I’ve really go to get round to thinking of better names for my bikes, I can’t keep calling them #1 and #2! I could call #2 by its model name (Tour of Britain) but my first bike simply has no name. Later they started calling them “BSA Metro” and “BSA Sport” to differentiate them, as if the different handlebars weren’t a dead giveaway. I did think of calling #1 “Gary” for a time, as like Garys there were a lot about in the 1980s but they’ve almost totally vanished since. But Gary’s a horrid name for a nice bicycle. Any suggestions?
Anyway, Bike #2 is awaiting paint stripping which means I haven’t got all that long before I have to make a decision on colours. I think I’ve essentially narrowed it down to a metallic dark blue, but I have thought of other options.
British Racing Green would be the obvious patriotic choice, but wouldn’t match the blue on the stickers and would pose the unanswerable question of which BRG to go for. Virtually every British team seemed to use a subtly different shade of it, from BRM (very dark) to British Racing Partnership (light and creamy), via Lotus, Cooper, Aston Martin, Vanwall (my favourite) etc who each had noticeably different hues. Furthermore, green may be a British colour for car racing, but not necessarily for bikes.
Red’s a nice bright colour, and one red I like is the Crimson Lake colour the London & Midland Railway used, but it wouldn’t suit a bicycle. I think red’s a little too racy for me. White’s out (notoriously hard to get a good finish on, which is why white iPhones cost more) and I think if I paint it black it looks like I can’t be bothered. Yellow and orange don’t stir me at all, purple’s fun but would clash with virtually every item of clothing I own. Nope, it’s just got to be blue.
But which blue? Here’s a few shades I’ve seen that I like (you’ll notice they’re fairly similar):
Jaguar XE, the colour’s called Bluefire and it really makes the car look good. I don’t know quite why but these new Jags always look even better in the flesh than they do in photos, especially in blue and red.
Anyway, it’s rather tricky trying to find matches for the colours that I can actually buy in a spray can, the closest I’ve found is the Cobra which appears to be Ford Royal Blue. In the end I’ll probably just browse through the paints they have in Halfords and pick one.
Meanwhile I’ve taken a careful note of the sticker locations, down to the millimetre. I’ve done a full list of all the bits I’ll need and it’s a long list, although I polished up the brakes and they look serviceable, if not quite perfect. The only problem is whereas with steel callipers on #1 I can bend stuff into shape, with #2’s alloys this would lead to damage that could end up being extremely dangerous. I don’t know whether to use the old brake levers, they’re in good condition but probably not suited to the Porteur or North Road bars I have in mind.
I’ve had a bit of a rethink of the sort of bicycle I want to make it in to. I was looking at stuff about Audax riding, and while I don’t think I’ll make a Randonneur any time soon, I think I’d like to build it up as a bike I could conceivably ride a populaire on if I fancied. I’ve still got my heart set on a three-speed hub so it’ll be a sort of retro Randonneur bycicle, which means mudguards, lights, and a bit of storage, but with a sportier feel than cycle #1. Since I have to replace the rims anyway I’m left with a dilemma as to whether I stick with traditional (and original) 27″ wheels or go down the 700c route , which opens up a lot more options on tyres etc.
Anyway, I haven’t had any time lately to work on the frame so it’s still just daydreaming. I’d be interested to hear what my more experienced readers think…