The second of this weeks collections was a 1970’s Claud Butler Cavalier road bike that almost had to be prised from the 89 year old previous owner who had owned the bike from new and had covered many a happy mile on it , he had even done all his own maintenance over the years as well .
Upon collection I was greeted by the old boy who quite happily told me all about the bike and showed me all its features ie the alloy bodied frame pump and the fantastic sounding horn that was held on by multiple cable ties . He explained why he had changed the original drops to a set of flat bars due to his age .
He took time to tell me about the lovely Brooks professional saddle that had aged beautifully with some great patina , he also explained how every 6 months it needed treating with some special cream that he was also giving me .
The next thing on his list of things to tell me was to explain how the rear wheel had a flippable hub that allowed you to ride the bike as 10 speed or a single speed fixed bike , I got the impression he had tried fixed once or twice but preferred the multi gear set up better .
The final thing on his check list was to make sure I had a test ride around the cul de sac so I could make sure I was happy that the bike was in full working condition. I was more than happy to take his word but had a short ride just to keep the old boy quiet . It rode well enough on that short ride the three gear changes I made were sharp and clean .
Once we had agreed it was a fine bike and that I would take good care of it I was allowed to load it in to the rear of my car and head home with it . He was a bit emotional but I didn’t notice any tears .
Once home I noticed that the drive chain and rear block had enough oil and grime on them to stop them from ever rusting or squeaking. The sidewalls of the tyres were starting to crack but were holding shape and deemed ok to use and the brakes operated sweetly considering the blocks were the red Wienmann ones which were working against 40+ year old steel rims .
It was with great intrepidation that I decided this would be my Sunday morning mount. I set out to cover a minimum of 6 miles and hopefully 10 miles but as all was going well I did the full 15 mile loop I use that included a few hills just to test man and machine, both managed well and was extremely good . I had removed the rear rack and set the saddle at a more comfy position for me before commencing the ride . All things being equal it should see some commuter miles this week and it might even see some polishing on its paintwork and chrome . I am not sure what the future holds for the bike ie will it be kept or sold on, I am not sure yet .