My Uncle Len lived a short drive away from ours, past ‘The Chip Plaice’ on Stoney Lane and then a bit more. His house was a new-build, looking the same as all the other homes on the estate, although Uncle Len’s porch pole was glossed in a different hue, setting his apart.
On Saturday evenings, until late into the night, a florescent geometric halo of light leaked from the sides of the garage door, alerting attentive neighbours to his unusual habits. Other than routinely shaving his legs, Uncle Len was, in fact, a rather straightforward kind of man, adorned with a synthetic beige kipper tie.
At the break of day on most Sunday mornings, Uncle Len would meet up with a group of like-minded individuals on deserted A roads on the fringes of industrial areas. There, they would set off individually, on specially equipped bicycles, over fixed distances of 10, 25 and 30 miles, out and back, against the clock.
In 1973, Uncle Len placed the best part of a week’s pay packet at 35 to one to win, on a horse called The Twonky, running in the 2.15 at Pontefract. The Twonky was considered lame by most pundits, who disparagingly called it ‘The Donkey’ and so it proved when the horse crossed the line second to last. Had the windfall materialised, my uncle’s long-held dream would have come to fruition. To be in Italy in the month of May to see his idols in what he regarded to be the most beautiful three week stage race on the cycling calendar, the Giro d’Italia and a chance to see the leader wearing the Maglia Rosa.
Unfortunately, Uncle Len never did make it to Italy. However, he did manage to eulogise his sentiments of the race by hand glossing my tricycle in a bright pink colour with the paint left over from the porch pole.
SADDLE: Brooks® B67 leather with copper springs
SEATPOST: 26.8mm chromed steel
FOOT PEGS: Stainless steel
WHEELS: Steel with solid white rubber tyres
FINISH: Powder coated
A variety of colours are available for the frame.
Height 650-700 mm
Length 500 mm
Width 410 mm