Cycling Stories: Three Generations of my Bike family
Only a few weeks until the next Tour de France. In our house (like most on this side of the world) this traditionally means late nights, falling asleep to the dulcet sounds of Phil Ligget’s commentary and praying for Cadel’s safe and successful passage to Paris. This year I’m not so sure, if the Giro is an indication. Will’s usually up and bouncing around, literally, by 5am so by the time coverage starts at 11pm I’m well and truly in the land of nod! Thank goodness for the SBS evening highlights!
In the lead up to the TdF I have been intending on starting a new thread on cycling. So I want to use this opportunity to invite you to share a cycling story of your own if you would like.
Today though, I want to introduce three generations of my bike family. Last night my father-in-law returned my old Cecil Walker. It’s pretty old. I think it was new in ’78 when my friend got it new. He gave it to me in ’91 and I replaced most of the parts gradually with old stock from my old French mechanic in Bondi, Gilbert, until he basically told me not to spend any more money on it!
With Shimano Ultegra components and Campag Omega rims, ‘Cecil Senior’ was a very zippy ride for my commutes around Melbourne and Sydney. It was even my transport when I was running my mobile car washing business after school. So last night it was really nice to get it back and give it a good clean.
In ’99 I got my silver Reynolds 531 Cecil Walker, which I had custom-built here in Melbourne. It was my first new bike with a Campagnolo Veloce ensemble and Atlanta rims. It’s been a brilliant bike. Heavy by modern standards, but it has a great ride quality. The extra weight has also been a bonus as I’ve taken my riding to a higher level. I’ve become strong riding with this weight, so now when I get onto a super light carbon bike I really feel like I’m flying.
So this brings me to my new bike, a 2009 Pinarello Prince with Campagnolo Record. To be quite honest, I didn’t expect to like this bike, but once I was on it I felt as comfortable as if I was on my old Cecil but with all the power transfer of a great Carbon frame. I’m looking forward to enjoying some great rides on the Prince – who does not yet have a name – any suggestions? Maybe Principe. So, the end of a string of Cecil Walkers. There were at least three others, two black and one red, which had as a young teenager. One got demolished by a car, one was stolen, and the last I sold to go to Europe.
By the way, our little boy Will loves the bikes. He also loves getting hold of my riding shoes! I’m looking forward to taking him on rides soon.