Velocipede Days — 10 Comments

  1. Brought a smile to this old 'un, just thinking of the hysterical fit of the vapours that today's hi-vis jacketed council Elf'n'Safety Oberscharführers would have at the sight of a milk-float trailing a schoolboy or two.

    • Elf'n'Safety weren't invented back then and we were all fine.  A few cuts and bruises were just an ordinary part of growing up.  You don't appreciate electricity until you have stuck your finger in a socket.

  2. In my schoolboy cycling days, when the gears unexpectedly leapt into neutral, my developing spheres would often crash painfully onto the crossbar – on that scale, a merely cracked ankle would bring far fewer tears to the eyes or fears for future fertility.

    • Ah yes.  I remember those [very] painful experiences.  It was usually the saddle that did the damage.

  3. In the country side I grew up in, a tractor with a trailer was a useful tow. Tractors then seemed to have a top speed of about 20 mph. Ideal. As they passed you, a quick burst of speed and you could latch on to the back of the trailer. 20 mph was a reasonable speed on a bike.

    A bike could hold a few friends. One on handlebars, one on crossbar, and one or two on the rear carrier.

    Such larks.

    • Getting a ride on a crossbar was no fun.  My legs were always numb after.

  4. No tram tracks here in the seventies at least but a rail track in the road snagged me one day. Went for a fair way in the damn thing but it won in the end and arse over tit was the result and I managed to take down a cycling companion who may have been laughing at me for getting stuck.

    Weird thing though the in concrete rail tracks were legion in the shipyard and in eighteen years of riding ones bike to and from the escape hatch aka shipyard gates I never got stuck in any of them. Happy days.

    • The trick was a simple zigzag across the rails.  I presume the problem has risen from the grave again what with all these street trams every city seems to want?

  5. If I remember correctly, electric milk floats ran at about 12 mph. An ideal speed for an attached cyclist

    • Speed wasn't the issue.  It was the ability to travel without any effort, especially uphill.  And if I was late for school [which I nearly always was] then a slow milkman was a grand excuse.  It wasn't as crazy an excuse as some I dreamt up.

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