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H-B Designs News Blog

Memory Lane No.3

23 March 2011

girl cycle chic

Gadgets & Bikes!
Being proud of your two, three or four-wheel transport is not an exclusively grown up thing. My first mode of transport was a pale green painted tricycle. It was 1941, and I was vaguely aware that a war was on. However, apart from the seriousness of world events, my early childhood world was centred on my trike. Uncle Bert’s Cycle & Electrical Shop in the village had all sorts of gadgets you could fix to your machine. So it seemed only natural that a jingling bell –you made it more resonant by slightly loosening the top of it. A hooter which made a high pitched squeak when you squeezed the rubber bulb attached to the narrow end of the metal horn. The Union Jack pennant, all very patriotic (although to me it was just a flag to fly on my handlebars) and an AA badge. I can’t really recall how I came by it, but it looked pretty impressive all the same. The ‘clicker’ made from a cigarette packet fixed to the front forks, which made a great whizzing noise as you sped down the road. This may sound all rather trivial compared to our 21st century ultra technically minded gadget owners, but I like to think we were an inventive lot too!
Many fortunate cyclists from the late forties onwards, customised, adorned, painted and turned an ordinary pushbike into more than just a means of transport; it became a symbol and source of pride to its owner. The oily rags, chrome polish – usually Silvo- were essential cleaning materials for keeping your metal steed in sparkling condition. For those old enough to recall this mid twentieth century period, car and motorbike owners up and down the land could be seen every weekend washing, cleaning and polishing the car/motorbike. It was an accepted ritual through the fifties and sixties.
As new and novel gadgets for the bike came on the market ( headlamp dynamo, milometer, speedometer, windshield, front and rear lights, hockey stick/tennis racket clip, front and rear mounted panniers) it did not take long before many bike owners had some if not all of these additional items fixed to the bike frame.
Biking is such a fun thing to do. It is very pleasing to see so many children, properly equipped with sensible cycling gear, riding to school, the park or recreational ground. Such carefree happy days are so important in every child’s growing up years. The humble bicycle has been for many years, and hopefully will continue to be, a relatively cheap, enjoyable family sharing activity especially at weekends. And yes, an opportunity for Henry and Martha to excitedly show off their new bike gadgets from Father Christmas!
Bike Father February 2011

 

Gadgets & Bikes!

Being proud of your two, three or four-wheel transport is not an exclusively grown up thing. My first mode of transport was a pale green painted tricycle. It was 1941, and I was vaguely aware that a war was on. However, apart from the seriousness of world events, my early childhood world was centred on my trike. Uncle Bert’s Cycle & Electrical Shop in the village had all sorts of gadgets you could fix to your machine. So it seemed only natural that a jingling bell –you made it more resonant by slightly loosening the top of it. A hooter which made a high pitched squeak when you squeezed the rubber bulb attached to the narrow end of the metal horn. The Union Jack pennant, all very patriotic (although to me it was just a flag to fly on my handlebars) and an AA badge. I can’t really recall how I came by it, but it looked pretty impressive all the same. The ‘clicker’ made from a cigarette packet fixed to the front forks, which made a great whizzing noise as you sped down the road. This may sound all rather trivial compared to our 21st century ultra technically minded gadget owners, but I like to think we were an inventive lot too!

Many fortunate cyclists from the late forties onwards, customised, adorned, painted and turned an ordinary pushbike into more than just a means of transport; it became a symbol and source of pride to its owner. The oily rags, chrome polish – usually Silvo- were essential cleaning materials for keeping your metal steed in sparkling condition. For those old enough to recall this mid twentieth century period, car and motorbike owners up and down the land could be seen every weekend washing, cleaning and polishing the car/motorbike. It was an accepted ritual through the fifties and sixties.

As new and novel gadgets for the bike came on the market ( headlamp dynamo, milometer, speedometer, windshield, front and rear lights, hockey stick/tennis racket clip, front and rear mounted panniers) it did not take long before many bike owners had some if not all of these additional items fixed to the bike frame.

Biking is such a fun thing to do. It is very pleasing to see so many children, properly equipped with sensible cycling gear, riding to school, the park or recreational ground. Such carefree happy days are so important in every child’s growing up years. The humble bicycle has been for many years, and hopefully will continue to be, a relatively cheap, enjoyable family sharing activity especially at weekends. And yes, an opportunity for all the Henrys and Marthas to excitedly show off their new bike gadgets and apparal to the world!

The Bike Father

 

 

Author: H-B Designs