Saturday, April 3, 2010

On a brighter note

Bike routes near train stations. (This site is an amazing resource that up to this point has been mostly notional for me, but I think I have to start taking it more seriously.)

And a lovely obituary (by Phil Davison) of bicycle frame builder Bill Hurlow at the FT (site registration required):
Hurlow was an amateur racer himself, winning numerous time trial awards for two of the great cycling clubs of his day, Galena and Marlboro, including in the great Bath Road 100 (mile) time trial, in which he won the Lascelles Cup three times - in 1949, 1951 and 1952. He was still racing into his seventies, often beating competitors 30 years younger, and still covered 30-40 miles a day for pleasure into his mid-80s. A photograph taken when he was in his seventies shows a lone, white-haired figure gobbling up a deserted Bandy Canyon Road in California's San Pasqual Valley.

Hurlow's designs influenced bicycle makers worldwide, particularly in the US, where frame builders took up his mantle and one described him as "the builder's builder, a tailor of tubes" for his ability to design and build a bike to individual measurements and needs - height, weight, build, and even, like a tailor, the vital inner leg measurement - to angle and balance the frame to suit the customer. "His bikes were the equivalent of Savile Row suits," said his friend and fellow biker John Hunt of Canterbury, Kent. "It was Bill who invented the breakthrough fastback seat stays, brazed into an Allen key housing. Most lugs are biased but Bill's were totally symmetrical. He couldn't draw them. He cut them like a sculptor. I think he knocks all other builders into a cocked hat."

1 comment:

Black Knight said...

Interesting news! What a pity ... I live in Italy. Happy Easter.