Copenhagen Tweed Ride 2019

Saturday 14 of September was the date for Copenhagen Tweed Ride 2019. I had early on decided to attend the event, for two reasons. Not only to join Copenhagen Tweed Ride, but also to visit Copenhagen and Denmark for the first time. By the way, this was the 20th tweed event I was going to participate in.

Earlier this year when I decided to join the event, I started thinking on how I could bring my bicycle to Copenhagen. After all, travel train was impossible as we learned a while back. No bicycles are allowed on Swedish long distance trains. Perhaps I could take the plane and take the bicycle along as sport luggage? That raise the question of bringing the bicycle to the airport to beguine with (remember the no train policy), it would turn in to an complicated affair.


Copenhagen city hall

The I had the idea of buying an vintage bicycle in Copenhagen and use it on location, but that sounded a bit desperate. How about the option of travelling by car? Since I do not have a car any more, I would have to rent a car from a rental service that allows me to travel abroad with the car, and that fee was way to expensive. The last option was, travel to Copenhagen, the bicycle capitol in Scandinavia and rent a bicycle. Logical there must be a bicycle rental, somewhere. Of course, the hotel I booked had rental bicycles, the problem was solved very easy.

In the morning of the event I went to the lobby and asked if there was an bicycle available for me, there was one and the staff would bring it out for me. Outside on the empty street an fellow came along with an small modern unisex bicycle, painted in white with the hotel logo. An excellent bicycle for shorter tourist trips around the city.


The ride for the day, not the best ride. Far from it

Not the first choice for an tweed event. But what if I kept in the background no one would notice me and my rented bicycle. Never mind. Here we go.

The first meters while riding the bicycle I noticed some major issues. First, it sounded like someone had poured an handful of gravel in the crank bearings. Secondly, the right handle was broken and kept sliding around on the handlebar. Thirdly, the rear wheel was two geared, but the first gear was stuck. It was going to be an interesting day. Never mind, it is not a speed race.

I headed along the streets of Copenhagen in the morning, to the start location at the shop A Touch of Vintage, located at Badstuestræde 1. The registration opened at 9 o´clock in the morning, it is good to be out early. When I turned the bicycle in to the street where A Touch of Vintage is located, I realized the street was empty. I had started way to early, it was still 8 in the morning.

After a while the organizers came and opened up the shop, soon more and more tweedians joined as the clock was getting closer to opening hour. Then it was time, 9 o´clock and the registration had opened. I went in to the shop and was greeted buy the lovely ladies inside. I said my name and received an bag with items for the ride.


Badstuestræde is filling up with tweedians and their bicycles


One, if not the only tandem


An Uppsala registration badge, that was a surprise to see in Copenhagen


A stuffed capercaillie joined us


It is all about the details

The bag had the Copenhagen Tweed Ride logo and contained an magazine about tweed, a small bottle Hendricks Gin, a bottle tonic water, a fresh cucumber, an apple, two postcards and a small pencil. Along with all that I received an wooden badge with my starting number along with a thick paper badge with the number for the bicycle. When I was outside in the street trying to fasten the badges on myself and the bicycle, a lovely dressed lady walked by with large Copenhagen Tweed Ride posters, she gave me one poster to fasten on my bicycle basket, I also got an small flag with the logo.


The bag we received at the registration…


…and posters on the baskets

All those items we received was really thoughtful and nice, but a small question was raised with in me. How should I blend the gin and tonic? There was no glass in the bag. It crossed my mind to do what the “greasers” did back in the day. The trick of open the bottle, pour half of it out and fill it up with spirits. So it seems you are only drinking a bottle of water, but it contains a strong drink instead. But I never did that, it would have been difficult explaining why I was standing on a street forcing down a cucumber in the bottle. After all, Hendricks Gin and tonic without cucumber is just not cricket!

I suddenly meet the mysterious lady that I met at Malmö Tweed Ride last year, if you remember, the lady with the lovely hat. She and her daughter, Inez had joined Copenhagen Tweed Ride this year. She had participated in Copenhagen before so she knew the routines, it was really nice to talk to her and her daughter. The mysterious ladys real name is Lina, here is links to her blog and instagram that are filled with great photos.


The mysterious lady with daughter. Observe the complete original 1930’s outfits, stockings, dresses, coats and shoes.

Just before 10 o´clock we were told to head out to Nytorv (new square/market) nearby for the group photo, by the stairs of Byretten (the court house). After some adjusting and changing places we were all standing as the photographer wanted and we had our photo taken.

It was on the stairs of Byretten I met a friend from my work. He had driven down to Malmö the day before with his bicycle in pieces, he did the final mounting the same morning before taking the local train from Malmö to Copenhagen and arriving at the registration when it was only 5 minutes left. It was really nice to see him and his bicycle.


The group photo (borrowed from Copenhagen Tweed page on facebook)


My friend with his Pedersen bicycle that he put togheter just hours before the ride

After some inforamtion from the organizers about some few simple, but important rules during the ride. For example, there was an motorcycle escort for us. They would stop the traffic at every major crossing so all the tweed riders could keep together and ride in formation, crossing the steets no matter green or red traffic lights. After the information it was time to start the ride, music started playing, many of the organizers and others had speakers mounted on their bicycles luggage racks.

It was a lovely ride around Copenhagen, we saw Nyhavn, Christianborgs castle and the ride went on. I must confess, I had no idea of where we went. What streets we were riding on, or what buildings and sights we went by. The motorcycle escort guided us, we rang our bells, honked horns and waved to all the people that was standing along the way. People wondering what we were doing, there was no angry faces, only friendly, smiling people everywhere, in cars, buses and on the sidewalks. Everyone was amazed of us passing by. The ladies with their lovely dresses fluttering in the wind, gentlemen in suits and the fellow in a kilt while riding a penny farthing. Now that is a new level of courage.


Somewhere in Copenhagen


Somewhere else


A new location

After a while we arrived at ørstedsparken where we all gathered to have a break and picnic. It was now I really understood what Copenhagen Tweed Ride is all about. When I noticed the time schedule for the event earlier there was a very, very long break for picnic along the route. I did not understand why it was such a long break before, but I realized now that the picnic was the main event of the ride. Picnic in the park, setting up picnic tables with crystal glasses, afternoon tea trays filled to the brim with treats of all sorts of food, pies, cakes, vine, beer, spirits, lemonade and everything in-between.


Vintage bicycles, not one younger than 100 years


Picnic…


…in the park

There was afternoon tea like there was no tomorrow, all in the style of vintage and tweed. After a short while representatives from Hendricks Gin set up an stand where they treated our dry throats with cold gin and tonics, of course decorated with locally grown cucumbers. What an treat!


Hednricks Gin and tonic, cool and refreshing


Cucumbers

During the picnic we all was handed a voting ballot. This was the first time I had seen such an advanced voting ballot. Several categories and choices, best dressed lady, best hair due, best bicycle, best hat, best beard, best picnic setup. It was a real challenge to cast my votes, I had some candidates that got my votes. When handing in the ballot we all received an drink ticket at the finish line. When the picnic started to end the mystery lady and her daughter left, it had been a long day and it was a long way home. It was really nice to see them again.

After picnic was over, we all joined up outside the park to ride the final route to our destination. Again, I have no idea on where we went or where I was in Copenhagen. It was at this final stretch of the route that my friends bicycle started to fall apart. It turned out that he had forgotten to fasten a screw that holds the left crank in place earlier that morning. Suddenly he could not pedal any more. We left the others and stopped by the side of the road to try and fix the problem temporarily. The temporary fix worked for about 1 kilometre, in an up hill the crank came loose again.

The other riders went along while we were standing beside the road working on the crank again. Suddenly one of the motorcycle escort riders joined us. “it is only 100 meters left to the finish” he said. That was not far, my friend jumped on the bicycle, grabbed my shoulder and I started to work my way up the hill. He was riding his broken bicycle, I was riding on the hotel bicycle with gravel in the cranks. Finally we arrived, limping into the finish at Restaurant Bjælkehuset, located in Søndermark park. I parked my bicycle outside on the street, while we went in to the restaurant and the garden.


The garden of Restaurant Bjælkehuset


The garden of Restaurant Bjælkehuset, 2


Prices for the winners, what an impressive range of items

We found a table where we could sit and fix the bicycle more accurately, it is always better to work during calm conditions instead of standing on a busy street. In some way, we got the crank back in place, so he could ride back to the train later on. Now we deserved an reward, I handed in our drink tickets that we received earlier at the picnic. I must say, sitting in the restaurant garden, large trees surrounding us, following the price ceremony with a cold beer in the hand. That is a real treat!

Later on it was time for the price ceremony. I did not catch everything that they said, but I understood that it was not only one winner in all category. The best three in every category won wonderful prices, hats, gift cards of different kinds, bottles of Hendricks gin and umbrellas. After the price ceremony the food buffet opened for us who had paid for dinner earlier when signing up for the event. The food was classical Danish, tasty and was served while a live band played jazz for us.


Live music


Interviewed by the newspaper

After a few hours it was time to leave. We took our bicycles and headed down to Copenhagen centre. It was a lovely day with many new insights for me, it is always interesting to see how the concept of “tweed ride” is changing depending on where it is held and by who is organizing the event. Thank you all for a lovely day!


Riding back to the railway station, heading home

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My first vintage bicycle

Perhaps I have mentioned the first vintage bicycle I once had before?

If I have, well here we go again. After my military m/42 bicycle was stolen back in early 1990´s. I decided to pay the local bicycle shop a visit to see if there was any good bicycle there that I could buy. This was the time when vintage bicycles was just old bicycles, that old people was using. 1940’s bicycles without gears was not the kind of bicycles that people wanted back then.

Among all sorts of bicycles standing outside the shop I noticed an old grey bicycle for sale, it had modern plastic grips, reflectors all around and an modern headlight mounted, the price tag was about £25. after trying the bicycle, I handed over the money to the shop owner and rode it home. Just a fun detail, the shop where I bought the bicycle was an old 1950’s shop that was owned by an gentleman and his wife. My father remembered them from when he was a kid in the 1950’s. They had the shop since 1950 up to 1990’s when they sold it to a new owner who just a few years later closed down the shop and had everything removed. The old shop was all original from 1950s, including the old neon sign “Sjögrens cykel och sport”.

The bicycle I bought was an Panther, made in Stockholm in about 1942. It became my daily commuter bicycle for a long time and I used all the time, summer, winter and everything in-between. It was a great bicycle that kept on going, in rain and shine, mud and snow, all year round on its old tires.


One of the only photos of my bicycle from back then. The photo is made by taking a photo of the original photo with a smartphone. Today I have no idea where the original photos are, perhaps even thrown away

After a while I started to use my grandfathers old bicycle bag bag on the luggage rack to have more space for luggage.  The old bag looked great one the bicycle. In fact the luggage rack had areas of worn paint from the start, exactly where the hooks for my bicycle bag was hanging. It was meant to hang there. I replaced the modern plastic saddle with my grandfathers old leather saddle and noticed that the bicycle looked more “complete” in a way. That was when I started to look around for old bicycle parts. I started to get an idea of replacing the 1960’s headlight with an really old one. One day I found some handlebars with the old wooden style grips. Away with the awful modern handlebars with the plastic grips. Now it started to look like an complete bicycle. Later on I found other parts, parts that fitted the bicycle well in its dark grey paint with black details and golden contours.

Back then I was wearing vintage cloths, not to be fashionable. It was more an reason of having clothes handed down by elderly friends and relatives, “you can have his old jacket, I have no need for it any more”. Also money was a bit of an issue, so I could not buy cloths so often.

Nowadays I think they would call it eco-friendly, re-usage or something like that. But back then I was grateful for the old clothes, after all they fitted better than modern clothes. They had way better durability and looked way better, old shirts with huge collars and bell bottom trousers. Almost all looked good, the lilac velvet jacket with silver buttons from the 70´s that was given to me at one point, that was a bit odd, even for me.

A few years later after I bought the Panther, perhaps in the mid 1990’s. I decided to do an small adventure just for fun. I got the idea of taking a long ride in the forests south of Stockholm with the bicycle. Riding for fun, but also to take some photos of the nature with my old camera. That was when I used to develop and print my own photos in the basement, it was a fun and creative hobby.

I loaded the camera with film, I wrapped some bottles of lemonade in newspaper to keep the bottles cold, and made sandwiches that I warped in baking paper and tied up with some string. I put everything in the old backpack that I had bought at the old military surplus store at the same time I bought the military bicycle. The backpack was from the 30’s and reeked of an mouldy, damp old cellar. But it was cheep.

All set up and ready to go, I headed away. It was a lovely day, the sun was shining and after I left the main roads, rolling down the gravel paths in the woods, I started to really enjoy the bicycle ride. The fresh air and the wonderful smell of the forest filled my lungs. Now and then I stopped to take an photo at the forest and trees, or when I was sat an the cliff looking out over an lake, having a picnic with sandwiches and lemonade.

It was many years later I realized what I had done back then. Without knowing it, I had made an Tweed Ride event long before it even became a thing.


Here I am sitting in the grass, having a tweed moment

Many years later I met a girl at work who wanted an vintage bicycle. I had my old Panther, of course I helped her out by selling my own bicycle. Why i did that? The Panther was an size 26″ and was ever so slightly to small for me. So I removed all my personal parts of the bicycle and replaced them with other old parts, parts like my grandfathers saddle and so on.

When writing here about all my bicycles, I thought I had mentioned them all. But I forgot about the old Panther, until I found an old photo of the old bicycle. The camera I used back then is since long gone, sold, given away. The cloths was worn and torn beyond repairs. But the bicycle, the old Panther, that I sold is still around. In fact, the girl who bought it asked me to help out and fix it a few years later.

We decided to meet one day, there is was. The old bicycle that I bought many years ago, it was well taken care of and looked all fine. After some general service, change of tires and adding some parts I had laying in my boxes. The old Panther turned out to be a very nice bicycle that will be a great companion for many years to come.


The vintage black and brass ASEA dynamo matches the grey/black/gold colours of the bicycle perfectly!


A proud Panther owner

Tweed Run Norway, 2019

On Saturday august 31st it was time for Tweed Run Norway 2019. We were so pleased by the event last year that we decided to join the event again. As last time my friend decided to go by car so he could bring his bicycle, he also transported my old Hermes bicycle for me while I was taking a plane. To be honest, I would love to travel by train with my bicycle, but the reality is that it is more or less totally impossible to bring your bicycle on a inter city train in Sweden.

There is only few local train companies that allows bicycles onboard their trains, all of them are only local trains. I could use my bicycle bag while travelling from Stockholm to Fredrikstad in Norway. But the thought of carrying an 1950’s bicycle as luggage one more time is just impossible. My back still hurts when I am thinking of my idiotic Helsinki adventure.


We are going to the meet up at Quality Hotel Fredrikstad after getting our bicycles out of the car boot

On the morning of the event we headed to the start, located at Quality Hotel Fredrikstad. We were one of the first ones tweed riders on location, but soon more riders joined us. It was nice to see more and more tweedians arrive, some on vintage bicycles, many dressed in impressive tweed outfits. A bit later the organizers arrived and set up an table where we would register and receive our participant numbers, just outside the hotel entrance. We were hearty welcomed by all the organizers when we registered and received our armbands and number signs for our bicycles.


The always dashing Mona @badhairgoodshoes


“but first, let´s take a selfie” the three girls had a fun photo session, even I helped out


The organizers and Mr B the gentleman rhymer standing at the registration desk

Soon the hotel opened up the doors for the riders that had pre-booked the hotel brunch that was offered us participants in the tweed event. We tasted all the fresh and tasty foods that were served, while there was a small jazz trio featuring drums, guitar and a fellow on double bass that also sang. They played old jazz tunes, a perfect match for the tweed event.

When it was about 30 minutes until the start, we left the restaurant and headed out to the small street outside. By now the former empty street had transformed to an crowded street filled with bicycles and tweedians of all ages, families trying to get the registrations armbands to fasten on their arms, couples having tea, others having drinks. It was an mix of happiness and everyone was looking forward for an great day riding around Fredrikstad. Even the weather, that was supposed to be grey and rainy, turned in to be sunny and warm, one of the last real summer days of the year.


More and more riders and fellow tweedians of all ages joined

At one a´clock the ride started. We all headed down the streets, towards a bridge that leads over to the island of Kråkeröy for a ride along the sea shore. It was on that route where I noticed a strange sound from the bicycle in front of me. It was a lady riding an bicycle where something was rubbing against the mudguard. She must heard it to, because she was starting to look down on the bicycle, trying to locate the source of the strange sound. After looking at her bicycle and tires for a few seconds I noticed that there was something seriously wrong with her front tire. I asked her to stop and went down to take a look at the front tire.

It turned out that the steel cord that makes the tire stay on the rim had of some reason climbed over the rim and the inflated tube was poking out in the gap. It was merely seconds from a complete blowout that most likely had stopped the front wheel shut. The lady said that she always could walk to the finish line since the tire was damaged.

I quickly got an idea, why not empty the tube of all air, push the tire back on the rim and inflate the tube again, but this time with less air pressure. I asked her if I was allowed to try that idea, of course, she replied. Removing the valve, I felt a large push of air, almost so hard that the valve flew out of my hand I guess it was over inflated. After the tube was deflated I put back the valve and started to inflate the tube again.

I told the lady that I would not fill the tire so much, because it was best to be careful with the tire. At that moment, the repair man came along, I explained the situation to him and after he started to work on the bicycle I headed along to join the other riders.


The shore line of Kråkeröy with Fredrikstad in the distance

After riding along on Kråkeröy we headed back to Fredrikstad for some more riding in the town, towards the park where we had an tea break last year. This year there was an new band playing jazzy music. It was local musicians,who invited us to visit the Kammerfest in Ostfold later on, an local music happening in the area. It was really great music played by very talented musicians at the tea break. Music while having a cup of Earl Grey, an perfect setting to have a chat with other tweedians, admire bicycles and talk tweed.


It´s tea time at the park in Fredrikstad


An old Norwegian made Diamant bicycle from Oslo…


…with an impressive luggage bag


The group photo was take at the tea break.


Time to get moving, riders get ready

The ride continued along the Glomma river, we were riding in the forest along the shore line on gravel paths to reach the ferry over to the small village of Sellebakk on the other side of Glomma. At the ferry station, the Kammerfest i Ostfoldband was playing music again. We were all standing by our bicycles waiting for our turn to board the small ferry, while we were waiting many of us took out refreshments from our baskets and hip flasks. It is impotent to stay hydrated when being active.

Suddenly I heard the band playing music by one my favourite artists, the Swedish jazz pianist Jan Johansson. That was really a surprise for me, standing there listening to fantastic music, feeling the breeze from the waters and the sun heating my tweed suite. It was a great day!


The Fredrikstads bridge over Glomma


At the ferry crossing I had the opportunity to have a toast with Pennyheartbleed


Live music during the our waiting for the ferry


We were about 200 riders waiting to cross the river on the ferry…


…we all were in a good mood and was having a great time


Look at those details on those Norwegian vintage bicycles, simply amazing


The small ferry across the river Glomma

Across the river we all joined up again and headed up to the old village Sellebakk, where we could buy refreshments, warm locally fish cakes and locally made soda. That was really thoughtful and a wonderful idea of the organizers to have an small refreshment station along the route. After all, the tweed event is not an speed event. We are supposed to ride for a while, talk, socialize and have a great time! Standing with a soda an warm fish cake talking bicycles, that is what I call socialize.


Locally made tasty soft drink, great refreshment for us sun-baked, tweed wearing riders…


…served in genuine fish (shrimp?) cooling boxes filled with ice


Streets of Sellbakk, only a few details tells us it is an modern photo and not a photo from the 30´s

After the break we were on out way again. Going south, in to the forests leading towards Gammelbyn and the finish line. It was on that stretch of the route, next bicycle incident happened for me. I was riding behind a rider that had a small trailer behind his bicycle.

At this event there were many riders that had small trailers hooked up behind their bicycles where small children were seated. Suddenly the rider in front of me took a narrow turn over the curb, the left wheel on the trailer was lifted up, the trailer toppled over and was dragged along the gravel. Because I was right behind the trailer, I saw the trailer topple over.

I noticed things was falling out of the trailer, just in front of me. I quickly pedalled backwards to apply the break while tried to avoid hitting anything that fallen out. Quickly I dismounted my bicycle to see if anyone was hurt. Luckily there was only luggage in the trailer, no children. It scared me quite a bit. But in the end all went fine, that is the important thing. After helping the rider with his trailer, we all got up on our bicycles and headed along.


The blue trailer that scared the living daylight out of me


Now that is one way you can use the luggage rack


Soon arriving at Fredrikstads museum and the finish line

After a nice ride around Gammelbyn we arrived at Fredrikstad museum and were able to park our bicycles and join the party. As always it was a lovely party with an bar filled with beer, wine, hot dogs, crisps and gin and tonic (of course).

The organizers had put up two large tents with tables and benches for the people who did not want to sit on picnic blankets in the grass. As last year, Mr B the gentleman rhymer entertained us with his ukulele and witty songs, he recived huge aplauds, laughs and sing-a-longs.

Later in the evening, prices was handed out to some lucky winners. One of the winners was Mona, @badhairgoodshoes she received an price for being the best spokes person for Tweed Run Norway in the Instagram community. Well deserved! Congratulations to all winners!


The peaceful after party in an beautiful garden


We had entertainment by Mr B the gentleman rhymer, chap-hop. I say!


That is one cool bicycle


Other parked bicycles just outside the garden


My old Hermes managed to stay in one piece this time, no broken pedals. The only sad thing during the day was that I lost my bicycle number card, that I use to keep as an souvenir. Oh, well. Never mind.


Tweed Run Norway, truly an bicycle event for the entire family


Vintage bicycles in the sunset

The evening came. It had been an fun and lovely day in every way, we thanked the organizers and said good bye to old and new friends. It was time to head back to the hotel! We were asked to join next year again. It is tempting, perhaps the trains would allow the passengers to bring their bicycles by then? We can only hope.

Thank you all for a wonderful event.

Wauhtiajot 2019, Helsinki

Wauhtiajot is a bicycle race in the spirit of past heroes of bicycling of yesteryears, that was held in Helsinki / Finland on Saturday August 17th.

There are two tracks in this race, the long track is 100 kilometres and the other, more modest and shorter track, is 25 kilometres. The riders have even a follow car so they could repair bicycles and take care of riders if necessary. There is a picnic in the middle of the ride for both the riders for the long track and the short track. After the picnic all riders can ride together across the finish line in Helsinki and enjoy some dinner, drinks, company of good friends and listen to great music for the rest of the evening


First time making this trip in the summer

Back in February, when I attended the Helsinki Winter Tweed Run, I got an invitation to join the Wauhtiajot event later that summer. It sounded really fun, after all the bicycle riding I have done in Helsinki in the winter time. Why not try riding a bicycle in Helsinki during the summer?

Wauhtiajot is an event mostly for old racer bicycles. Keepin the spirit of the old heroes of bicycling, like the early Italian and French riders that were really men of steel. Riding bicycles on narrow gravel roads all around continental Europe, while drinking wine and beer as refreshments along the way.


The bar at the start/finish line


An old poster


Number 57

I had not used an racing bicycle since I was 16 years old and crashed my silver 10 speed racer. I was going fast along the road when suddenly the front wheel gave up underneath me. The crash caused me to gracefully slide across the asphalt for a bit, transforming my clothes to shreds. But there was no worries this time, the short track of the Wauhtiajot event was easier and slower that the longer one. It sounded perfect for me and my Crescent from 1928.

Sadly it turned out that the old Crescent had some small play in the crank, most likely an issue with the bearings being worn after 90 years. So, as a final decision, I played safe, and choose the reliable old Hermes bicycle from 1955. Single geared and weighing like an old hospital bed. All other riders would fly pass me all the time. But at least, I would attend the event!

The weekend started all wrong. I was slightly ill, feeling a bit under the weather as they say. While mentioning the weather. The forecast said that on the day of the event, it was going to be rainy and cold. But it turned out to be one of the best days of summer so far, at least that how it felt for me since I am not a friend of to hot weather. So there I was, over dressed and feeling a bit down. The day was going to be a challenge for me.


One of two tandems at Wauhtiajot 2019, this one was heading for the short track..


…the captain makes some final adjustments before the start


Line up for the 25 kilometres riders. We all had numbers on our backs. The great thing with the numbers was that we only borrowed them. After the race was over we signed our number tag with our names and the date and handed them back to the organizers.


The route took us along some lovely scenery along the coast line…


…and along paths in the forest


There is no need for racing bicycles. But gears in general are really nice to have among the hills of Helsinki

After the start at 11 o’clock we took some lovely roads around the outskirts of Helsinki, along the sea shore, into the woods, along winding small roads and tracks. The tempo was rather nice. Going up steep hills, going down even steeper hills. After about an hour we had an short break.

Then about at the 10 kilometres mark, while going up an bridge to cross an road I felt the right pedal stopped to turn. Suddenly the pedal just disappeared from underneath my shoe and struck the ground hard with my foot. Parts of the pedal was flying everywhere on the ground behind me.


Disaster, I had tubes for the tires, tools for nuts and bolts. But no spare pedals with me

That was it, after some quick words with the leader of the short track I decided to walk back to the finish line and join them all there. Sadly I missed the picnic and the rest of the fun going across the finish line. A quick look at my smartphone I started to walk. An hours walk with the bicycle across Helsinki, in full blazing sun.

Finally I walked across the finish line and talked to some of the others there. The two lovely ladies that made Italian soup for all riders to eat. The crew on the vintage follow car, it was very nice and welcoming. After an hour they all came along the road, riders from both the short and long track. All smiling, happy. After some speeches and cheering. We all were handed a beer, specially made for Wauhtiajot.


Italian soup made by KahVelo, what a wonderful soup. Tasty, hot and comforting for me.


The heroes crosses the finish line


Now that is what I call a follow car


The special beer for the event

Later that night Maestro Ruscello e Gruppo Velocitá played lovely music and the party was really going. Since I was a bit under the weather and the aftermath from the pedal incident, I decided to retire early in the evening, thanking all the organizers for a wonderful event before saying say good bye and heading back to the hotel for a long rest.

The day after the event it was time to go back to Stockholm with the ferry. Even if the bicycle was broken, I needed to get it onboard the ferry. What an adventure…


Even with a broken pedal you need to get the bicycle back on the boat.
But that is another story

 

 

Where did the Pelago go?

Long ago, I bought a bicycle frame from the Finnish Pelago bicycle company.
You can find the old post I wrote, here.

The vision I had was to build an racer, somewhat inspired by old racers from 1920’s and 1930’s. Black frame, turned down handlebars and clean look. After talking to Pelago I bought an Bristol frame. Then I started to gathering parts from here and there, mostly there. An truly international bicycle. Some weeks later I got all parts that was needed to build my vision bicycle.


My finished version

After a day of building and adjusting, the bicycle was complete. The Pelago Special sure looked amazing with all the details I had got for it, first the glossy black frame, the chain in gold, all chromed parts like stem and pedals, the front break and creme white tires. Not only looking great, it was riding like a dream. It was first after a while I discovered a problem. The problem was not with the bicycle, it worked perfectly. Good breaks and riding smooth. The problem was with me! Leaning forward and riding fast for a long period of time was simply not my thing any more. Perhaps I was untrained (more likely getting old), but it should be comfortably to ride an bicycle. I did not feel comfortably at all.

In fact I did not use the bicycle as I expected to. Instead the Pelago was left standing in the basement, abandoned for weeks at end. One day I got the idea of why not rebuild it to an regular standard roadster instead? Complete with mudguards, dual kickstand, springy saddle and with the handlebars turned in a more traditional way to achieve an more upright seating position. I ordered some parts online from Classic-cycle in Germany that would fit and suit the black Pelago frame.


The second version, chain guard, mudguards. An more upright riding position

After that I started to rebuild the Pelago, from the cool racer it was, to an more regular standard bicycle. After that conversion I used it for a bit, but by that time I had bought an vintage bicycles that I was using instead. So the Pelago Special was left standing in the basement again.

One day a co-worker who also was interested in bicycles, asked my about the Pelago and if it was for sale. He liked the style of my path racer build very much. The look with the glossy black frame, creme white tires and overall clean lines. He told me that he had some visions for it, turning it into a racer once again but with a twist. One day in the summer later on we made the deal. Money exchanged hands, an hand shake after that he rode away on my Pelago.

That was when the Pelagos third life had begun. My co-worker quickly removed the black standard mudguards that I had mounted along with some other parts. The standard chain wheel was replaced by an custom made chain wheel from Bespoke Chainrings in Australia. The handlebars was replaced by an vintage Reynolds deep drop handlebar that he bought from eBay along with an old refinished Major Taylor stem.

The new look was really amazing. With few changes it became a different bicycle all together. Later on he asked me to help him with some details, I went home to his place and there in the kitchen, was the bicycle leaning against the dishwasher. That must be one of the oddest and cosiest bicycle workshop I have visited in so far.


Kitchen workshop. Notice the Reynolds deep drop handlebar and the refinished Major Taylor stem


Beautiful custom made chain wheel


Clean and stripped down look

He used the Pelago like that for a while until my he got an new idea. He wanted to change the bicycle from a racer to a more porteur inspired bicycle. He found a new made luggage rack in the porteur style, he also mounted mudguards with an hammered finish and changed the handlebars. The fourth incarnation of the Pelago Special has begun.

As for today, I think the old Pelago is still being used as an everyday bicycle around the streets of Stockholm. But with unique parts fitted to the former Pelago Bristol frame. Truly a Pelago Special.