Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy 2013!

Here We Go! A whole new year to enjoy the bikes and style we enjoy most. Lets see how many adventures we can have. Great times, great friends and the photos to prove it!
2013 will be the 120 birthday of the Raleigh. Great bikes, Great times!
Heres wishing all a Very Happy Raleigh New Year!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

My Christmas Story

I like to think of myself as a good guy. If I can, I will go out of my way to help out a friend or even a stranger in need.
I found out that my friend and cycling buddy didn't have much longer to live, I asked Him if there was anything he wanted for Christmas that he never got.
It didn't take him long to answer. His dream gift that he always wanted to see under the tree on Christmas morning was a Red Bicycle. He said he had asked, but always received something different.
We left it at that. Knowing that he probably would never see his dream come true,I went right to work.
Bikes in my life have seemed to come right when I needed them. It wasn't more then 3 days that I found the perfect Red Bicycle for my friend's dream Christmas gift.
It was a Red 1957 Schwinn Typhoon single speed,coaster brake, in fair condition.
Old Schwinn's clean up beautifully with a little elbow grease. I dismantled the bike, polished every part and put it back together.
The bicycle looked great and with a red bow on the seat,was ready for under the tree. I talked to his Mom and worked things out so we could get it in the house late on Christmas Eve while everyone was sleeping.
The plan was to show up around 11:00 and come through the front door. By that time, she was sure everyone would be sound asleep. She was going to have a place ready for us to put the bike, right in the center.
For me to get the Schwinn over to Sherborn, I would need the help of my younger Brother, John.
John knew my friend and was happy to be part of the plan.
My brother would pick me up at the fanilys house and head over around 10:30 in his El Camino, Bike covered and ready.
We parked down the street and carried the bicycle the last 100 yards so we would not be heard coming into the driveway.
Getting into the house went without problem, John holding the door and with out touching the wet ground , I got the bike in the living room.
The room was dark. Decorated beautifully for the Holidays, the Tree was lit and with the candles in the window, we could see exactly where we were going.
It took a little extra time setting the bike so it looked perfect.
Although the surprise seemed like the thing to do for someone on Christmas, it was really strange to be in someones home, in the middle of the night, in the dark, with everyone in bed asleep.
That's when I broke the news to my brother John. I put my mouth up to his ear and whispered, "I don't think this is the right house!"
My brother turned white as the freshly fallen snow. We ran out the door as quickly and quietly as possible, leaving the Red Schwinn behind under the Christmas Tree.

Thirty five years have passed and to this day we have never found out if we had the right house or not. I assume we did and the gift received, but I never heard back and we never bothered to ask.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Alex Moulton 9 April 1920 – 9 December 2012

Truly great bicycle designer. He will be missed.

1965 Moulton Standard

It is with great sorrow that Shaun Moulton and The Moulton Bicycle Company announce the news that Dr. Alexander Eric Moulton CBE, distinguished engineer and inventor, passed away peacefully in the company of his family and staff on Sunday evening, 9th December 2012, at the age of 92.

Dr. Moulton was an inspiration for generations of engineers, designers and inventors. Educated at Marlborough and Cambridge, Alex Moulton worked at Bristol Aeroplanes as assistant to Sir Roy Fedden during WW2. He joined Bradford on Avon rubber manufacturers Spencer Moulton in 1945, leading a new research team. His collaboration with Sir Alec Issigonis resulted in Moulton suspension, including ‘Hydrolastic’ and ‘Hydragas’ systems, being employed in over twelve million British cars from the original Mini to the MGF.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Want Advertiser

Long before Craigs List and even the internet there was the Want Advertiser. A weekly magazine listing everything for sale.
People made money from the "Want Ads" Buy and sell, the magazine would hit the stands every Thursday morning and by noon, everything worth buying was ether sold or being dealt with.
My weekly plan back in the early 70's was to ride to the Maugus Restaurant in Wellesly Ma. and buy the just received magazine next door. While waiting for my breakfast, I would use the phone on the wall to call folks that had posted ads of Raleigh Sports or DL-1's.
After contacting the seller, I would then ask 3 simple questions about the bicycle:
What color is it, is the seat made out of leather and is it a girls or a boys bike.
Most sellers had no idea what size or year it was. The best part of the magazine was that you never saw any Raleigh Sports listed for more then $50.00. Most Sports would be listed for around $35.00. High for the times, it was hard to find any used bicycle listed for anything more then $100.
After deciding if the bike was worth the trip to see it, I would make arrangements to go get it, arranging with the seller to be home when I get there and for me to have cash in hand. At of a time of no ATM's or cell phones, it was no simple feat.
Traveling by bicycle, I would need the tools and the pack to carry the bicycle home. Never was the bicycle any further distance then Worcester. It was a time when bicycles were not allowed on the train. The broken down bike was carried on the my back and bike sometimes as far as 35 miles home to my shop.
A refurbished Raleigh at that time could bring as much as $100 when sold to Harvard or MIT students as transportation. I could turn as many as 2 bicycles a week and with only having to pay $45.00 a month for rent of my room in my Cambridgeport apartment, after the cost of parts, $125.00 was a good weekly wage.
Over time I found some great old bikes that to this day I still own. Getting leads from other riders was a great source of British Roadsters, but the Want Ad was by far, the most dependable source for a weekly supply used Raleighs.

The Want Advertiser went out of business in October of 2008. The magazine that allowed sellers to post their ad and pay by the honor system closed its doors for good. Another business closes its doors because of we now know and love, the internet.

1939 Raleigh DL-1, $30.00 It came with the catalog and a hand written letter from the second owner to the third. I was the forth.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Two Tablespoons a Fortnight.

Anybody that has dealt with Raleigh/Sturmey Archer for more then 30 years will know exactly where the title of today's post comes from.

Proper care and feeding of your Sturmey Archer gear requires a certain amount of oil over time. As it gets colder and if you continue to ride into the winter, the old can of 30 weight may not be the best lubricant for the job.
Sturmey Archer oil and Raleigh oil has been what seems to me 30 weight motor oil. Thin enough to not get sticky and thick enough to not break down over time.
My oil of choice at this time of year is a little thinner.
Marvel Lubricating Oil seems to do the job nicely. Not readily found its best to get it on line. Not to be confused with "Marvel Mystery Oil" the Mystery Oil is for loosening stuck widgets and too thin for the job correctly over time. That said, as long as its thin, its better then thick.

Thirty five years ago I was asked to help with a video shoot on the top floor of the Raleigh Building on Commonwealth Ave in Boston. Boston Video rented the whole floor for film and video rental for pro needs. They also had a 3 camera studio where we were doing a jazz dance shoot.

I rode my 1963 Raleigh Superb with Claude Butler racks, front and rear, Brooks Pro Saddle Sturmey Archer Sports lam mounted on the fork, and Campagnolo pedals in from Dover. I got in the elevator on the first floor to go up. The door opened at Raleigh and 4 well dressed gentleman got in. They didn't know me, but I knew who they were because we used the Raleigh offices for our CRC of A club meeting with John Allis. They first thought that I would be getting out at Raleigh, but I said, I'm going up.
Quiet, they all looked at me,my cleated black leather lace up shoes and my Raleigh. It was one of the nicest bikes I have ever broken.

After trying to figure it all out, one gent said, "You know you need to oil that hub?" And I responded with what I had read from the side of the then, antique can. They all smiled and wished me a good day as I got off the elevator.

But as it said on the can, "Two Tablespoons a Fortnight" it was always a question on how to get a tablespoon of oil through the spokes of your wheel filled with oil and how do you pour it in? Typical British, these are things you are supposed to know. If you have to ask, then just maybe you don't deserve the hub gear at all!

I like to think I know. I never use a table spoon of course, but pour what I think is enough as to not drip out of the hub. Too much won't hurt the hub, just your floor and your pocket having to buy more oil sooner than you would need. Check the link below for a source of Marvel brand oils.

Monday, December 3, 2012

When Enough is Enough

I love to explore on the bike. I like riding fast but prefer to take my time and see things. Using the bicycle to get a better look then if traveling by automobile, The bicycle allows me to arrive at every moment.
I was never the fastest person. Even the Police Lady crossing guard knew her job was finished and it was time to go home when I came along walking home from school in the first grade. I was always last. Trash day was all the more reason to go slow. I learned at an early age that stuff being tossed at the end of a driveway was free. One persons junk could be my treasure.
With the new news every day about the ill effects of over doing exercise and the importance of moderation, I feel that my level of speed in travel is justified, See more, enjoy more, find more. The Roadster is perfect for that. Caring the tools for a quick stop at the dump just in case there is that hard to find part, found.

I love riding with good friends, Old and new alike. What a great way to spend a day enjoying the New England countryside.

The other day I was riding with an old friend. We came to an intersection of two busy streets. A spot that one would expect to respect and at least put your foot down for a moment. No. My riding partner went through the red light and did not look back. By the time it was safe, he was down the street too far to hear me and make the corner to cross the foot bridge over the Charles.
I crossed and saw him continue at speed, never once looking back as if he was in some kind of race.
We never meet up again that day.

This behavior is unacceptable in my way of thinking. I have always felt the the best riders can ride with the fastest, have fun with the slowest and obey the rules of the road. Selfish riding techniques are as bad in my mind as selfish drivers.
I met with my old friend a couple of days later and told him we would not ride together again for a long time. Not as punishment, but for the reason that I have better things to do with my rides, It was not the first time he had done it but would be the last.

I have never felt that my blog should be a rant, but I do think that good friends and riders should stick together for the duration of an afternoon ride finishing together for a "Thank you and a "Lets do this again sometime soon."

What do you think?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Dealing With Winter

Not the best time of year for a collectable antique bike. Sand and salt will ruin a 3 speed as well as any bicycle on New England streets in short order at this time of year.
If you don't notice it now, you will later. All those nicely sculpted screws and nuts that hold your fenders on will become one after a good soaking of water and road salt.
I have ruined many a bike over time. Of course, washing your bike after a ride will keep things right, but I have never had the energy after a good ride to start working on my bike. Its the right thing to do, but at the wrong time.
Funny, I first got into Raleigh Sports 3 Speeds by using them in the winter and not ruin my good bikes. Back in the late 60's it was easy pickings at any near by dump. Wellesley, Mass was a good one to find a selection of what would fit the bill.
I love riding in the snow. Especially when it's sunny. There is nothing like bundling up and heading out for a cycle adventure on a beautiful New England road with snow covered everything. Its just hard on the bike.
I like to use a lesser bike, dump pick as a winter ride. I'm sure years from now I will think, what did I do to that beautiful so and so. Everything in time becomes valuable. Its just hard to remember the justification of the ride when you think back to what you have ruined.
Let's go for a ride!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veterans Day Ride

We polished up your roadsters and put on our finest wools for this wonderful ride.

Eleven riders on 11-11 at 11:00

Our ride leader Doug Harris had the perfect route for the perfect day!
Say Hi to Doug!

Smiles for miles!

Lennon didn't make the ride, but I put his photo in anyway.

3 speeds, 3 cameras.

This was the 30th anniversary of "The Veterans Day Ride" once known as the "Inn Tour" held on the same day.

The weather was great!

Our ride showcased the Atlantic Ocean and surrounding areas.

Why yes Mr President, he is here. Would you like to speak to him?

Great new friends on Great old bikes

A Great time was had by all!

Heres to new friends and new rides on old bikes!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Riders on the Storm

It was back in 1991, August 19th to be exact.
I was at International Bicycle n Allston,Ma at the time. I got the word that the store would be closing early that day because of Hurricane Bob.
Shortly after the announcement, I got a call from my friend Bob Barton.
"Want to go for a ride?"
He wasn't kidding. We were going to meet Rick Corimer and head out to Dover for a Mountain Bike Ride. "Great! Count me in!"
We drove and picked up food for after the ride, and arrived at the edge of the woods as the wind was really starting to blow. The sound of trees breaking was everywhere. It was August and all the trees had all the leaves still on.
I will always remember the super strong gusts of wind through the leafed tree tops and the huge smiles it caused. Then there would be a eery calm as if nothing was happening at all. It would start to blow and get louder and louder and still louder. Cracking and the wind sounded more like a jet engine. In the shelter of the trees most of the time, it wasn't as hard to ride as one might think. Warm and wet, we did the trails we normally rode on. Topping the rock topped peaks to take a look was only done for a moment. Out in the open, it was hard to stand up. There wasn't much to see anyway.
After covering most of what we then knew as "Peabody's Woods" we crossed town on pavement to Snow Hill and the fire tower. The storm never stopped over the course of our ride.
Coming out to the street, there were branches down everywhere. Absolutely no cars.
We got to the edge of the woods and came across a dog walker. The dog didn't seem to notice the storm, but the owner, wide eyed did. He asked, "Are you guys going to the tower?" We had never been to Snow Hill without going to the tower, so the answer was "yes." I could tell by the look in his eyes that he would have traded the dog for that afternoon for a Mountain Bike just to join us.

Rain always looks worse from inside and behind glass but today, from inside, you couldn't see out.
Riding in the wind was not bad. Again being sheltered by the trees but coming out in the open, the wind was stronger then it had been all afternoon. The top of the hill is only 450' above sea level but winds of 140 mph were measured on top of Great Blue Hill in Milton that day only 8 miles away.
Hiding the bikes from the wind in the bushes, we topped the Snow Hill on foot and got to the base of the tower.
"Its Open!" Bob yelled at the top of his lungs, holding on tight to the angle iron structure.
Step by step we climbed in the gusting wind. Above the trees to what looked like a ocean of movement. Cracking everywhere, the tower swayed and the guide wires sang. Step by step holding on like never before. We stayed together that day, Rick, Bob and I and made it to the top together and into the shelter of the towers top.

Wiping his hands and face, Bob pulled from his backpack 3 ice cold bottles of Becks Beer.

The bottles were popped open and the toast was made to a ride we would never forget.

We made it out of the woods that day without problem. I remember getting back to the house and the difference of being in.
We all spent the afternoon occasionally looking out the window. I will remember the feeling of missing being outdoors and the excitement of the storm. It was the same with all of us. The storm had changed us as a group. We knew we had done it but at the same time knew we would never be able to explain to riders who had stayed inside that day of its true excitement of what would have normally be a short and simple ride with Bob.

Climb up the Snow Hill Tower on this sunny winter day.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Echo Bridge

Tots never rides without his trumpet. Here is a little bit he did for BOSRUG when I told him about the famous echo at Echo Bridge in Newton Upper Falls. Enjoy!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Time to Enjoy the Color

There is still time to get out and enjoy the color of New England. Beautiful Indian Summer days are here and time on the bike is well worth spent.
Take the time to go out and get a little lost. Find a new place and call it yours.

This beautiful Raleigh Dawn Tourist is the perfect bike for today. Everything you would ever need for the perfect ride through New England's lanes and countryside. Heads up and happy.

I hope you get a chance to get out today!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Blackstone River Bikeway

The Blackstone River Bikeway is another great get a way close to Boston. A favorite for years, the trail follows the Blackstone River Canal from Woonsocket to Central Falls in Cumberland.

The actual bicycle trail is only 10 miles long, but following well placed markers, you can make your way all the way to Providence.

As you ride along the canal, you pass old foundations of large mills that once got the power from the river. There is a cute, free museum at the Cumberland, Lincoln River crossing that has any and all information about the river, canal and surrounding towns.

The perfect spot for any type of wheel, The Blackstone River Bikeway is used by all. Crouds on the trail during the week are few and large sections are ridden without seeing a soul.

This is a must see. Riding to the trail can be done, but for a simple afternoon of riding and site seeing there is ample parking to unload your roadster for the perfect afternoon tour.

Click on the link above to see more about the trail and plans to extend it to Worcester.

We were happy to see that the trail had been extended to Woonsocket Center through a section high above the river. The return back had wonderful views of the shore and the high rock ledges the Blackstone River is known for.

We are looking forward to returning soon.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Locke Ober's

Locke-Ober Cafe was a true joy. Old world Boston. You were treated like royalty the moment you walk through the door.
The restaurant remained as it had for years. Ceiling to floor hand carved mahogany panels and Tiffany style stained glass windows. As you entered the restaurant you were faced with a Bronze sculpture called "Glori Victis" by French sculpture Marcus Jean Antonin Mercil, known as "Boston's most famous hat rack"
The most distinguishing characteristic of the dining room was 7 large silver Tureens with a system of pulleys and wires to lift the lids. Its said the heavy silver lids can be lifted with one finger.

Locke-Ober started as a small "cellar cafe" somewhere around 1870 by a fellow by the name of Louis Philippe Ober. After the "Great Fire" of 1872 the restaurant soon grew into a grander eating establishment at 4 Winter Place.
Louis Ober sold the Restaurant 25 years later to "Wood and Pollard" a wholesaler of liquor.
Two years later the owner of a restaurant at 2 Winter Place, next door, Frank Locke bought Ober's Restaurant Parisian. He had run a successful restaurant called "Frank's Wine Room" serving Wine, Liquor and Lunch. The location for the most part was a men's restaurant and closed to women except between the hours of 9:00-11:00 am for viewing only.
His ownership of Ober's was short lived. He passed away in April of 1894.
Two months after Frank Locke's death the restaurant was again purchased by Wood and Pollard. The two restraunts were combined.
The restraunt was then sold to Emil Camis where he combined not only the two menu's, but also the names. Locke-Ober. With the help of J.B.Bailhe' Head chef for "Ober's Restaurant Parisien",they ran a successful restaurant for 40 years.
Since then Locke-Ober has been owned by many different folks, All keeping the old world charm that had you feeling you have gone back in time.

Locke-Ober Closed its doors for good yesterday. Its sad to see it go. Its about time that the city of Boston should step in and save our dieing past. Places like this need to be preserved for generations to come. Possibly a school for young waiters to learn old world charm.
I will miss Locke-Ober

Thursday, October 18, 2012

New England at its Best

Fall seems to be every New Englanders favorite time of year. After the first frost when the temperature comes up over 70 degrees is when things get nice. Indian Summer is best enjoyed outdoors, and if lucky on a calm day like yesterday.
Taking the time to get out and view the Fall colors in a spot free from the hustle and bustle of city life has you in short order realizing exactly why we love living here.

The Nashoba Vally Winery is the perfect place to be on a warm fall day.

Its huge parking lot has ample space to start the perfect Fall ride. Explore the area south to Clinton and the Wachusett Reservoir. Bolton, Boylston and Berlin have roads the time has forgotten. Great hill climbs that will have you thinking that 3 speeds just are not enough and downhills that will have you remembering why we love our roadsters so much.

Stop at the Flat Penny Bar and Grill in Boylston for a Shipyard Pumpkin Ale. Served the way you like it, this cute spot has all the charm of English Pub and the best Sea Food in the area.

Passing through Clinton Center, don't forget to stop at The Oldtimers.

Round the corner back to the car and the winery for a picnic set in a world class spot.

Week day bicycle touring is the best to beat the crowds. This is very popular amongst the "Leaf Peepers", but can be enjoyed during any Indian Summer day!

This simple little tour can be enjoyed on any style bicycle but best on a Roadster, head up with full view. Figure the loop is only about 17 miles. With stops, around 3 hours.

What a great way to spend an afternoon!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Getting Ready for Winter

Here we go again! Winter. Even the sound of it has you looking for your sweater. A cold and wet day like this makes it easy to imagine.
When the snow falls and the road salt gets spread, its not time to stop riding, its just time to stop riding your nice bikes.
Damage from road salt creeps up on you. You won't notice it at first, but it can ruin any bicycle over time.
Here's what I do. I never take anything collectable out on wet salty streets. Cold dry surfaces can be OK but still require washing the bike afterwards. I have been told that road salt has little effect on steel if kept below 32 degrees. I'm not so sure about that but if the bike is kept in your garage or a cold spot out of the weather, then maybe you can delay cleaning the bike for a day or two. If you are caught out on your nice bike during an event or special occasion, pour warm water over the effected areas to rinse off the salt. You may not see it, but assume its there.
The best solution to a messy subject is to get another bicycle. We are lucky here in New England to have many bikes to choose from. Dump picks and Craig s List offer cheap a solution to taking out your prize British Roadster.
Start looking now and get your "Ride" set for the cold and salty winter months ahead. It will be here sooner then you think!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Nice to be back in New England

Fall Champagne Toast on the Foot Bridge on the Charles

A Little France in Framingham

Framingham is not known for its European style. If anything is more work a day world that has its feet planted firmly right here in the USA.

But if you get around, you might find this little bit of farm heaven tn the North West corner of the town. Near Nobscot and the Wayside Inn in South Sudbury, there is a little dairy farm that has all the color and background of any French or Swiss village.
I have passed it for years admiring the stucco silos with their conical tops. I always thought that it was like out of a storybook.

Eastleigh Farm is just that, Story book. Ice cream raw milk and cheese. Farm made butter. fresh eggs and cream. All the goodness you would expect in an European village dairy. Just wonderful!

Go to their farm or go to their web site. This is a real gem run by folk with huge hearts.

A short distance from Boston, A wonderful day trip that will have you feeling like you have stepped back in time.

While in the neighborhood, stop by the Wayside Inn. Lunch is wonderful or just for tea in the "Tap Room."

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Going Back in Time

Its not often you come across a restaurant unchanged in time. Ann's Is just that.

The food here is all american as well as the Wait Staff. Beautiful in its own way, The food is the best. Like an old 3 speed, nothing is over kill. Pancakes cooked in butter, in cast iron. The flavor is spot on.

Only open for Breakfast. Ann's opens at 5:30 and closes for the day at 11:00 am. The "Lunch" part of the sign only means, Unchanged from a time when they were open for lunch.

American as the day is long, The remembrance of 9-11 has a 5 Euro note taped in the center.

Run by two, The food keeps coming from the little kitchen.

All the hardware is as it was back in 1955 when this spot first opened.

Final note, Anns's will be closing for good soon. There is a new two story building planned to be put in its place as soon as Thanksgiving, this year.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Time Out

Its been a while. Things have been a little complicated over the past couple of weeks not allowing the Bosrug group to explore and enjoy our New England backyard.
Its fine, time will come when we will be back to it, but over the past week, adventures had us in the very center of the USA for less fun stuff. There is a time for everything.
Our adventure was bike-less. Fly out on Tuesday morning and then back again on Thursday.
A quick round a bout for the passing of a friend. He had lead a good life and will me missed. Here are some of the photos.