After all the fun of the Tweed Run we quite fancied the idea of doing more period cycling so it was very exciting when James bought me (and Mario) a present of an ‘old style’ bicycle.
Found on ebay it’s Italian made by Cicli Cinzia, a company formed and still, near Bologna in 1967, by Giuseppe Bombi and Severino Maccaferri who made their name initially with a folding bike which was popular across the world.
We don’t know how old it is but it has all the period features of a drop bar and holes in the mudguards for a skirt guard, white walled tyres, luggage rack and most importantly a basket! The idea is to restore it to match Mario but we haven’t decided which way round we should paint it. We’ve already found a black and white checkered bell and hopefully will be able to find/make a checkered seat cover and grips to mimic Mario’s Italian ‘bling’ trim.
Here’s an ‘artist’ impression of what it might look like…
A bit of research has revealed a whole array of designer bicycles out there but don’t think James will appreciate replicating the paint jobs!
We went for our first ride on Sunday, taking the bikes to Southsea, parking at the far end near the Hayling Ferry and then cycling along the seafront and through old Portsmouth to Gunwharf Quays for a recuperative ice cream and a bit of retail therapy, although one needs to remember it’s not so easy to get two new pairs of shoes on the back of a bike! Seeing how I haven’t cycled for thirty five years it all came back quite quickly but I am suffering for it today!
We haven’t tried to get the bike in the back of Mario yet but this of course leads on to the possibility of making a stylish roof rack for him which would also allow us to display vintage luggage on the roof at events. These Louis Vuitton cases sold at Bonhams at Goodwood Festival of Speed would look fab, but a bit pricey at £1-£2,000 each! James is looking into the possibility of fabricating one, initial research found these rather stylish curved ones designed for Beetles which look much less boxy and not as clumsy, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens.
That leaves just one problem… what to call Mario’s new friend? It should obviously be Italian and although it is a ladies bike I still veer towards a male name. Maybe Giuseppe or even Bombi after the founder or Sergio, Dino, Dante (Dante Giacosa designed the Multipla), Benito or Carlo, though the translation of Cinzia is Cynthia which just maybe is a good name for a vintage Bicycle!