53 Cougar miles

Longest ride to date on my recently acquired Paul Donahue built Cougar .

Reynolds 853 frame with a wicked paint job. I could look at the paint job all day long .

I decided to use this bike over my J F Wilson today for no real reason.

Both have straight forks and both want to be ridden .

If this is to be a keeper then I need to swap the stem for a shorter one but that will be only change .

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Visit to Blackpool

We had a lovely few days away in Blackpool recently

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The pair of us love walking along seaside promenades and we don’t worry about the weather .

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I bet most people come back with bags of rock and kiss me quick hats .

If the above statement is true then i am not one of those people because i bought back two rather different pieces of steel instead .

 

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The blue one is what i believe to be a W P Newton frame with track style rear dropouts with the added bonus of brake holes front & rear making this a very useable frame indeed , the other one is a Paul Donohue Cougar made with Reynolds 853 with stunning paintwork .

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You have to love British seaside resorts

Shorter

To compliment the red Aende I picked up last week . I added this late 70’s ex TT Shorter to my already overcrowded garage .

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Original owner had it built to order at the age of 15 and paid in the region of £570 for it .

 

Do you reckon he got it cheaper due to holes in the bottom bracket shell and rear drop outs.

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He also didn’t really have a gear set that are idea for hills .

Hercules Aston Tourist update

Since my original blog about this bike I have had a few stress filled moments whilst working on it .

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First one reared its head when I went to take the quill stem out , as it would only allow me to move it up or down about half an inch . When I finally got it all apart I found that the last inch of the quill stem had come adrift from the rest .

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Next came the two plus hours trying to fit a set of guards , I could get the guards to sit ok but couldn’t get the stays to reach the mounting points so in the end I found some brackets that I fitted between the stays and the mounts .

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The other issue my local bike shop sorted by re-dishing the rear wheel so it sat central in the frame.

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Once all these were sorted it’s been plain sailing and I can honestly say it rides really smooth and all that’s left is to find the ideal tyre pressure .

Purple Hardisty Arrival

Latest arrival in the garage is this Geordie built Hardisty built with Reynolds 531 competition tubing and a mixture of mainly Shimano 105 components from the mid 1990’s and a much more modern 105 triple crankset .

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I love the Purple paintwork and it reminds me a lot of a Mark 1 Escort Mexico i had many moons ago that had been specially ordered in purple velvet by it’s original owner .

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What with a triple crankset and a 7 speed megarange rear cassette , i should be able to climb all the local hills that Northamptonshire has to offer .

Am i undergoing the change ?

Over the last few months I have noticed that I seem to be looking more at newer style bikes than at the normal 70’s – 90’s Retro bikes . I am not quite sure why this is the case really .

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Specialized Allez

 

I still have a garage partially full of older steel bikes like the red Ian May , orange Lomas , red and white Simoncini ,1950’s Raleigh Roadster , red Pollard single speed ,Lee Cooper Single speed , Puch Mistral se ,Marin Bear Valley mtb and the Pennine Italia that sits waiting in the corner for work to be started on it .

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Simoncini

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Ian May

So as you can see from above there is enough steel goodness to be getting on with especially as you can only ride one bike at a time . Most of my November miles have been done on newer machines like the Trek 1.1 Alpha and Planet X Pro Carbon bike. The Pro Carbon was a great bike but I couldn’t manage the rattling noise it made on the slightest uneven road surface, it was almost embarrassing to be honest so as you can guess this was quickly moved on to a new owner to make way for the Trek which I am actually really enjoying riding now . I find the ride quality and its general poise on the road very good .

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Trek 1.1 Alpha

 

I am looking forward to getting the Puch Mistral back on the road as that looks like an ideal machine to me with Reynolds 501 tubing coupled to Puch’s own hi tensile front forks. A nice set of lightweight Campagnolo wheels have replaced the original sprint wheels along with a Campagnolo Mirage crankset that has replaced the original Shimano Golden Arrow crankset as the drive side crank is well and truly stuck on the original bottom bracket spindle and has so far resisted all attempts of separation from said shaft .

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Puch Mistral se

 

The Lomas bike is awaiting a set of retro wheels to be built up from a set of Wienmann rims and a pair of large flanged hubs that will replace the newer set of 27” wheels currently fitted to it , once these wheels are built and fitted I will crack on with getting some more miles on this bike before making a final decision as to whether this is a keeper or one to be sold onwards .

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G.E.R Lomas

My Cycling Bucket List

How many of us have a bucket list ?

I keep thinking how I ought to have one just for my cycling activities , so here is my first go at what would be on there .

To complete a 50 mile ride that takes in either the sunrise or sunset

To own a nice original 50’s or 60’s road bike that can be used rather than just for looking at

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To do more of my own fettling and be less reliant on my local bike shop

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To try and do on average 330 miles a month that will take me close to 4000 mile a year target

To do at least 2 rides of over 3 miles in total with my partner on our tandem per month

To keep supplying good quality retro road bikes to fellow cyclist’s

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Wester Ross

To continue my search for nice Coventry and Merseyside built bikes that can join my ever expanding collection

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To have a new steel frame built to order for myself

To cycle in a foreign country

To compete in at least 1 sportive using a retro bike

To help and encourage others to use a bike for commuting on

So as you can see there is enough on there to be getting on with for the time being , but the most important thing is to keep on enjoying my tinkering and cycling activities on retro road bikes .