We’ve been organising a Classic Car Show…

Apologises as we haven’t posted for a few weeks but it’s been ‘action stations’ here with the Haslemere Classic Car Show and Tour which we run in our town. It’s the seventh year and it’s grown, from sourcing 50 cars to display at a Donkey Derby to a very popular event which fills the local green and is an important date in the town’s social calendar.DSC01480

We run the day in two parts, a morning tour, when nearly 100 cars meet for breakfast before going off on a route of around 55 miles, through beautiful local countryside, with a refreshment stop halfway – this year at Lasham Gliding Club. The second part is a static classic car show in the afternoon, this has 200 or so pre-75 classics parked on the green, surrounded by stalls selling local produce and crafts, vintage and car related goods, alongside traditional entertainment, jazz, WI cream teas, hot food and a bar. Plus we have competitions for the best dressed car and driver and the ‘People’s Choice’ for the car you’d most like to take home. Not forgetting our HCCS Bake-off cake competition.

This year was our busiest yet with thousands of people out enjoying the wonderful display in the late May sunshine. It’s an awful lot of work to put on but worth it when we get great comments from people about what a good and well organised show it is.

Mario was of course in attendance… just, he had his MoT two days after the show, James had a little bit of work to do on the front suspension but he’s now fighting fit and looking forward to getting out and about during the summer. Cynthia came along as well and the pair, as always received lots of attention, I even had a go at riding Cynthia in a period frock and shoes, a fairly successful outcome so we might have to consider taking her along to the Revival this year. They even made the local paper.IMG_0889

We have already started looking forward to the HCCS 2016, thinking of ways to keep it getting better and we are also organising another tour in July to raise funds for the local Haslemere Education Museum so it’s still all go here! To follow a pictorial diary of the day…DSC01384 DSC01407 DSC01425K7012332K7012348K7012368K7012384K7012402K7012409IMG_6015 IMG_6039 IMG_6081 IMG_6106 IMG_6123 IMG_6163K7012423K7012459K7012481K7012493K7012505DSC01473

Photo James Lynch... James took some great pics on the tour

Photo James Lynch… James took some great pics on the tour

DSC01486DSC01491DSC01525DSC01467DSC01537DSC01538DSC01542DSC01547HCCS-1HCCS-3HCCS-5HCCS-7HCCS-11HCCS-15HCCS-17Josh Beagle who navigated one of our entrants Aaron Brown made this great Vlog which gives a superb view of the day.

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Style and the City… The Tweed Run 2015

2015slider1“The Tweed Run is a metropolitan bicycle ride with a bit of style. We take to the streets in our well-pressed best, and cycle through the city’s iconic landmarks. Along the way, we stop for a tea break and a picnic stop, and we usually end with a bit of a jolly knees-up”.

Regular readers will know that James was given an entry to the 2014 Tweed Run and this great event got us into cycling (on the flat, at the seaside!) and then led to us getting and restoring Cynthia an early 80’s Italian Cicli Cinzia bicycle.

So earlier this year we applied of tickets for the 2015 Tweed Run, Unfortunately the event is always very oversubscribed and we didn’t get lucky but then our friends in Derbyshire came up trumps with a spare ticket so we decided that, as last year, James would ride and I would be the roving photographer.

We set off for the ‘Big City’ about 8am last Saturday morning and made really good time with no hold ups. Yet again, we were pleasantly surprised, finding free parking in Westminster – all day on a Saturday – and we were early enough to have a fab breakfast in the famous Art Deco style, Regency Cafe, which opened in 1946 and has appeared on TV and the movies. A short cycle for James and a stroll through the beautiful St James’ Park, for me, got us to the start in Spring Gardens beside Admiralty Arch. It was a glorious spring morning and there was a great buzz of activity as the 700 entrants parked their assortment of bikes, everything from Penny Farthings to ‘Boris’ hire bikes’, and wandered over to Trafalgar Square for the official photo. There were some fantastic tweedy and vintage outfits, extraordinary facial hair and lots of flower decked bikes. I took this opportunity to hop on a bus down to Westminster Bridge to get a good spot for the classic ‘Genevieve’ photo.IMG_0847DSC00467 DSC00475 Tweed RunTR-mapThe official photo took longer than expected and waiting on a very busy Westminster Bridge, I was concerned that I had missed them but then out of the traffic the first contingent of marshals arrived. In previous years the marshals have stopped the traffic at junctions to allow the ride to go through on mass but this year the riders had been told they had to obey the traffic signals and so the event became much more spread out. It didn’t look as impressive and personally I thought it caused more disruption then just letting them through together.DSC00505DSC00510DSC00512DSC00513DSC00516James and our friends Mark and Richard on the tandem came through quite early on.DSC00522DSC00523DSC00525DSC00535DSC00540DSC00544DSC00549The passengers on this coach must have been surprised at being eye to eye with a cyclist!DSC00552Then I spotted my friend Marge The Tweed Queen who makes wonderful tweed goodies in Derbyshire. She looked absolutely fabulous in her hand made tweed outfit with her bike uniquely decorated with tweed, matching panniers, a lovely vintage box on the rack and a basket woven with tweed strips and decorated with crochet flowers in strong black, white, green and orange.DSC00557DSC00561DSC00587DSC00598DSC00600It was then a quick dash by tube for me, over to Holborn for the tea stop in Red Lion Square. It wasn’t long before the tea was ignored and the Cocktails made an appearance and we all enjoyed the magnificent Cheesey Moustaches made by Marge. The tandem had some improvements this year to help with transporting the supplies, with Mark constructing panniers out of vintage metal file boxes.DSC00607DSC00612DSC00620DSC00622DSC00639Then it was off across London again to Hyde Park, a quick dash to the tube ensured I arrived first, to get a place along the Serpentine, although in retrospect I wish I gone to the end of the Mall and got another iconic London Shot with Buckingham Palace in the background – although the park was beautiful it didn’t really give the photos a recognisable destination. The ride was bunched up before they came through the park and I’m sure they gave a few ‘normal’ cyclists and roller skaters a bit of a surprise.DSC00654DSC00660DSC00662DSC00665DSC00673DSC00678DSC00687DSC00694DSC00698DSC00702DSC00711DSC00713DSC00721Poor Marge who had a major operation just a couple of months ago and probably shouldn’t have been cycling at all, was finding it a bit of a struggle and so we walked over to Park Lane and flagged down a lovely taxi driver who quickly agreed to take ‘two ladies and a bicycle’ over to the picnic stop at Saint Pancras Gardens. We only got there as the ride was arriving, having been round the edge of Regents Park, so it goes to prove that it is quicker to cycle in London. The Gardens and Old Church were very picturesque and everybody had soon spread their blankets out and were busy picnicking on the grass.DSC00763DSC00770DSC00776As always Richard had laid out a wonderful spread with smoked duck, salami’s, salad, cheese and a selection of delicious Granny Mary’s potted meats from their local Derbyshire. Another of Mark’s innovations came into play with a copper tap on the bottom of one of the panniers dispensing red wine!DSC00778DSC00784DSC00791DSC00798DSC00806This pic shows some of the detail of Marge’s bike dressing, such a lot of work which was to be rewarded later…DSC00821DSC00823Although lovely and sunny there was a very chilling wind and after a leisurely break everybody was quite keen to get back on their trusty steads for the short ride down to the finish in Bloomsbury Square, the more sheltered square was much warmer and a perfect location for a celebratory finishing glass of bubbly. The prize giving and end of ride party was held in the adjoining art deco Bloomsbury Ballroom, where they made a rather fine cocktail or two. We were all delighted to find out that Marge’s endeavours had been rewarded and she had won the ‘Best Dressed’ bike award and she was given a really cute leather bike bag from sponsors Pashley.DSC00849DSC00845DSC00866DSC00875After some suitable celebrating we retired to have supper and discuss a great day. I really must get into ‘training’ and do longer rides and gain some confidence in cycling in traffic, so Cynthia and I can hopefully take part next year. The problem is that Cynthia’s best accessory is a little large… although we did suggest that Mario with Cynthia on a roof rack would make a perfect course car!DSC04325You can see more of our pictures of Tweed Run 2015 online

The making of Cynthia…

You may have read in previous posts that Mario has a new girlfriend… Cynthia; a retro styled bicycle. We got interested in the idea of a ‘vintage’ bike when James did the Tweed Run earlier in the year. So James found me a bike on Ebay, the right style and most importantly with a basket! DSC01917DSC03546IMG_1167 She was collected rather inelegantly, returning from Swindon, upside-down on the back of the car. Although it looked pretty good in the photo’s it was a bit tatty around the edges and so a restoration to match Mario was plotted. There was a fair bit of discussion as to how she would look which I blogged about earlier.

We put some pictures on Mario’s FaceBook and our personal pages and got our friends to vote on the combination they preferred! James set to taking Cynthia apart and got on with preparing, priming and spraying the frame and other metal parts, using the paint we had left from restoring Mario many years ago – proving that two-pack paint keeps perfectly well. He also striped down the gearbox, cleaned it all and reassembled it which will hopefully solve the problems with the gears slipping and polished all the alloy frame components to a mirror finish.photo 2photo 1
10552512_730254053697077_6924704042527702638_nIn the meantime I set to work at home in the kitchen sink with bleach and brillo-pads and cleaned the wheels and tyres, handlebars, saddle etc. The handlebars went in the dishwasher which brought them up really well, they were then lacquered to seal them. I managed to get rid of all the little rust marks and although the chrome is still a little pitted it looks pretty good. DSC04183 DSC04185 DSC04187 DSC04188 DSC04191She was soon being put back together with the addition of some rather nice checker tape to match Mario’s bling. We had contacted Cicli Cinzia the original manufacturer to try and get some decals, they didn’t have any of the originals but very kindly sent us some from their current range of bikes, as the logo is quite retro looking which looked perfect and finished off the frame. It’s nice that you can still see the manufacturer especially as they are Italian. They also confirmed that Cynthia was originally manufactured in the 80’s (1986, marked on the gears) which is good news as Cynthia will be eligible for some of the vintage events. James also lightly sprayed the baskets blue which we rubbed back to give a distressed look and added some flowers round the front basket to complete the vintage feel. We also managed to get a perfect black and white elastic skirt guard which fitted perfectly in the holes on the mudguard.photophoto-3photo 3photo-2DSC04194 DSC04206 DSC04207 DSC04208photo 2-2 DSC04209

Now everybody knows that many of the top automotive launches take place at Goodwood and so the GRRC Open Day seemed a perfect venue for Cynthia to make her debut. The first thing was to see if we could fit the bike inside Mario. With all the seats folded flat into the floor the Multipla has a huge load area comparable to it’s size and Cynthia just fitted. With some fiddling and strategic positioning of bungee straps she was very secure and we had a easy journey to Goodwood House. The previous posting tells of our day out at the Open Day but I’ll just say here that Cynthia went down a storm and made a beautiful pair with Mario, she even had her own little sign!
DSC04210DSC04213DSC04221DSC04225DSC04268DSC04303Layout 1We are delighted with the result and are looking forward to more seaside cycling and hopefully taking part in a few vintage cycling events in the future. Mario is just pleased to have a new friend.

Busy weekend and a debut in West Sussex…

Last Sunday was a busy weekend for Mario. After a fairly early start (for us) we went to Breakfast Club at the Goodwood Motor Circuit, the theme was Throughbred Sunday, celebrating the cars of the Golden Days of the Circuit; 1948-66. We had a circuit pass and so entered at Lavant and drove round the track (a little too fast for the Marshall’s liking) before being parked up at the Chicane. We immediately had a crowd around asking questions about Mario and ‘Cynthia’ the newly restored bicycle which was strapped down in the back. DSC04227

As the theme was a tighter brief there weren’t as many cars as there has been for say Convertible Sunday but they were all of high quality and at least it didn’t look like the supermarket car park. It’s one of the themes we most enjoy as we much prefer the classics. It was a lovely morning and we had a quick look up the grid and through the paddocks, bumping in to several friends along the way.

We’ve known this fantastic and very unusual Simca Aronde and it’s owner Julie for many years as we first met them at a French Car day when we first had ‘Regie’ the Renault 4cv.DSC04229 The Gordon Keeble is unusual but there were two of them on Sunday.DSC04232 DSC04234 DSC04235 DSC04236 The favourite of the day and the car I’d most liked to have taken home was the Humber ‘Woody’ a stunning beast, one of only 4 made and used by a Scottish distillery as guest transport, it would make a superb picnic car.DSC04238 DSC04239We didn’t have long a the circuit as Sunday was also the GRRC Open Day at Goodwood House and Mario had been selected to be exhibited around the carriage circle. We had decided that as so many new car launches take place at Goodwood that this was a perfect event for Cynthia to make her Debut. While Mario and Cynthia had the honour of being parked up on display the human’s had an invitation to lunch in the house. Very nice it was to, Champagne, a delicious three course lunch with wine, coffee and beautiful petit fours all served in the ornate splendour of the ball room. It’s a lovely opportunity to meet and chat with fellow members of the club, conversation flows as we all have a common interest.DSC04246 DSC04247 DSC04248DSC04467 After lunch we had a wander round the other exhibits. They covered a very wide spectrum of motoring history from Veteran bikes to modern super cars and even a Mini Metro. Personally our favourites were the Auburn boat-tailed speedster which had a fantastic alligator interior, a very original Jowett Jupiter with great patina, an Arbath Prototype, an unusual Innocenti and a glorious Alfa 8C. Visitors could vote for their favourite car of the day, third place went jointly to the Auburn and a Mercedes-Benz Roadster, second place was the Alfa and the winners a Volkswagen camper van which had been beautifully restored and was actually used for camping trips, although it did some to have a huge crowd of supporters all hustling for votes! We have it on very good authority that Mario was in the top ten.DSC04251 DSC04254 DSC04255 DSC04256 DSC04257 DSC04259 DSC04260 DSC04261 DSC04263 DSC04269 DSC04270 DSC04272 DSC04276 DSC04282 DSC04284 DSC04286 DSC04290 DSC04291DSC04292 DSC04294 DSC04299

Newly restored Cynthia created a lot of attention and the two together in matching colour schemes certainly made an arresting sight and will blog soon on her restoration. We took the opportunity to take some pictures outside of the house before we left. It was a most enjoyable day in lovely sunshine slightly marred by Mario getting very hot on the way home which is something that has never happened before – maybe he was having a bit of a sulk at Cynthia getting some of the attention – so that is something that will have to be looked at before the Revival.DSC04325 DSC04318 DSC04303

 

 

A two wheeled friend…

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.

m06WRZf7VHLetGoST2WTc5glogoFound 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…

Bicycle Bicycle2

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!

195411_1346059589DolceGabbana-animalier-bicycle-Ummmm now there’s a thought… Mario coloured leopard print!blue-green bikeMissoni-bikes-468x318 Chanel-bike1-468x340 Love the ‘luggage’ on this one!Fendi-bike Gucci-8-8-2008-bike-468x300

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!photo 1DSC02665photo 3

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!DSC02998screenshot002 i234112 DSCN1466 DSCN1415 800600001roofrack images 1c94414a959f16310ae473f7e5b8cd3a 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.

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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!