Category Archives: Featured

RIDE VINTAGE ON FACEBOOK

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When you see a large collection all in one place it can be quite overwhelming, and hard to focus on particular items of interest. An online presentation makes viewing much easier.

In 2007, the ONLINE BICYCLE MUSEUM came into being as a result.

Curating an online museum is no different than one with a physical location: it’s all about helping visitors view the collection.

So you can now view the ONLINE BICYCLE MUSEUM via Facebook’s RIDE VINTAGE TV CHANNEL, which presents different aspects of the Museum you might not otherwise have noticed, as well as the latest updates. These will increasingly be accompanied by video.

https://www.facebook.com/RideVintageTVchannel/

As well as the RIDE VINTAGE TV CHANNEL, there are numerous Facebook Groups, where you can view and exchange information with me and fellow enthusiasts about different vintage bicycle topics.

You’ll need a Facebook account: then click on the links below each of the pictures.

EARLY RACING BICYCLES

https://www.facebook.com/groups/BICYCLERACING/

PERFORMANCE CYCLES: TRICK BIKES, CIRCUS BICYCLES, CUSTOM BICYCLES

https://www.facebook.com/groups/BicycleVintageTrickRiders/

UNUSUAL FRAME DESIGNS: CROSS FRAME BICYCLES, X FRAMES, TRUSS BRIDGE FRAMES 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/XCrossTrussFrameBicycles/

EARLY MILITARY BICYCLES: 1886 – WORLD WAR 1

https://www.facebook.com/groups/BadTeethNoBarMilitaryBicycles/

SPRUNG BIKES: SPRING-FRAME BICYCLES, SPRING FORKS, REAR SUSPENSION

https://www.facebook.com/groups/SpringframeBicycles/

CHAINLESS BICYCLES: SHAFT-DRIVE, ACATENE, CARDAN

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ChainlessBicycles/

BICYCLES & FEMALE EMANCIPATION

https://www.facebook.com/groups/BloomerClubWomensBicycles/

CHILDREN’S RIDING TOYS: JUVENILE BICYCLES, TRICYCLES, COASTER WAGONS

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ChildrensBicyclesTricyclesWagons/

EARLY BICYCLE HEAD BADGES, DECALS, EMBLEMS

https://www.facebook.com/groups/BicycleHeadBadgesDecals/

REMOVABLE CYCLE PARTS: EARLY SADDLES, GRIPS, PEDALS, TYRES

https://www.facebook.com/groups/BicycleSaddlesGripsTyresPedals/

PASSENGER CYCLES: RICKSHAWS, SIDECARS, FORECARS, COMMERCIAL CARRIER TRICYCLES

https://www.facebook.com/groups/BicycleTaxiRickshawTrailerSidecar/

EARLY CYCLE HUBS & GEARS

https://www.facebook.com/groups/BicycleHubsGearsBrakes/

TRIUMPH CYCLE CO: EARLY HISTORY 1880s – 1920s

https://www.facebook.com/groups/TriumphCycleCoEarlyDays/

ROYAL ENFIELD: EARLY HISTORY 1880s – 1920s

https://www.facebook.com/groups/RoyalEnfieldEadieBicycles/

CENTAUR CYCLE CO: EARLY HISTORY 1880s – 1920s

https://www.facebook.com/groups/CentaurCycleCo/

ROVER CYCLE CO: EARLY HISTORY 1880s – 1920s

https://www.facebook.com/groups/RoverStarleyBicycles/

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In addition, the three leading Facebook groups for vintage bicycle enthusiasts are:

NVCC FOR VETERAN CYCLES

https://www.facebook.com/groups/518253051619333/

BICICLETAS ANTIGUAS DE COLECCION

https://www.facebook.com/groups/612046998874183/

THE WHEELMEN

https://www.facebook.com/groups/56103504888/?ref=bookmarks&qsefr=1

 

1910 Cyclist Scouts Training (Boy Scouts)

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1910 CYCLIST SCOUTS TRAINING

(BOY SCOUTS)

Generally speaking, there is, for reconnaissance work, no scout so useful as the cyclist scout, for while he has the advantage of speed over the dismounted scout, he is also far less easily seen than the mounted one. Swiftly and silently he can ride down lanes almost unseen, can dismount and leave his cycle under a hedge, and get on to some high ground to overlook the enemy’s position, whilst a mounted man can often be far more seen than he can see.

Cyclist Scouts Training, 1910

The military, in the early days of the bicycle, saw the machine as a direct competitor to the Cavalry. As a result, officers who saw advantages in using bicycles in warfare – as well as horses – were constantly having to prove the usefulness of the bicycle. Baden-Powell was a strong advocate of the bicycle, and obviously bicycles were absolutely ideal for boys to use. Not only did they provide instant mobility, healthy exercise, and road-sense, but riders could develop mechanical aptitude by keeping the machines roadworthy. They became invaluable to the Scout Movement, and every scout became proficient in cycling.

This handbook is one of the most interesting bicycle manuals of the era, providing good illustrations of bicycles and background information of military cyclist training. Of course, by the time the bicycle was accepted by the military, and cyclist squadrons were formed with the outbreak of WW1, the bicycle’s heyday had passed. The bicycle had already achieved its full evolution by around 1903. But motorcycles and cars underwent a major evolutionary stage as a result of the War and soon after its end, with the introduction of mass-production, cars effectively displaced both the motorcycle and bicycle as the primary form of transportation.

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CYCLIST SCOUTS TRAINING FOR BOY SCOUTS

 

 

 



1905 Cycle Scouts: AA (Automobile Association)

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1905 AA CYCLE SCOUTS

(AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION)

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It is not generally realized that the AA was founded as a contingent of cyclists.

In March 1905 Mr. Walter Gibbons wrote to Autocar magazine proposing the formation of a Motorists’ Association for the Prevention of Police Traps. Two other motorists replied saying that the Brighton road was already patrolled by cyclists to warn motorists of police traps. Bear in mind that in the early years of cycling, there was much antagonism from the Police towards cyclists as well as car drivers.

 

The first bicycle patrols of the new Association started in April 1905. Within months, this informal arrangement of a ‘special staff of cyclists’ was formalized into an organization with a full-time secretary, Stenson Cooke, and was named the Automobile Association. The cycle scouts’ role was to warn AA members of police speed traps ahead (see above photo), and the motorists paid them for their warnings.

 

 

Early AA cycle scouts used their own bicycles, for which they were paid an allowance. Before the introduction of uniforms in 1909, the scouts had to provide their own clothing too. By 1909 there were AA cycle scouts operating all over the country, including Scotland. By 1912 there were 950. The motorcycle patrols, known as Road Service Outfits or ‘RSOs’, weren’t created until 1919. By 1923 there were 274 AA motorbike patrols but still 376 cyclists.

 

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1905 ONWARDS: AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION CYCLE SCOUTS

CREDIT FOR THESE 5 PHOTOS: Carlton reid, flickr album: http://www.flickr.com/photos/carltonreid/with/5618276867/

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1919 MOTOR CYCLING MAGAZINE SUPPLEMENT:

‘EFFICIENT ROAD SERVICE’


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ALWAYS AHEAD

London Pilots: The Association has made arrangements whereby members, unfamiliar with the roads and traffic conditions of London, can be met at any point and piloted through London or to any destination.

The men employed on this work have passed a special examination in the topography, geography, and traffic conditions of the Metropolis and are fully scquainted with all the shopping centres and points of interest in London. The pilots (who do not wear uniform) accompany members to their destinations, but are not allowed to drive cars.

– Always Ahead, October, 1921

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WW1: AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION CYCLE SCOUTS

Apart from the military and the Postal Service, the only other organization with a large contingent of cyclists was the AA. On mobilization, the cyclist scouts of the AA enlisted. Their training took place at Colchester, and the AA’s road manager declared that ‘as cyclists they are unbeatable.’

Below you can see the AA Cycle Scouts outside AA headquarters in September, 1914, prior to enlistment.

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AA – THE ROMANTIC STORY


Extracts from THIS MOTORING – BEING THE ROMANTIC STORY OF THE AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION, by STENSON COOKE, 1931

What’s my Bike?

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PLEASE HELP ME – WHAT IS MY BIKE?

– This is the most common question I’m asked.

Up to now I’ve never advertised a service for identifying other people’s bicycles. Researching bicycles is extremely time-consuming. It requires examining hundreds of old magazines and sales catalogues. There were over 15,000 manufacturers and minimal information exists about the majority of them, so there’s rarely a positive result …plus I already have my own unidentified bikes to research and no time to do it. But people still email me asking the same question.

I still don’t have time to identify your bike. And I have very little interest in post-WW2 bikes. But if it’s an earlier interesting unrestored mystery bike that retains its original parts, I’ll feature it on these pages so other folks can look at it. Maybe eventually someone will recognise it?

Here’s one of my own turn-of-the-century mystery bikes as an example of the minimum quality of photography required if you want to take advantage of this service. Please send focussed photos that include good shots of each side profile, handlebars, front forks, brakes, chainwheel, bottom bracket, frame number. Any of these parts might provide a clue. (If you can not focus a camera to provide clear photos – or if the bike does not have original parts – please do not contact me).

Please send your photos and any helpful info to me at:

Buyvintage@mac.com

And if you recognise my own mystery bike, please let me know!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1890s Bicycles and Cameras

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The scene in Tehran depicted in one of our illustrations this week was sent to us by Mr. John Foster Fraser, who has ridden there on his bicycle, accompanied by two friends, Mr. S. Edward Lunn and Mr. F.H. Lowe. These three cyclists have ridden right across Europe, through the Crimea, over the Caucasus into Asia. Everywhere they have excited the keenest interest. Though they have passed through some of the wildest country infested with robbers, they have escaped hitherto without harm. They are telling their story month by month in the pages of Travel magazine, and exceedingly interesting is the tale of their exciting experiences. At Tehran they were exceedingly well received, and the Shah took the greatest interest in their journey. On the occasion when the photograph which we reproduce was taken the Shah came across the young men at work with their camera in Tehran, and was curious to have the process explained to him.

To Persia on a Bicycle by John Foster Fraser, 1897

 

1896 JUSTIN SPITFIRE fitted with KODAK BULLET ‘Model of 1896’ & TRIPOD

With the arrogance of 21st century living, we often assume that modern innovations are also modern inventions. But that’s not necessarily the case. The diamond-frame bicycle we use today was introduced in the late 19th century, and cameras and 3D made their debut even earlier.

Early cameras were clumsy affairs, requiring a tricycle to transport the heavy photographic equipment. But, by the mid-nineties, enthusiasts could buy a portable film-camera without the need for extra equipment, while the introduction of cheap pneumatic tyres made cycling more comfortable and affordable.

At first, these novelties – cycle and camera – represented a profound new freedom, particularly for women. This museum celebrates that first era – up to 1900 – when these two fabulous new inventions combined in an affordable and practical package. This period did not last for very long. With the introduction of Kodak’s Pocket Brownie in 1909, cameras became small enough to carry in a pocket or bag: a specific bicycle-camera outfit was no longer necessary.

But, for a matter of ten years or so, in the same way that computer and smartphone technology has so stimulated the leisure time of early 21st century folk, the CYCLE CAMERA was a wonderful new toy for the enthusiast of the 1890s. Writers such as H.G. Wells were already introducing the world to joys awheel. But now, with a CYCLE CAMERA, a rider need not be a writer or illustrator. He or she could travel independently and instantly record their own experiences on the road.

PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER & BICYCLE

Samuel Govier was one of the best-known travelling photographers in Cornwall at the turn of the century. He used his bike to transport his leather case of equipment. In this photo, the bicycle was supported by a block underneath his right pedal to maintain a cycling position. It was then removed from the negative. This sort of touching up of photos was popular at the time: horse droppings in the centre of roads were often removed from a negative to give a picture a more aesthetic charm.

Museum for 1890s Cameras & Cycling

PLEASE CLICK HERE

http://www.oldbike.eu/cyclecamera/