Tweed ridin’

It’s just been one of those weeks for me.

I’ve been pulling together an art show at work, dodging meetings, building up a vintage bike for someone on the other side of the country, and pretty much hating how the weather and events seem to be conspiring against my riding time. Tomorrow I plan to take the Shogun out and get in four or five hours and as many miles as possible.

Today I brought a couple of three speed Vista bicycles into the studio – a “his n’ her” pair that I’m rehabbing for my neighbor. And I also picked up a small-framed three speed British-built Dunelt… way too small for my legs and 6′ 1″ torso, but looks like a perfect fit for my wife. She has a modern Cannondale that she really likes, but I’m thinking this will make a great Tweed Ride bike for her.

Dunelt – according to Sheldon, at any rate – was a second-tier British maker. They were acquired by Raleigh at some point, as so many other small British builders were. Other than that, I don’t find much more about them on the internet. This one is ca. 1966, I guess, if the Sturmey-Archer hub date code is to believed.

I’m not sure why the idea of a Tweed Ride even appeals to me at all. I’m not particularly interested in Victorian-era history, nor am I masochistic enough to want to ride enormously heavy gas pipe two-wheelers on a regular basis. Let’s face facts: my interests are really about vintage lightweight steel road bikes. I like riding them – they have a kind of “soul” that is especially attractive to me.

But I’m also enjoying my brief little flirtation with the Tweed Ride. I’m looking forward to wearing a tweed jacket and a bow tie and a British driving cap while riding my Falcon at a leisurely and somewhat stately pace. Knickers and plaid stockings strike me as an interesting cycling foray.

But it’s only a fling.

In the end, I enjoy the Freschi, and the PX-10, and the Shogun – and all the rest – way too much for this to be anything else.

…pictures of the finished (I think/hope) Falcon San Remo to be posted soon… hopefully before the Tweed Ride, as that is what I’m planning to be riding at the end of the month!


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