When I was staying in Worcester (Day 6) after I’d had a chat with my landlady, written the blog, missed the food service in the pub and dined magnificently on olives, crisps and nuts, I was idly flipping through my phone when I realised that a bike for sale that I had been watching was actually located in the town. A message or two later and I had an appointment to view before I headed for Ironbridge.
There was, of course, a perfectly logical reason why I was interrupting an attempt to ride a Mini Motor powered bicycle to John o’ Groats in order to consider buying another bicycle with a pretty much identical Mini Motor attached.
When you reach the age I am at now it becomes obvious that things are not going to continue as they are forever. So in my garage loft there is a ‘step through’ frame (formerly referred to as a ‘ladies’ frame) which was awaiting rebuilding with a motor for the time when I can no longer mount a bicycle with a crossbar (notice how I cleverly avoided the phrase ‘leg-over’). However, although the fact that I had united the engine and bicycle on the Rudge gave me a freer hand in peparing for LEJOG, the idea of owning a machine that had actually been used as a cyclemotor at the time appealed. You are following this aren’t you? There is a test at the end.
The ‘logic’ bit resided in the fact that the bike advertised appeared from the photographs to be untouched since the 1950s but only a viewing could satisfactorily confirm that. Nigel’s Mum’s bungalow was in another area of beautiful South Worcestershire countryside. As soon as he showed me the bike I knew it fitted the criteria. Not only was the 1953 tax disc still on it but it was obvious nobody had cleaned it since. It had the authentic oily crud that only a Mini Motor can produce (and which has taken hours to scrape off the Rudge this week).
Anyway to try and draw this to some sort of conclusion – Dear reader, I bought it and collected it today.
There has been some discussion since I got back as for me this is a treasure: The authentic dirt from the year we were born, the tax disc issued when I was 3 days old, the ‘War Grade’ tyres… For Barbara this looks like expensive, time-consuming scrap.
There will always be Philistines amongst us, David, rise above it.
As far as the fundraising goes there have been a couple of generous donations. (https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/raleighrudginit)
I need to thank Jane Lea-Jones who not only got Barb the gig on Penistone FM but also contacted the Barnsley Chronicle who did us proud last Friday. I must thank Macky Chell and Jane Hobbs too. Having spent some time cleaning up the old awning we gave them at the end of last season and finding that it wouldn’t fit their van, they donated the whole of the proceeds of its sale to Alzheimer’s Research UK.