Why an Online Bicycle Museum?
I meet many other collectors of old vehicles. Some bicycle collectors turn their houses over completely to the display of their collections. Those with larger varieties of vintage transport store them all over the place, having outgrown the storage capacity of their own premises. Which beggars the obvious questions – having assembled these collections, what to do with them? And who is going to see them?
The usual answer is that it’s only other collectors who get to see them.
Sometimes rarer items may be loaned to museums. Though last year a chap I know had a shocking experience when the vintage motorcycle loaned to a museum 20 years before was kept by them after Dad passed away. They would not give it back, and said that because they’d spent money restoring it they felt it was now theirs. I understand how easily we get attached to these wonderful old beasts, but I helped him get it out of their clutches.
An Online Museum would seem the ideal solution. You get to see my collection for free without having to leave your own house, and I don’t have to put up with you traipsing around my garden or make you cups of tea.
Who is Colin, author of this website?
My main vintage interest over the years has always been old cars, motorcycles, scooters, three-wheelers and cyclemotors. I’ve been a transport enthusiast since my earliest years …though in those days my collection was limited to a dozen dinky toys. At age 16, I bought my first scooter. From the late seventies to early nineties, I started and built up a business restoring and selling vintage cars and motorcycles. Some diehard veteran cyclists may cringe at the word ‘cyclemotor,’ but having owned those odd contraptions for 30 years or so, my interest in vintage cycles slowly developed through such cycle attachments.
In the past few years, ebay has added a turbodrive to our vintage vehicle hobby, and many enthusiasts have delved into new areas of interest. With more information available via the internet, it’s now easier to research and buy different types of old vehicles. I particularly enjoy learning about areas of the hobby that are new to me.
One aspect of old vehicle ownership is insight into the era of its manufacture. 100-year-old cars and motorcycles are prohibitively expensive, but veteran cycles are still just about affordable. Vintage bicycles from 1910s to the fifties are appreciating in value, but still available at reasonable cost if you look around.
So old bicycles represent a very practical introduction to vintage motoring, and by riding them and taking care of them you can get a real taste for times not so long past when even basic road travel was still very much a pioneering adventure.
My Edwardian bicycles include a 1910 Alldays Commercial Delivery tricycle; pictured above, it was used by a Liverpool gents outfitters for delivering and collecting the laundry. You can read more about it on another page.
A recent acquisition is the 1894 Premier Safety Bicycle, below, with left-hand chainwheel and helical tubing. I’m in the middle of restoring it.
I hope you enjoy the Online Museum. If you don’t yet own a vintage bicycle I hope this might encourage you to find one and discover the joys of vintage vehicle ownership for yourself. Hopefully the information and pictures in these pages may also provide some assistance for those trying to date a machine or check its original specifications.
As mentioned elsewhere, this has been created as a Public Resource, and you may copy anything on this website for your own use. This site has no adverts or commercial content apart from links to my vintage vehicle sales website http://www.BuyVintage.co.uk
Of course, this museum reflects my personal interests and is not intended to be a comprehensive history or educational facility. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. My main interest is the social history of late 19th and early 20th century working-classes: bicycles were the first vehicles working people could afford. Not only did the bicycle help liberate women in the 1910′s, but it took vehicle usage out of the hands of the few and mobilized the world.
By the way, I’m definitely no expert on bicycles. And I have no idea where you can obtain spare parts (do what I do: look on ebay or visit cycle jumbles). But you’re welcome to email me if you wish to chat about anything else.