Pedalling the Past in the Present

by | Jun 14, 2024

The Veteran-Cycle Club (V-CC) is all about ‘pedalling the past in the present’ and has attracted members with wide-ranging interests in the history and engineering of the machines as well as the social aspects of riding and enjoying themselves on and with their much loved steeds.  In the days when communication of knowledge was by discussion, telephone and paper the V-CC flourished, as it provided a large and diverse community to exchange information, parts and even the machines themselves.  Society has moved on with the advent of the internet and the general movement away from employment in engineering and the making and repairing items and machinery for everyday use.  Where once most cyclists could repair his or her own machine they now often ‘take them to be serviced once a year’.

Despite this rather gloomy picture all is not lost as there is a great hankering after the past and ‘nostalgia’, and ‘vintage’ events are widespread.  These events are all about looking the part at a special gathering and often feature the music of the time.  It is interesting to see V-CC ride reports from around the country as those showing members sporting period costume are often very well-attended with a large gathering of members and are also very popular on social media.

So how can the V-CC help those who wish to ‘pedal the past’ and show their finery?

Firstly, you will need a machine of the correct era.  While machines from the likes of Ebay, Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace and other online sellers are easily available they are often an expensive and uncertain way of buying these old and cumbersome items.  Cycle Jumbles are much more fun, especially as there are many bargains to be had and you can chat to the sellers, who can often give you a lot of information about your chosen machine.  It is also possible to buy vintage clothing to wear when riding but suggest doing a little research into the fashion of the era before purchase – looking at old photos and drawings is a wonderful way to relax!

Once your purchase is made, you will need to make it roadworthy and perhaps restore it to its former glory, personally I prefer my machines with a bit of patina (rust) and dirt but I have shiny ones as well.  The V-CC is able to help you do this as the Club has a number of skilled members who can either do the job for you or help you do it yourself.  Restorers and renovators often offering a discount to members of the V-CC.

While there are many large commercially organised gatherings and rides for vintage bicycles and their riders, the V-CC offers a way to show off your finery on a more regular basis, what’s more, once you join the Club the rides are usually free (apart from a few special events).  The Club offers many different types of rides including era and ‘marque’ specific together with camps and the chance to take part in static and moving displays.  We give people the chance to ‘pedal the past’ on regular occasions rather just once or twice a year.

The V-CC area sections offer regular rides sometimes with themes such as Roadster Ramble, the Claud Butler ride, and the Oldest Bike Ride.  There are special events such as the Pedersen Gathering and Sunbeam Sundays where members make a special effort to look their best and bring out their favourite machines.

If you are interested in ‘Pedalling the Past in the Present’ why not contact us, either direct via Contact V-CC or a Local Group to find out more?