Posts Tagged ‘retro’

L’Eroica 2011 and a Canonet 28.

October 9, 2011

First, let me explain:

I bought a camera, a Canonet 28 rangefinder 12 months ago from a market in Oswestry and instantly I fell in love with it’s small size and ease of use. That week I ran a film through it and the results were O.K but something was very wrong, I had horrible vertical lines and what looked like half frames over 90% of my negatives and consequently my prints too:

I only paid £3 for it but I was still quite unhappy as I knew what this little beast of a camera was capable of, unfortunately for me those capabilities did not translate through to my pictures.

I thought maybe it was the film, so I tried another. The same results. I thought perhaps it was the lab I was using, so I tried another and yet again, the same results.

At this point I’m gutted and beginning to type ‘canonet’ into Ebay every week to try and find a replacement. There were a few of them listed, but none of them £3. I’m about ready to quit.

I grab my DSLR again and begin using that, but in my opinion nothing can compare to the look and feel of film and also being able to fix a moment in time onto something physical is something that pleases me so once again I grab the Canonet and I proceed to open the back of it. I figure either the shutter is sticking or the rollers have filth in them so I use a small brush and some compressed air and I probe and hope that I can somehow accidentally fix the problem.

It’s 11 months now since I got my mitts on this camera and it’s still acting up but I had just messed with it so I cross my fingers and hope that this time my prints will be crystal clear and free from all unwanted lines and blemishes. I run a test film and low and behold, the results are exactly the same! I still have lines and I still have strange shadows and what look like half frames. A ghost in the camera maybe? I doubt it.

I’m now ready to take this heap of junk and toss it into a fire but I was desperate to take it with me to L’Eroica. The problem is it doesn’t work properly and time is running out for me to find a replacement.

I decide to finally take it to two camera stores with a selection of the dodgy prints to see if they can shed any light on my problem. I got nothing but the web address for a man who could “look at it” for me.

Three days now until L’Eroica and it’s not looking good so I have one last blast at fixing this piece of crap and then, after what seemed like hours of me staring into that back of the camera with a torch and a magnifying glass, like an apple falling onto the head it came to me *rolls drum* all along I’v been shooting rolls of film through this thing and it has no light seals, not anywhere, none!

A quick trip to my local haberdashery and I return with black felt and double sided tape for the DIY repair job. An hour later and I think I’ve solved my problem and just in the nick of time as in two days I fly to Italy for Le Coq Sportif’s L’Eroica. I have just enough time to shoot a roll and have it developed to see the results. These next prints will dictate whether this beauty of a rangefinder ends up either in the fire and burned to death or strapped proudly around my neck in Chianti.

It worked! I win! It’s now fixed and I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am, it’s such an amazing little thing, it really is and all for £3 too. If you are ever after a compact, robust rangefinder and you can’t afford a Leica, go for one of these, seriously, they are that good.

And now some shots from my trip to L’Eroica last week with Le Coq Sportif. All of the following photographs were taken using my repaired Canonet 28;

See the rest of the Canonet group here.
Peep the Le Coq Sportif L’Eroica photopool here.
For more of my black and white photo work peep my Tumblr.

L’Eroica 2011. The Flea market [photographs].

October 4, 2011

Day one on Saturday sees the flea market come into town, I say flea market it is a great big cycle jumble in English terms. Stretched out either side of Gaiole’s main road this jumble is big and not only is it big, it is good, very good. Everything you ever needed for your period build and all the accompaniments to go with it can be found here. Even the rarest of the rare is on the tables, it seems that the cream of Italy’s cycle merchandise dealers have landed in Chianti for the day to bless all of the hungry with their wares. You simply do not get a selection this good in the U.K.

I could have bought it all, I really could. Had I gone there with an empty suitcase and a full bank account I surely would have at least grabbed a frame or two, and some wheels, and a groupset and then probably most of the other needed components to build a complete. Instead I bought a Gios T-shirt, I figured I should buy something off them considering how much I was lurking around their stall all day, staring at those beautiful blue frames.

Peep more photographs over at my Flickrspot.

Spinwell for Le Coq Sportif. Notes from the strada bianchi.

October 4, 2011

Aaaaargh! The Muscles on the back on my right leg begin to seize and I pull over to massage (punch) the pain out but it’s not working. I say to myself “dude, you have only ridden 40km, sort yourself out” as men twice my age crawl past me up this long and windy gravel road. It’s midday on Race day at L’eroica and I’m suffering, my training for this event has consisted of a daily 5km commute and that’s it. Like a fool I believed that since I had taken part in the event previously, this year would be a ‘breeze’. Ha! A Breeze.

It wasn’t a breeze at all, this race is a toughie. I’ve ridden up some hard climbs in my time but they were on modern bikes, with modern components and adequate gearing, on butter smooth tarmac. There’s none of that round here, let me tell you. You’re on a pre 84 bike, mate. That’s usually with 10 gears, with a frame made of Steel, toe clips and straps for your feet and tubular tyres. Now, I love all of that stuff as you probably know but out there all I wanted to do was cry into my handlebars after my hands and wrists had been shattered to pieces by the famed white gravel roads.

Earlier that morning I had felt good and strong, I had my English Le Coq Sportif jersey on and like all of my fellow team mates I felt proud but right now I’m just about cooked.

Unlike last year it’s hot as hell, my body feels like it’s been in a microwave and I need water. My bike (an early 70s Cornale) feels like it’s made of lead pipe and I’m going nowhere fast. I’ve eaten well all day at the L’Eroica food stops, Tuscan bean soup, bananas, apricots, bread and jam, the lot but I’ve nothing left, I’m on empty.

I get back on the bike and press on before anyone else passes me and demoralizes me further. There’s 30km to go and I think to myself “there can’t be much more climbing after this hill, surely”. Mike Routledge of the UK team said later on that day that “ he felt like he’d been climbing so much, he should soon be at the moon” He was right.

I’m faced with a wall of white gravel and in my head I can hear the mother out of the Belleville rendezvous film whistling my pedal strokes like a metronome. One-two-three-four… one-two-three-four. I reach into the back of my soaked LCS merino jersey and pull out some sweets that I had stashed from an earlier food stop and jam them into my mouth, right now I need the sugar. I could need these later on but to be honest, I very much doubt that there’ll be a climb as steep and as loose under tyres as this one.

I wonder where the French team are? My English team partner, Patrick and I had been riding with them earlier but we managed to drop them somewhere after food stop number one but I’m sure, given my performance today they will be along soon. I expect them any moment, all of them in the Blue, Blanc, Rouge of the Le Coq Sportif France country jersey, swallowing me up like a massive wave over a fallen surfer.

I want some Coca Cola, the elixir of life, but it’s Sunday and I’m in the wilderness. It’s not going to happen and I accept it.

Suddenly I see Patrick on the side of the road, he’s stopped for me, and we continue up and over the crest and into the descent. I always feel like I’m in a computer game during descents and this is no exception. Some hate dropping down off of hills, I for one love it. I’m an ex downhiller, I should.

With this decent and all of it’s fun comes a fresh perspective. My legs feel a little better and I no longer concentrate on the pain, instead I focus on my surroundings, Tuscany, its utterly beautiful here. Picture postcard country. So the sun is cooking my body, so what, would I rather it raining and blowing a gale? I think not. So the terrain is demanding, so what, would I rather be cycling in Worcestershire? Nope.

At the end of the day I finished the race with no scrapes or techinicals, I also finished ahead the ever-strong French team. I have no idea on how long the 75km took me, I didn’t care. I had finished and I had a cold beer in my hand. I had that elation coursing through me and I was beaming from ear to ear. Sure, I couldn’t quite get my legs to work but I had nowhere to go anyway so it didn’t matter.

- – - -

Now, that was just a taster of what’s to come, I’v plenty more to post from my weekend’s activities in Chianti, so expect more words and lots of pictures!

Special thanks go out to:
Mike Routledge and Marc Chamberlain of Le Coq Sportif UK.
Patrick and Christophe of le Coq Sportif France.
Patrick, my podna from Oi Polloi.
Ed and Brian of Hanon shop.
Beth from Tea and Cake.
Max from Tokyo Fixed Gear.

I must also give a massive shout out to the whole LCS family, UK, Italy, France, Spain all of you, thank you! You all made the experience truly unforgettable.

Peep more at the Le Coq Sportif facebook page.

You can also read my account from last year’s event here, and here.

Oakley for Oki-ni Eyeshades.

June 10, 2011

Spotted these over at my friends blogspace – Arewu. But while he talks of Oakley’s semi-involvement in hip-hop’s ‘golden era’ I’m more concerned about the sheer ‘badman’ factor of these stunning eyeglasses. Just like red coloured bikes, I’m sure donning a pair of these would make you go faster, probably a bit like like Hoy on a good day with the wind at his back.

Limited to only 35 pairs and proudly made in the U.S.A. Grab a pair while you can.

Oakley Eyeshades available at Oki-ni.

Time Tunnel.

February 8, 2011

So I am in need of a set of rims for my bike, as the Wolbers on it have really seen better days. I figure while I am it, replacing spokes and truing them up I may as well go the whole hog and replace the rims too.

After speaking with my Pal ade down at sprocket cycles he put me onto a few shops out to the west of the Midlands, he said I should go check them out, “they may have rims”. He said one of them had a 50% sale on everything, the other had some old bits and bobs knocking around and the last had an early 90s CAAD frame in the window so it was worth a look.

I headed off this morning, camera and all ( just in case ) expecting to come home with at least a small grip of items but that did not happen. The first two I mentioned yeilded nothing, well apart from an overpriced set of classic Shimano wheels that I looked at, and held but did not buy but the last store on my list was interesting to say the least, and this is where the story begins.

He was standing outside his shop, turning spanners in the February morning sun. “Good mornin” I said as I approached him. He looked at me and replied with the same. I told him I was looking for a few older bits like rims and stems and such and he told me “no”. “What about tyres?” I said and again the same answer. The door to his shop was at this point closed and I wondered if he was even open, or maybe he just didn’t want me snooping around. I don’t know but I spotted a pair of 650c Trispokes mounted to an old Cannondale Tri bike in the window, then I saw the CAAD frame to it’s left and I made a comment on them like “Ooooh I love old Cannondales. Open sesame! The chubby grey haired man with sharp beird and moustache lines put his tools down and paid attention “you like them do you? two grand”. He then opened his door and invited me in to scope these classic aluminium beauties.

We got talking and as soon as he found out I had a reasonable knowledge of the classic bicycle he simply said “here you are, I’v got loads out here”. I followed him around the corner of what at first seemed like a tiny shop into his darkened back room, then ‘ping’ he pulled the string of the light switch and slowly, one by one the flourescent tubes flickered on. Holy crap! Nevermind campagnolo, columbus tubing, 531 or anything else road related this cave was packed to the ceiling with 90s mountain bikes, and I am not talking Hawk or Carrera either. Brand new Cannondale Super Vs, Proflex, Univega, Klein, it was an 80s baby’s Christmas and Birthday rolled into one. He had very early Marzocchi forks, the original Judys, Manitou, everywhere I looked there was something that I used to dream about and something that I had a poster of on my wall as a young teenager, I could not believe what I was seeing.

These bikes, frames and wheels had never even been sat on, they were absolutely new old stock. I swear I even saw a san Andreas Mountain cycle in there too. Honestly, if he had one of the original Foes Fabs I would have paid whatever he wanted, I was in the mood for a spending! He had so much hot shit that as soon as I left the premises my mind went blank, remembering my bedroom wall and my healthy collection of MTB catalogues. Christ he even had a pair of the very first AMP research linkage forks. I lust!

I thought, how was he still in business with all this stock still sitting there in that dark storeroom? He must make all his money repairing Taiwanese Argos bikes. To be fair he was still asking the same RRP now as he was in 1992 so I wasn’t surprised that he still had it all.

I would have loved to have bought something of him, anything, especially the classic Rudy Project glasses he had behind his till but his asking price was astronomical, so I left empty handed.

I wonder, how many other bike shops around the country still have stock like this? Plenty, I bet. They remain untapped, full of goodness but for some reason the owner chooses to hang on to stuff, probably clinging on to that last bit of youth, or better still clinging onto something that they don’t want youth to have a hold of.

I’d have taken some pics but he said no to that, claiming that he had a website of his own that he’d be uploading to. when I asked the URL of said website he said “I havn’t got it yet”. Hmmmm.

Thanks anyway to Chris Hayes of Hayes cycles for letting me peep and to Ade at Sprocket for putting me on.

If you are ever in the Kingswinford region of the midlands be sure to go peep, but of course, only if he’ll let you.

The descent.

January 4, 2011

Gravity bikes. Nothing short of awesome!

Found./

Want!

November 10, 2010

NC Cycle mag from 1985 spotted at the TFG flickrspot.

1993.

May 4, 2010

I love photographs of people going about there business, doing their things unaware of any lens and of any camera and this is no exception. Taken from an amazing set of pictures from the early 90s of Messenger life in New York… Well worth a peep!

Props to Tracko for the linky.

Sidecar Radness.

January 18, 2010

The Bicycle.

November 23, 2009

Loving these illustrations spotted out of a book called ‘the bicycle’ from 1973.

Via Montague Projects.

Klein appreciation.

August 27, 2009

Between the ages of 14 and 17 I used to race Downhill mountain bikes and at that time I would have either been riding a beat up GT RTS ( terribly designed linkage system ) or a Jamis Dakar ( amazing ) and of course both complete with Rock Shox Judy DHs, ‘V’ brakes, Renthal Motocross bars ( because that was how we rolled ) and all manner of anodized bits ‘n’ bobs.

I remember after one race looking over at a few pros and seeing what I now know to be a bunch of Klein Mantras. Instantly I fell in love. Maybe it was the ridiculously oversized tubing? Perhaps it was the day-glo paint that was calling me out? I don’t know but what I do know is I still have a soft spot in my heart for the Klein and if I could ever get my hands on a fully rigid Attitude I would be one stoked boy!

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mantrarigid2500

Gatorringle

group3x

Tube500

70s Amsterdam.

August 26, 2009

I have infinite Love for the city of Amsterdam. It is a hope of mine to live there one day… I guess I just need to make it happen!

Anyway here we have more photographs off the trusty Flickr from the user known as Amsterdamize… Props to them for the scans.

The 70s… aaaaah looking like nothing but pure goodtimes!

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See more here.

Vintage Hotness.

July 14, 2009

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Beno9
Superneu__085
ci3
renn5

This Berlin based fellow has a collection of bikes that is sicker than most, seriously he has some killer bicycles and I would potentially do ( almost ) anything for the chromed out C.B.T Italia he has… Ouch!

Go check out his steez as he individually details each of his bikes with a whole bunch of photographs, which is nice.

Many thanks to Kris for the linky.

Tyres.

July 13, 2009

Ade down at Sprocket cycles just got these in.

DSCF6242

Really nice folding tan wall ‘Criterium’ joints that will bless any vintage build. I am not entirely sure of the cost but I know they are cheap so go grip yourself a pair… Even if it just for the packaging!

Available in 700 x 19c and 700 x 23c.

Sprocket Cycles
54-57 Allison Street
Birmingham, B5 5TH
0121 633 0730
Open Wed to sat.

New Project.

June 29, 2009

DSCF6198

This is a 50s Triang kids tricycle and it cost me all of £6, yesterday from my favourite Welsh car boot sale: Tuffins. I am not entirely sure why I bought it but I am happy I did.


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