‘Crichton’ is a BSA 3-speed dated 1987, named after the central character in the film The Admirable Crichton. I bought him from a guy in Cannock for £30. At that point he was quite forlorn with dead tyres, rusty kinked wheel rims and a torn saddle. Since then I’ve gradually restored him a bit at a time, not being too fussy about being precisely period-correct but preserving the character of the bicycle. I’ve ridden over 1,400 miles on this bicycle since I bought it.
2. Major Tom
Major Tom is a BSA ‘Prima’ 10-speed road bike made in 1982, the same year I was born. His name refers to both Tom Simpson and the character in David Bowie’s song Space Oddity. I bought this from someone in Derby for £60, which was a remarkable bargain for a Reynolds 531 framed bicycle. After a deep clean the underlying components were perfectly good and everything on this bike bar lights is intended to be period correct. Later this year I’ll be riding him in the Eroica Britannia.
Goldfinger is a 1986/7 BSA folding 3-speed, bought for £30, again from Cannock. The bike was in pretty good condition when I bought it apart from the brakes and tyres, and the seatpost was far too short. I still haven’t really got used to the handling of it, but it’s useful when I need to stuff a bike in the back of my car. The name is obviously inspired by the colour, and because “fold-ginger” didn’t sound quite right.