The Bicycle - A Magic Carpet of Dreams?

by Ralpapajan

I use Public Transport. You can go many places using the Trains or the Buses. But when you get there your world is only as big as your stamina and speed of walking.

For the past five years I have travelled around Hampshire and visited many places. I have shot over 20 000 photos. My favourite places are the Nature Reserves and the Canals. Most of them are unspoilt and havens of Peace and Wildlife amidst the bustle and pollution of an overcrowded island. Thankfully not that many people are drawn to the wilds on week days reserving that pleasure for the weekends.

That immediately means that the day becomes shorter if one walks for before 09h00 it is Peak Time on Public Transport so in addition to the extra expense - £7.50 to Newbury 16 miles away for example - the trains are crowded. So the earliest, using the bus to Newbury as an example I can only get there at about 10h30 on weekdays so my wanderings are limited by walking. With a bike and using the train to transport us both I can get down to Newbury and CYCLE down the tow-path to Pewsey about 30kms away and then catch the train back to Basingstoke.

Expand your horizons...

Open up the Countyrside

I wanted to see more, do more, get out more...

So I decided to buy a bicycle.  I used to have one some years ago and rode all over the area around Basingstoke.  Then I had to have an abdominal operation and a titanium and rayon sheet of mesh was inserted to hold it all in place.  It must have had some metal in it as for a period of six months every time a Cell phone received a call within a couple of meters of me my tummy vibrated. Going through security barriers caused the same reaction.  For about eight years I wasn't able to ride, so I gave the bike away.

Then, last year I bought a bike by accident on EBay. I was trying out EBay's auto bid system and was looking at a bike in Basingstoke.  I left my cursor hovering over the submit bid button. A few 'split' seconds before the bid closed I bumped my desk.  Didn't think anything of it until I got an email telling me my bid had been successful!  Silly me.  Still, I was now in possession of a Magic Carpet to whisk me away over the English Countryside.  If, of course, I was able to ride it at my time of life.

I was able but only after a battle and must now get fit. 


The following photos show the way I modified the bike to suit my needs. 


The Hobson Original Saddle.


The first thing I did after test riding the bike, servicing it, stopping brake 'squeal' as usual caused by the previous owner oiling the brakes and making them worse, changing the front brake cable and giving it a thorough clean was to order a Hobson's Original Saddle. I first saw this some years ago on a Larry King Live show wih one of the guests being Bob Dole.  The saddle was recommended as a saviour of prostrate trouble. At my age vital. 





I added an Expandable Carrier Rack from Amazon and a U Bolt lock online.  To secure the lock I used velcro fastening.  This made it readily available.









Then came Front and Rear lights and mudguards - one under the carrier and one in the front.





 This is a view of the handle bars.  Left to right ~ new bell - many bikes in England don't have one - ~ front light ~ bracket to hold water bottle ~ computer measuring distance etc.

This has been modified again


Have a look here for the latest mods ~

The final addition was a toolbox to be used to transport my camera gear. This was secured using velcro strapping and the lock can be fitted to the top.  The detail shows the rear splash guard in place. 



 Well there we have it ~a Magic carpet of Dreams and an Exercise System fo Oldies ~ in act for any age ~ all we need now that we have added a tripod is fine weather and longer days. Wish me luck!


Small and light but very strong.
Updated: 02/19/2014, Ralpapajan
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Ralpapajan on 02/19/2014

Thanks Tolovaj.

Tolovaj on 02/19/2014

It's good to see you are still going strong. With all the titanium you are almost the cyborg... ;)

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