy to be at the end but were talking and looking forward to the next ride and get together!

We hope to see you there!

Here are the photos from our ride:

Scott R Chamberlain, and Nick Bennett Leaders of today's "Breakfast Ride"

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Raleigh Roadster Breakfast Ride, Sunday May 24th, Lexington, Ma.

Come join us for a slow go, Breakfast Ride on Sunday May 24th at 8:00 am.
We will be starting from Curious Velo in Lexington along the Minuteman Bikeway to Concord Center. Afterwards we will ride the Battle Road back to 128 and onto to 2A to Lexington Center and back on the Bikeway. We expect to be back at the shop no later then 11:30am

Bring Cash for breakfast and a lock for your bike.

This is a slow ride and will be fun and not fast. Photos and videos are encouraged so wear your fancy cycling duds so you will look your best.

Here is info about the location of the start of the ride:

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Raleigh New England Afternoon, Saturday May 9th

Come join us for an afternoon of adventure in Dover and the towns around as we bring out the Raleighs for a day of fun and film.
We will be shooting a movie of this day so polish you bike and wear your fancy duds.
Ride starts at 11:15 am at the parking lot of the Dover Library in Dover Center.

Please,British Roadsters ONLY. This is an all Roadster ride so no Recumbents, Road racing machines or anything modern.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Thanksgiving Morning Fox Hunt Ride

Ever see a real Fox Hunt? They don't hunt real Fox, but they do dress up, ride horses and run the Hounds, chasing the scent of Fox, dragged through the woods on a rag.
For years in Medfield, Ma the Norfolk Hunt Club on Thanksgiving morning has run a English style Fox Hunt through the woods and fields of Medfield, Sherborn and Dover.

Over the past 30 years we have "hunted the hunt" by bicycle. Weather permitting, we will do it again this year. The Hounds follow the scent, the horses follow the hounds and the bicycles follow "The Hunt" Simple as that!

Heres the drill: Meet at the start of the event at 10:00 am Thursday November 27th on North Street in Medfield Ma.and head to the Medfield State Hospital grounds to watch them ride through. Return back to the start by 12:00. Sometimes we catch them and sometimes we don't. We do however get out for what always turns out to be a wonderful ride with a story for the dinner table.

Antique Raleighs or British bicycles only. Proper Dress Required. Helmets optional.

Email me if you have any questions. Cash prize for the "Best Dressed"

Hot Tea will be served. Bring your cup.

We hope to see you there.

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Golden Arrow

It wasent until I found my first Golden Arrow in the Sherborn Dump back in the early 70's that I really fell in love with a bicycle.

At that time I had owned 1 Raleigh 23" Raleigh Sports 3 Speed and a 24" Raleigh Sports 4 Speed, but it wasn't until the Golden Arrow that I realized "The Raleigh" was a bicycle of the highest quality that was looked at for years as one of the finest racing machines.

Before the Golden Arrow I had used my Raleighs as "Woods Bikes". Something to get me up to the pond and save time as well as the wear and tear on my racing bike and lightweight wheelset. Sort of a all purpose bicycle for camping and shopping the dump. Named by my close friend, Jon Currier, "Mobile Unit 1", was my pick up truck of bikes. I could move two complete bikes on my Raleigh Sports and not have to worry about puncturing a Tubular Tire or "Sew Up" as they were known back then.

My first Golden Arrow came in 3 phases. The first was the frame. I noticed immediately the differences in the frame angles, headset and removable chainring. The bicycle had no wheels. Figuring it was a three speed, I shopped the dumps for a set fitting for my new bike.
About a week later back at the Sherborn Dump, I found the wheel set. Fixed and Free, front and rear with the "R" wingnuts. There must have not been enough room in the car for the wheels on the first trip to the dump. The bicycle at this time still had black North Road Bars instead of the Lauterwasser style that it was originally sold with.

26 x 1 1/4 EA1 tires were rare back then I managed to scoop a pair of near perfect Dunlop Roadsters with the wheelset, but bicycle shops no longer sold that size.
It wasn't until about a year later, a roommate of a close friend came across a 30's Raleigh with Drum Brakes that felt the bike more fitting with up right bars, so we swapped.

Me on my Golden Arrow in October of 1977 after crossing into the infield at the flooded track at Watkins Glen for the US Grand Prix

The Golden Arrow as a fixed gear became my primary bicycle. I rode it everywhere. After becoming use to it super laid back feel with its very relaxed headtube angle and extremely raked fork, It became normal to me and felt right.
As time went on I would meet older riders that recognized the bike from having owned one. They too knew the feel of the Arrow and the love for the Raleigh. I learned that the bicycle was made in two sizes, but it was only the smaller 21" frame that was preferred by riders of all heights. The laid back seat tube angle would create the perfect top tube length as the seat was raised for the rider.

Bill Vandell on his 1936 Raleigh Golden Arrow. This shot was taken by Mr Landry in Concord, Ma in 1937

The Golden Arrow to this day remains my favorite Raleigh. I have owned three. On a later date I will do a "Part Two" to this story of how I came across my third. It was truly a dream come true!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Reinventing the Bicycle

Over the last 10 years we have seen old designs become new. Fixed and Free bicycles, the normal bicycle until the early 40's have become the New bicycles of today.
Simple and clean drive trains are now what's mostly seen on big city streets here in the U. S. Single speeds appeal to new riders for the light weight and lack of maintenance.
Walk through any large bicycle shop and you will see, one speeds, two speeds, three speeds, all the way up to Eleven.
Raleigh for years offered Sturmey Archer 3 Speed hubs as an option only. Bicycles for the most part came as a one speed. Freewheels were normal gear, but Fixed Cogs were found on all racing models.
Years ago, I was working at a shop that dealt with all new old stock as well as used classic lightweights. Everything we sold except for rubber and cables was antique. One day a older gent and a friend showed up with a Drysdale, "Red Devil" The Red Devil was one of the favorite of all the road racers back in the 30's. (The other was the Raleigh Golden Arrow) Fixed gear, simple and clean as a whistle.
As the gents unloaded the bike they were selling for a friends wife, who had passed away, we chatted about riding "Fixed."
I told them that I had my first in the early 70's, a Golden Arrow and now had 2 custom built bikes as well as 3 Arrows. I went on to say, I Love my Fixed Gears, People think I'm Nuts! I ride them everywhere! In the woods as an off road bike and once back from Montreal!
They looked at me like the child I was and still am and said, "Did you ever do it on wood rims? We didn't have paved roads when we were growing up. We knew a rider was out of shape when they would show up on one of those "Derailleur Bikes".
The fellow was Joseph Cote. He went on to tell me they use to ride 52-13 fixed. It was easer on the down hills. A normal training day was 180 miles.
Bill Vandell of Vandell's in New Bedford, Ma. was the same way. High gears and big miles, he would head out in the morning from New Bedford and ride up to Vermont and be back home for dinner. Dirt roads for the most part. He rode a Golden Arrow.
Times have changed. Riders prefer lower gears. Fixed for fashion and not proper form. Road racing is derailleur bicycle only but back in the 30's they were not allowed. Excepting the derailleur was hard here in the States and for some today as well.

Bill Vandell and his 1936 Raleigh Golden Arrow

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Veterans Day Ride 11,11 at 11

Nine Years Ago!

Its that time again!

Veterans Day comes but once a year. A day to remember our past and the Men and Women that served this country of ours to make it and keep it as we know it.
Veterans Day for us has been a day of celebration. Bring out out the old bikes for a slow ride through the New England splendor.

We will be meeting in Dover at 11:00 am (Tuesday) and be riding a multy stop ride to the Sherborn Inn for lunch. There will many photo Opportunity so don't forget to bring a camera!
Bring locks and cash for lunch. Helmets are optional.
RSVP by email with the address at the bottom of the page. This is going to be a fun ride. Rain cancels this event.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Bosrug Breakfast Ride Sunday June 1st

Please join us again for another Bosrug Breakfast Ride from Lexington to Concord, Ma, Sunday June 1st.
We will be meeting In Lexington Center if front of Peet's Coffee at 8:30 am and heading out around 9:00 on the Minute Man Trail West to Concord to feast at the Colonial Inn.
This will be a wonderful event for 3 Speeders and upright Roadsters only. A video will be made of the ride and breakfast so period dress is always a added plus to the event.
Bring locks, cash and a bicycle. Rain cancels the ride.
Hope to see you there!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Breakfast Ride Sunday Sunday May 4th

Lets start off the new Raleigh Year with a breakfast ride to Concord, Ma.

We will meet at Peet's Coffee at 1749 Massachusetts Ave, Lexington, MA 02420 At 8:00am.

The ride will be bicycle paved bicycle trail to road to the Colonial Inn in Concord at 48 Monument Square, Concord, MA 01742 and return via the "Battle Road" on dirt, to road.
We will be back in Lexington Center around 11:30.

This should be a fun, very slow ride. Please, 3 Speeds only. If you have a friend that wants to come along, lend them a bike. We have one Ladies that we can lend, but the rider must know how to ride off road.

Rain cancels the ride and possible postpone it for the following Sunday.

Bring Cash and a lock. Helmets optional.

Hope you can attend.