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Vol. 2, Issue 85 - January / February 2020

Posted: Thursday 16th January 2020

Author: Peter Underwood

Another year, another 8000 + miles on the clock. For the last couple of years my annual mileage has been around the eight thousand mark. Before this it always hovered around ten thousand – another sign of ageing I suppose. I think it works out that my usual individual ride mileage has dropped by about 12 to 15 miles per day, which I guess can happen without noticing it, fewer miles and slightly lower gears as the years go by! The gearing is quite easy to adjust on modern bikes with the capacity to cover a wide range of sprockets but on classics the range can be very limited – the worst post-war derailleur gear for this is the Simplex which was designed for a three-tooth difference at the chainwheel but the Campagnolo Gran Sport had a wider range and could be tempted to take an extra tooth or so above the quoted specification. I have written about this before and one of the answers is to use the Stronglight/TA chainset at the front and using the touring outer hoping no one will notice that it is not the Criterium.

The difference between the two is in the BCD for the inner ring so people of a certain age can hope to hide an inner ring as low as 36 behind the outer. It helps of course to reduce the outer so as not to have an impossible gap for the changer to cope with. I have just had to do this changing a Campagnolo double chainset with a 42 tooth inner ring for a Stronglight with 38 (while I look for a 36 inner). Some people take the easy way out and fit a later rear changer to cope with low enough gears.

2020 is with us already and the first thing I do at the start of a New Year is to check on what date the third Sunday in May falls as I know that is going to be the date for our favourite lightweight ride of the year – The Reading Ride (Reading is a town in the UK for the benefit of our overseas readers) which will attract 50+ riders given reasonable weather. We will meet many old friends on this ride so it becomes a good social event as well as a pleasant ride with an interesting jumble. In 2020 it will be held on 17th May. I forget exactly when we first did this ride, probably about 14 years ago, but back then it was one of the very few lightweight rides in the UK. Now there are so many lightweight rides on offer that there are two or three held on some weekends.

Once we know that date we then fix the date for our own Cambridge ride, combining our long-established Meridian Ride with the Ephgrave Ride (which we have hosted since 2005 when it was in danger of disappearing from the calendar). We thought we would be organising the Ephgrave event for just the one year but as things panned out we have held it every year since! If people think we have monopolised the ride for too long we would be happy to pass it on to new hands with the approval of Peter Holland, the marque enthusiast.

This year our ride will be 10 May, one week before the Reading Ride and starts promptly at 10.00 at the Newmarket Road Park and Ride opposite the airport at Cambridge. Approx. 40 miles on a very flat route, mostly on tarmac off-road cycle paths. Contact me by email for more details.


A friend of mine has recently acquired an interesting Wearwell frame which has a Pennine braze-on for their CO 2 pump. This makes me wonder if it was originally a team-issue frame since Wearwell had their own professional team in the 50s.

There are quite a few 1950/60s machines with this braze-on but very few owners have the chrome spring clip which fastens the pump to the braze-on. Pennine started as a company manufacturing cycling ‘add-ons’ and later became a partner in the Whitaker and Mapplebeck frame building company, eventually to become Pennine Cycles so quite a lot of Pennines have this component. I have a Pennine with it and Patricia has a Carpenter. Above is a Pennine advert from 1963.

The chrome clip can clearly be seen in the image above. When we originally had these two machines we didn’t have the clips. I tried using a narrow Terry tool clip but this allowed the pump to slip down and didn’t look right anyway. I made enquiries and eventually a friend of ours knew someone who was a pro-rider of that era and to my surprise he had a couple of the clips in good condition which he kindly let us have. What he did tell me was that the clip was originally supplied to shops, etc for their display units. The width of the clip is 20mm and the diameter of the pump is 23/24mm.

There is much more on this subject at

Mick Butler sent following piece following our piece on Actonia in CLN 84


The Club was formed in June 1934. Its first headquarters were in a little shop in Church Road Acton, called the Actonia Cycling Stores, hence the name. At first it was just a social club, just club runs and social activities. By 1935 the membership had increased greatly and the headquarters moved to St. Thomas’s Hall, Bromyard Avenue. Charlie Stiles was the club captain and the club colours were red, blue and white. The same year they started racing. The first event was a Hill Climb in February 1935. Bert Avenall was the winner.

The other clubs in the area at that time were, Galena C.C, the Westway R.C., Acorn C.C., and the old Silchester.

A famous members of the Actonia was Dick Swann (Buckshee Wheelers) ex Hetchins and Macleans. He was an Actonia Track record holder 440 yards F.S 28.6 secs, 1000 metre 1m 27.2 secs, 4000 metres pursuit 6m 7.2 secs, and 4000 metres pursuit team Swann, Ryan, Jones and Kitchenham 5m 37.8 secs. They bettered this time down to 5m. 28 secs but have no record of the other members of the pursuit team apart from Swann.

Notable Members:
– F.H.Scott, Dragon Cycles frame builder Ealing.
– Bill Newton, W.P.Newton Cycles and frame builder.
– Jack Jones, frame builder ex Paris cycles
– George Fleming, famous time trialist who married Billie Dovey famous long distance cyclist and women’s record holder.
– Clubs Country HQ, The Wayside Cafe Tatling End, Gerrards Cross.
– Longest club run, start Acton Town Station, elevenses Oxford, lunch at Stratford-on-Avon, tea at Banbury and home for ice cream at Mrs Hunt’s.

For sale: January sale offer – £100 off listed prices below:
1974 – 23 ½” Vic Edwards built Rondinella – built as a track frame but front fork is drilled to take a brake so could (has!) be used as a fixed-wheel machine on the road. Click on ‘Rondinella’ above to see full high-specification build – £650. Sorry but collection-only here at Cambridge.

1976 – 23” Mercian Super Vigorelli track frame built up as road fixed-wheel machine – full specification of high-specification build by clicking on name. £750 collection at Cambridge.

Bert Horner writes from Austria:

Looking at your Italian classics, I thought this info may be of interest to you. This is Monika’s (Bert’s wife’s) very early Rauler and is except for tyres and saddle, completely original. Built early 70’s by Raul and Reclus Gozzi.  The water bottle, pump, and brake levers stem are all pantographed.  We have been informed that the clover leaf of Colnago was designed by Gozzi, and that the name RaulEr stands for Raul and Ernesto. Perhaps we should ask ourselves why was a Rauler Arabesque available before a Colnago Arabesque?  However, below Moni’s Rauler is a Gem.  Giovanni Pelizzoli, who custom built her carbon triathlon bikes, located the Rauler and checked it out for her.

The water bottle, pump, brake levers stem are all pantographed.

While on Italian bikes here is a picture of Franz (Francesco) Moser’s collection at his home in Trento including his Giro cup.

2020 Carpenter ride – Centenary Celebrations!
Sunday August 2nd. 2020
Carpenters and all other classic British and continental lightweights welcome.

Herne Hill track session
Rendezvous at Herne Hill velodrome, park there.
Club room booked 12:00—15:00, Bike display opportunities.
light lunches 12:30-14:00 (menu options to follow, pre-orders will be requested nearer to the time)
Main Track session. 13:00-15:00 for supervised events.
Separate rides/events for track, geared & fixed-wheel road bikes as numbers dictate

Ride 1 from the site of the pre-war Carpenter premises, 43 Penton St., to Herne Hill
Rendezvous St.Pancras/Kings Cross 11 a.m.
Ride to11:30 start at 43 Penton St., site of pre-war Carpenter shop.
Ride to Herne Hill via Cycleway 6 as far as Elephant & Castle. 12 km.
Scheduled arrival 12:15-12:30
Lunch etc. as above
Join Track session. 13:00-15:00. (Separate events for geared & f/w road bikes)
Return – Ride to Herne Hill Stn. 1 km  5 mins
Train to St. Pancras Stn. – 20 mins – quarter hourly – Thameslink – £4

Ride 2 from the post-war premises, 52 Surbiton Rd., Kingston, to Herne Hill 
Meet Kingston Station 10 a.m.
Ride to 10:30 start at 52 Surbiton Rd,
Ride to Herne Hill Stn.. via Frank Carpenter’s home address, Teddington Lock then Richmond Park. 25 km
Scheduled arrival 12:00-12:30 Lunch etc.
Join Track session. 13:00-15:00. (Separate events for geared & f/w road bikes)
Return – Ride to Clapham Junction Stn. 8 km  25 mins.
Train to Kingston Stn. – 20 mins – half hourly. – £5 Return
Cost: Depends on numbers. I’m aiming at £15-25 to include track hire & supervision, use of grandstand club room, light lunch.

Look forward to seeing you there! Let me know which ride/session you’d like to join so I can finalise the plans.

Thanks for reading

Posted: Thursday 16th January 2020

Author: Peter Underwood

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